Gaming is green – here’s why…

Jun 30, 2023

Did you know that the advertising industry emits more emissions than the entire aviation industry (Sharethrough)? Scary isn’t it?

Programmatic is now fundamental to the  digital ad ecosystem; however the delivery and measurement of advertising is a significant factor to the increase in the carbon footprint of digital advertising (Digiday). Scope3 reports that Programmatic advertising generates 215,000 metric tons of carbon emissions every month across those five major economies, that’s equivalent to about 24m gallons of gasoline.

Across the board, advertisers and adtech providers are making significant commitment to go green and more efficient with media-buying and new formats are a key part of this; enter in-game advertising. And here’s why.

Optimizing your targeting and segmentation

Reaching the right audience is key to any successful ad campaign and in a post-cookie world gaming is a prime environment to maximise contextual and audience targeting and therefore minimising wasted impressions, reducing unnecessary energy consumption. Targeting can range from games that index towards your ideal customer, for example games that are more popularly played by 18-34 females or you might be a brand that wants to associate with certain types of games, like sports games. 

Implement (longer) ad viewability metrics

According to a report by Ebiquity plc and Scope3, 32% of each person’s carbon footprint now comes from the ads they see and receive (Advertising Emissions Study). But are all of those ads actually being noticed?

In-game advertising is unparalleled when it comes to viewability and attention metrics, due to the fact that ads are seamlessly blended into the gameplay that can be in view for significant amounts of time. IAB and MRC released guidelines to ensure best practice viewability for intrinsic in-game ads early on. Immersive ads drive better engagement. A recent study by intelligence firm Magna and Oracle showed that an ad that was in view for 10 seconds produced 64% less carbon emissions than a spot with a five-second, in-view time. 

Investing in formats such as in-game advertising can contribute to lowering your carbon footprint due to longer dwell times.

Streamline creative assets

In-game ads, served on mobile devices by AdInMo are extremely lightweight to the game and therefore do not require additional bandwidth to serve an ad to a player – and this protects the games performance but also ensures there’s no lag when serving ads – shorter loading times and reduced file sizes = lower energy consumption. Our tech is optimized to look at device performance dynamically to consider ad quality by format to minimize consumption at a per device level.

In Magna and Oracle’s study, they also found that ads on mobile devices had a 34% drop in carbon emissions for static ads vs. 16% fall on desktop.

In-game ads naturally have impact without complex ad creative. Keep creatives versatile and modular, that can be easily adapted and reused across multiple campaigns and games. By reducing the need for constant production of new assets, advertisers can minimise waste and decrease their environmental footprint.

Prioritise energy-efficient platforms and technologies

Okay, so we’re talking a big game here and yes in-game ad companies need to hold themselves accountable to ensure that the entire supply chain is working towards net zero for all of this to work. AdInMo is taking steps to educate and empower game developers around sustainable practices as well as working with partners in the adtech ecosystem that are pledging to be green. 

A few companies to mention that are doing great things are:

  • OpenX, which has earned CarbonNeutral® company certification from Natural Capital Partners
  • Sharethrough, which is spearheading GreenPMPs, an initiative that aims to vet buyers and publishers for sustainability in a curated marketplace.
  • Additionally, several certifications are available to aid in the adoption of more environmentally-friendly business practices such as Scope3 and Trace.
  • Goodloop recently launched its ‘Green Ad Tag’ that can at real time track the carbon spend of a digital ad campaign, and will plant a tree for every thousand impressions purchased.

It’s on all of us to invest in understanding the impact, collaboration and education to support buy and sell-side to make a difference for our entire ad ecosystem.

Yasin Dabhelia

AdInMo, Demand Advisor


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