Social Game Advertising on the Rise

Consumers are spending more time on social games these days. And, whenever consumers begin to change where they are directing their media time, markets pay attention.  Analysts believe that more companies will be advertising in social games which means the format is moving from the fringe into the mainstream.

The most appealing elements of the social game platform from an advertiser’s point of view are:

  •  Audience size
  • Ability to target specific demographics
  • Ability to capture the undivided attention of the audience

Analysts are predicting that this market will reach the  $672.2 million level by 2014. One of the key providers of media space in this sector is Zynga. The company has nearly doubled its ad revenues from games in the past year.

There has been a push for big brands to show up in social games. Leading advertisers such as Unilever and Procter & Gamble have been experimenting with the format. Amanda Richards,  Global Media Director of Refreshment for Unilever believes the gaming platform allows marketers to engage with consumers who are in the gaming space by choice and who are open to promotions. For example, gamers can stock their virtual spaces with favorite real-​world products – one way for marketers to get face time with gamers.

For now, social game advertising is still considered experimental, much as mobile was a couple of years ago.  One of the challenges in this format has been finding a way to measure ROI. eMarketer analyst Paul Verna, says that conversion rates for social game advertising have been low so far.  But several high-​profile campaigns have yielded impressive results with hundreds of thousands of Likes on Facebook. A big growth area for social games may be the mobile variety that friends play with each other. Despite the concern that this format of marketing may be slow to develop, agencies are beginning to promote their expertise and services to their clients.

[Source: Madison Avenue Turns to Social Gaming. Reuters​.com. 29 Apr. 2012. Web. 5 May 2012] 
Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.