Advergaming: How games can catapult your brand

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It has gained popularity over the years and reached amazing results; it’s advergaming! If you’re looking to promote your product in a non-invasive and effective way, this could be the answer. Not only does it enable you to reach a tough market, but it also encourages them to promote your brand. So what’s the magical recipe for this marketing miracle? Let’s find out!

What’s advergaming?

Advergaming consists on creating a videogame to advertise a product or brand. Obviously, the term comes from merging ‘advertising’ and ‘gaming’. This marketing strategy combines advertisement with entertainment and can be used in different devices, such as desktop PC, game console and smartphones to capture different audiences. This fact isn’t to be played down: user fragmentation is a big deal and companies have been struggling to get to all of them.

This means of advertising provides marketers and advertisers the answer to the problem of customer interaction with a brand or product. Now users can spend hours interacting with the game, that is, with the marketing strategy, simply because it’s fun.

How did it all start?

If you’re a kid from the 80s, you may remember Tron, the arcade video game. It was created with the purpose of advertising the Tron movie. The same happened with Star Trek and soon enough film companies started using it with frequency.

Such was the popularity and effectiveness of advergaming that by 1995 companies dedicated to advergames were up and running.

Types of advergaming strategies

Yes, it’s advertising in a video game. But how does is it work, exactly?

Advergame on company site

This advergame has a clear purpose: to make the user stays on the website for as long as possible.

Advergame for computer or game console

This usually have a specific aim in mind, for instance, the video game America’s Army was created to encourage military enrollment.

In-game advertising

In this type of advergaming strategy, the product is part of the game. In-game advertising is commonly used for advertising a new car model. How? By creating a racing car game that features the advertised product.

How can I place an advertisement in a video game

  • As part of the video game: You’ve probably seen this on TV or movies, when sponsor’s’ product casually appears on screen. Well, this has been emulated for video and online games. There are different ways for the product to take part in the video game but most involve an interaction between the main character (a.k.a “the user) with the product, whether it’s a car, a drink or a piece of clothing. It can also appear as a billboard on the road.
  • As part of the transitions in the video game: This type of ad placement is most frequently used in app games. When you lose or get to the next level, a video or ad appears. It’s usually an advertisement for another game.
  • On the game screen: Ads surrounding the game screen are quite frequent… and quite annoying. Many times you end up accidentally clicking on the ad and interrupting your game. Though they appear in the game, they don’t interact with it.
  • Dynamic ads: These ads appear inside the game and gamers can interact with them by clicking on billboards or posters.

Advergame users

Initially, advergaming was aimed at a younger market audience, because it was the easiest way to target them. Nowadays, surprisingly, a 2015 Pew research found that in the US only, almost half of all American adults play games online. Plus, 48 percent of the interviewed women claim to play video games or online games.

Pros of advergaming

  • It’s a less intrusive marketing strategy.
  • It’s easier to raise brand awareness (users find it easier to remember it).
  • It’s easier to viralize, because users easily share something they find entertaining.
  • You can get feedback on a new product that hasn’t been launched yet.

Are you starting to consider this unconventional marketing strategy? Find the right game and the right way to advertise your product!

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