Game-tainment: the next big opportunity for advertisers

The Drum 23 Feb 2021 10:00
By Itamar Benedy-23 February 2021 10:00am

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Pop culture influences so many of our choices, from the music we listen to to the food we eat, from what becomes fashion to the realm of entertainment. Trends often start underground, in small specific communities, and then bubble up to the consumer surface slowly before ultimately earning their place among the masses.

Nothing quite demonstrates this like the rise of the comic book. Once considered a niche interest, comics are now mainstream. They have worked their way into every form of entertainment, from massive ComicCon events to some of the most popular TV shows and movies starring A-list Hollywood actors who a few decades ago wouldn't have considered roles in the genre.

Although gaming has become more widespread over the last decade, the coronavirus pandemic certainly propelled its infusion into mainstream entertainment. With movie theaters, concerts, festivals, and the like shut due to the virus, the masses sought other ways to occupy their time. So, here we are today, in the midst of a new entertainment revolution, aptly referred to as game-tainment.

Brands are immersing themselves in gaming

For brands that can't take the sponsorship leap, in-game advertising is a significant opportunity that allows them to get in front of billions of consumers authentically. Gamers have tremendous spending power and more than double the amount of discretionary income compared to non-gamers. They are interested in purchasing a wide range of products, many unrelated to gaming. They often turn to each other or popular YouTube gamers who have secondary communication channels to recommend their favorite gadgets, media and entertainment items, and food and beverage products. This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to proving that gamers must be part of your audience, or you risk losing out.

Deliverable in both static and video formats, in-game ads are specifically designed to increase brand awareness and recall. This happens for two reasons. The first is that players are so focused on the screen they take in every detail, including the ad content. The second reason is that gamers are having fun while they play. The positive emotions that are elicited while playing seamlessly carry over and are associated with the branded content they see within the game.

Like wine and cheese or spaghetti and meatballs, video games and advertising are meant for each other. In the coming years, game-taiment is expected to explode, and we'll witness more brands taking advantage of the creativity, flexibility, and eagerness of the gaming industry.

With the immense amount of gaming content available, every brand can easily find its target audiences in the game-tainment industry. As gaming steps into the entertainment spotlight, brands that want to beat the competition need to adjust their strategies and diversify their media plans to include this captivated audience.

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