Advergaming is a solution to a world that is increasingly saturated with advertising, and brands are constantly bombarding us with the goal of capturing consumers’ attention. Finding a space in that market can be crucial for brands, so it is essential to explore new opportunities to promote advertising.
What is Advergaming?
Fortunately, there is a constantly growing space with a growing audience that will become the dominant audience in a short time: the world of electronic entertainment and video games. This is where the concept of advergaming, also known as “ad gaming” or “in-game marketing” comes into play. This marketing technique uses video games as a platform to promote and market products, brands or advertising messages. It consists of subtly incorporating advertising elements within the game, with the aim of capturing the player’s attention and promoting greater interaction with the brand.
To be fair, advergaming is not new. It emerged in the early 1980s and has evolved over time, from in-game advertising to the creation of video games with the primary purpose of promoting a brand. However, it wasn’t until the early 21st century, coinciding with the massive expansion of video games, that this technique really took off and continues to grow unabated.
Today, video games are one of the most popular forms of entertainment, especially among young audiences, but their popularity continues to grow across all age groups. We are talking about billions of players across all entertainment platforms. For this reason, all brands are tapping into this new space in search of new audiences.
Advergaming and its introduction in today’s video games
Advergaming can take different forms and models depending on the brand’s objectives, but it is essential to be clear about what you want to achieve before entering this new space. Some companies develop their own games, while others collaborate with game development studios to create unique experiences.
One prominent example is Metamarkt, which created an island within the popular video game Fortnite so that both Media Markt and its brands could gain visibility. This themed experience offered a recreation of one of its stores and leveraged dynamics and mini-games appealing to the gamer community.
On the other hand, Chocoflakes used the Roblox platform to create an experience in a virtual kitchen, transformed into a parkour circuit, based on the brand’s personality, its distinctive elements and its rebellious spirit.
Benefits of advergaming
Advergaming allows brands to reach a wider and more diverse audience, especially among young people and video game fans. In addition, by presenting advertising in a more entertaining and interactive way, it achieves a higher retention of the message and promotes a positive attitude towards the brand. Interactivity with advertising creates a sense of closeness with the player. On the other hand, players can enjoy free or lower priced games thanks to the advertising investment, which generally results in a more accessible and engaging experience.
While advergaming can be an effective marketing strategy, it also faces challenges. The integration of advertising must be subtle and not interrupt the gaming experience, as players may reject it if they perceive it as intrusive or overly commercial. One of the main attractions of video games is their interactivity and immersion, so players are very sensitive to any external element, such as advertising, that interrupts their experience. In addition, it is crucial to maintain a balance between entertainment and advertising message to prevent games from becoming mere promotional vehicles without offering a quality gaming experience.