Display advertising emerged early in the evolution of the internet as simple banner ads that mimicked the look of traditional print display ads. Online publishers and electronic billboards can elevate display ads beyond static images by using animation and video. At this point, display ads have become pervasive throughout the internet and on mobile devices. Gaming environments, where people play in virtual worlds, present the next step in display advertising evolution. In-game display ads can reach new audiences and monetize games for publishers.
Vast Audience Immersed In Content
People participate actively in games instead of passively viewing content. This creates a highly engaged user base for marketers. Globally, about 2.7 billion people play games on computers or mobile devices. In 2020, as the pandemic forced people to stay home, gaming attracted more people. Mobile data provider Verizon reported a 75% jump in gaming traffic last year. According to internet provider Comcast, game downloads increased by 50%.
Fortune 500 Companies Want To Reach Gamers
The marketers serving Fortune 500 companies have moved into gaming in a big way. The biggest advertising agencies, like GroupM, Publicis, and Omnicom, have now set up divisions dedicated to advertising within games. Global brands, like McDonald’s, Samsung, Coca-Cola, and Volkswagen, have made in-game advertising a new priority.
Ad Integration Critical
Gamers strongly dislike ads that interrupt their experience. Display advertising shown alongside gaming content or inserted within a virtual world allows people to play uninterrupted while still being exposed to brand messages. Advertising companies, like Bidstack, have developed ad deliver systems for games that make it easier for marketers to buy in-game ad space through programmatic buying.
A virtual world may show real-world advertising in the form of billboards or bus signage as a player walks down a virtual street. A sports game might outfit a player’s character in branded merchandise or show display ads alongside a virtual football field.
More Monetization For Game Publishers
Display advertising improves monetization options for game publishers. They do not have to force players to wait through ad interruptions and marketers get good results. Third-party studies show that immersive in-game ads outperform ads on Facebook. One YouGov study concluded that 20% of people bought products promoted in gaming ads.
What is your opinion about gaming display advertising? Does it interfere with your gaming experiences?