Why Advertisers Should Get in the Game

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It’s not all just fun and games. Want your ads to get noticed? According to recent data, ads positioned on gaming sites continue to grab attention and deliver above average performance.

With a gaming market projected to be worth $320 billion by 2026, getting some skin in this game could give marketers the performance boost they’re looking for. In a recent report by Dentsu called “Play Attention: Calling Focus to Gaming,” viewer’s attention was measured across livestreaming on the gaming platform, Twitch.

One powerful advantage of gaming media, says the study, is viewers are already paying attention. “Gaming has really high attention levels compared to some of the other channels that we’ve done research with in the past,” says Kevin Villatora, director of global media partnerships for Dentsu Media U.S. “For me, that’s a huge flag that more advertisers need to augment their current plans with gaming inventory.”

Particularly fertile ground can be found in livestreaming. Ads aired during gaming livestreams returned an average brand recall of 57 percent, markedly higher than the average 38 percent across social media, online video, audio and display advertising. 

The point in time where ads appeared in the livestream didn’t matter.  Nor did length make a significant difference. Data showed 15-second livestream ads were just as effective in brand recall as 30-second ads.

It shouldn’t be missed that advertisements don’t need to be gaming-related to garner success on gaming platforms. Research found that many ads featured in the study were not specific to the gaming industry.

Another category performed “exceptionally well” in the Dentsu study. “Intrinsic ads” are usually displayed as an in-game billboard ad or other naturally occurring object. Intrinsic ads captured 3,442 seconds of viewer attention across 1,000 participants – much higher than the 1,416 seconds achieved in traditional online advertisements.

Said Villatoro, “Some of the learnings here for advertisers are, you can be very selective about where you want to appear in these gaming environments, and then tailor your creative to be the right fit for that environment.”

Despite turmoil in the gaming industry with anticipated layoffs coming from Microsoft, Twitch and others, research by Dentsu affirms the benefits of adding gaming to your marketing mix outweigh the downsides. Yet some marketers remain reluctant. Read more about the debate here.

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