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BizReport : Advertising archives : September 08, 2010

Top 3 tips to engage gamers

By 2012 the gaming industry is expected to bring in more than $55 billion, a number that has many brands and marketers looking at game advertising to reach consumers. These brands are using rich and social media as well as interactive tools to engage consumers, but are they doing enough?

by Kristina Knight

unicast.jpgOnline gamers are an interesting bunch. Once thought to be filled with young males, research has shown that 30-something women are one of the most engaged demographics in the gaming world. These changing demographics have many brands and marketers worried about how their ads will engage - or not! - the 'typical' gamer. Especially when gaming seems to grow more atypical by the day. But, which ads work in games and which don't?

"We've found that console game publishers have modeled themselves after the film studios quite successfully when promoting their latest blockbuster or independent release," said Bryan Hjelm, Unicast Vice President of Product and Marketing. "For example, the new PlayStation racing title, Modnation, created a multi-video format that plays videos to showcase the sportsmanship, humor and customizing tracking within the game. Game publishers should focus on key features...that speak to how the game will be better than other similar titles...and make sure that ad campaigns elicit the same 'wow' factor as the game itself."

To that end, Hjelm suggests that brands start by offering integrated ad campaigns across platforms, including gaming consoles, in-game ads, social and mobile marketing and online efforts.

"Incorporate innovative rich media ad formats that provide a customizable, premium and HD environment for you to showcase your brand. Gamers are on the leading edge of the technology curve and have advanced hardware, large HD screens and high bandwidth," said Hjelm. "[Then] incorporate gaming functionality into online ads, even if [the brand isn't] advertising a game. Launching ad creative that contains even simple games like Memory are likely to increase interaction rates and engagement times."

Not doing these three things yet? Don't feel alone because you aren't. Hjelm says that brands need to be bolder in integrating more social and 'conversational' aspects in their online campaigns, including messaging, bookmarking and sharing features. And Hjelm advises that, although the gaming demographic is expanding, focusing on the core gaming demo is still important.

"When you want to reach the gaming audiences online, target your interactive media buys to web gaming properties that resonate with the core gaming demographic, which is Male, ages 18-34: [sites include] IGN, Gamespot, GameFAQs and Gametrailers," said Hjelm.

Tags: app ads, Bryan Hjelm, game advertising, game apps, in game ads, online gaming, Unicast

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