Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

How can I explore the potential of ad inventory in new channels like in-game media?

The NDA Predictions Hub, in association with Xandr, is dedicated to insight and inspiration from some of our industry’s leading figures to help you make sense of how digital marketing and media will develop in 2022.

The predictions of our experts though may leave readers wondering exactly how they can shape their own marketing strategies to fit the trends identified. So as part our Predictions Hub, Xandr’s own experts will be stepping in to help with the answers.

During the pandemic, many turned to other forms of entertainment, in fact, 42% of EU gamers found playing multiplayer games during COVID-19 made them happier. 

Even without a pandemic, gaming has become an increasingly strong media through which to reach audiences. This is reflected in the 93% of media buyers who are planning to run in-game advertising by 2025, which will help them reach around three billion active gamers globally. Compare that to the traditional advertising motherlode – the Super Bowl – which attracted a mere 96.4m viewers this year.

How people are gaming is also changing. It’s not just a question of sitting down to a shoot ‘em up at a desktop, although games like Gears of War remain incredibly popular. Mobile gaming plus metaverse is increasingly popular. Platforms like Avakin Life, by Lockwood Publishing, had 200m registered users as of November 2020, with one million visiting at least once a day. It’s as much a social network, entertainment and commerce space as a game, with people buying customised objects and interacting with others. 

Is in-game somehow ‘other’ compared to formats like mobile, CTV or traditional publishers? Not at all. As with any successful media plan, it’s all about context and moment. In most cases, it’s back to basics personalisation. Using first and third-party data, understanding the publishers you work with and the audience demographic all make for a strong basis on which to build creative ways of targeting audiences.

Equally, the information you can glean from in-game activity feeds into those audience insights in ways that could be much richer than the third-party cookies currently exercising so many advertisers. Instead of blindly following consumers round the web, meeting them where they are and understanding the nuances of their behaviour could make for a much deeper relationship – and a much more accurate one.