AdInMo vs. the Status Quo: Why In-Game Ads are the Future
When traditional digital advertising formats such as video and banner ads first became available within mobile apps, they were seen as game-changers. Giving users the capacity to interact directly with ads via clickthrough and, crucially, giving advertisers the capacity to measure those interactions marked a huge step forward. Furthermore, by facilitating the A/B testing of content and mechanics, digital ads set a new standard for flexibility and ease of optimization.
Unfortunately, technology and tactics are only effective until people have developed defenses robust enough to answer them. It’s true in all fields, from healthcare to warfare via business and sports. Serve & Volley was absolutely devastating until it wasn’t.
The novelty of pop-ups, interstitials, and video ads has worn off for today’s mobile audiences. What’s set to take up the mantle and make digital advertising effective again? We believe that it’s dynamic in-game ads.
The Lay of the Land
As digital advertising has become more sophisticated, targeted, and ultimately more invasive, audiences have evolved in step. Millennials and members of Generation Z (yes, they are different) – the first to have grown up with the internet literally in their hands – have developed a natural aversion to digital ads and also worked out several ways to get around them.
The landscape of mobile games has changed and so have the players that inhabit it. It’s time for the next iteration of advertising technology to put developers and advertisers back where they should be: ahead of the curve.
Performance, the Right Way Up
We believe that digital performance marketing is somewhat back-to-front in its thinking. With advertisers paid on completion of a given action (clicks, sales, leads etc.), what’s really being scrutinized is the performance of the end user. In this piece, using data from Kantar Millward Brown’s AdReaction study, we want to examine how the performance of AdinMo’s in-game ads stack up against the usual suspects: video ads and interruptive interstitials.
Today’s professionals are simultaneously the most tech-savvy and ads-averse generation yet. That’s an ominous combination for advertisers and one that has led to over half of Generation Z using ad blockers for their online devices. AdinMo’s ads, seamlessly integrated with in-game environments, are as much a part of gameplay as the roads they line and the walls on which they hang. They’re completely unblockable because there’s nothing additional to block.
As lifelong targets of advertising in all formats, we are well-versed in avoidance tactics. From toilet breaks and alternate browser tabs to noise-canceling headphones, we all have techniques at our disposal. Faced with compulsory video ads, 70% of Gen Z said that they will simply do something else until the allotted time has elapsed and the ad content finished. This doesn’t just render video ads completely ineffective, it means the ‘impressions’ registered for attribution are totally false. With AdinMo, in-game ads are impossible to ignore. Doing ‘something else’ leaves the game itself idle and the ads are part of a gameworld that has to be digested in full.
Some developers, desperate to avoid alienating players by forcing them to sit through interminable ads, will temper the blow by making their ads skippable beyond a certain timestamp. Given the opportunity, 82% of Gen Z skip the ads served to them and that is indicative of how both ineffective and unpopular they are. Our dynamic ads have absolutely no bearing on gameplay or game flow and, as such, even the concept of ‘skipping’ them is completely unworkable.
Bang Per Buck
Conventional digital ads are pretty wincingly expensive in terms of Cost per Thousand Impressions (CPM), especially when you consider typical conversion rates. Worse still, an impression might be triggered an attentive viewer… but it’s 40% more likely to denote a video playing silently into the wind. With dynamic in-game ads, players are guaranteed to be engaged at the point of display and the period of engagement is far longer. Combine these factors with an extremely competitive CPM – one that matches up very favorably with traditional awareness advertising – and you can begin to see the true value of AdinMo’s offering.
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