Is In-​Game Advertising One of Your Client’s Digital Channels?

BY Rachel Cagle
Featured image for “Is In-​Game Advertising One of Your Client’s Digital Channels?”

Contrary to what your client may believe, gamers aren’t always annoyed by ads. All you and your client have to do is create ads that don’t disrupt the consumer’s gaming. Then it can be fairly easy to convert gamers into potential customers. Here’s why Integral Ad Science (IAS) says that in-​game advertising should be among your client’s digital channels.

Is In-​Game Advertising One of Your Client’s Digital Channels?

How Many Consumers are Gamers?

Before you or your client dismiss gamers as a niche audience on the smaller side, here’s some information you should know. According to Insider Intelligence, digital gamers are estimated to make up 54.2% of the U.S. population. They’re split into three categories, as of 2023:

  • Mobile Gamers: Roughly 165.3 million people
  • Digital Console Gamers: About 96.9 million people
  • Desktop/​Laptop Gamers: Approximately 92.7 million people

Insider Intelligence also estimates that by 2026, the number of consumers who play mobile games will reach 172.5 million.

And it’s not just men who are playing digital games. According to Insider Intelligence, about 75% of gamers who only play mobile games are women. Men make up approximately 67% of gamers who use consoles and desktops/​laptops to game.

So, in-​game advertising is a viable option to add to your client’s digital channels for their upcoming ad campaigns in terms of consumer reach.

Where to Place Your Client’s Ads

Where They’re Playing

Not all digital games are created equal. There are some categories that gamers favor more than others. According to IAS, those are:

  • Puzzle and Party Games: 37% of gamers regularly play these types of games
  • Shooters: 34%
  • Platformers: 23%
  • Role-​Playing Games: 23%

So, in order to reach the most gamers, your client should be placing their ads in these types of games, as opposed to genres such as real-​time strategy and multiplayer online battle arenas.

Non-​Disruptive Locations

If your client sets their ads pop up in the middle of a player’s game, costing them a life, the current round or a critical jump in a dungeon that took FOREVER to get to the end of, they aren’t going to be too happy with the brand that ad belongs to. However, as long as the ads in their games aren’t disruptive, 69% of gamers are actually receptive to in-​game messaging. So, add in-​game ads to your client’s digital channels; just be sure they’re not going to interrupt the player’s game.

Tailor the Ad Content to the Game

According to IAS, gamers are more receptive to ads that are contextually relevant to the game they’re playing:

  • 61% prefer to see such ads
  • 57% are likely to make purchases from brands with ads relevant to their game’s content

Now, this doesn’t mean that your client has to be selling puzzles or firearms to connect with gamers. You just have to be clever with your client’s messaging. Say your client is a fast food chain. An example of an ad for them in a gaming platform could be something along the lines of, “Could you use a health boost? Take 20% off your next order from [insert name] when you order on [insert meal delivery service].”

Be Aware of the Game’s Content

Do your research before adding your client’s ads to certain games. Online games are great digital channels for ads, but again, not all games are created equal. There are games that promote riskier content than most, such as sexually explicit content, drug use and violence. You don’t want your client’s ads appearing alongside that kind of content. IAS says that 47% of gamers feel less favorably toward brands that place ads near risky content. So, stick with promoting your client near light-​hearted party games and more arcade-​style and less graphic shooters.

More Information

Your client may want to know how many members of their target audience play games online before they commit to adding online games to their digital channels. That’s fine. Just look up their target audience’s profile on AudienceSCAN on AdMall by SalesFuel. Under Internet Usage in the Marketing tab, you’ll be able to see what percentage of that audience has used the internet to play online games within the last 30 days.