How Dynamic In-Game Ads Change the Game

Introduction

The value of native advertising lies in its adaptation of tradition. These ads bring the strengths of traditional (and more impactful) advertising formats to game worlds populated exclusively by standard digital formats. Billboards, posters and shop window displays have captured our imagination for hundreds of years. Interstitial videos are at best ignorable or forgettable. More often, they are frustrating and ineffective to the extreme.

We are naturally receptive to advertising but overexposure to interstitial videos has trained us to switch off at the first sign of a pop-up. Native ads bring brands to gamers in ways that engage their brains and build positive associations. IHS Markit projections suggest that 63.2% of mobile display advertising will be native by 2020 and we think we know why.

Serving Ads to Serve the Player

Entertainment culture is shifting towards the personalized and games, always at the cutting edge of trendsetting tech, are no different. Customization and choice are the buzzwords that set pulses racing in 2018. Why then, are players still forced to watch interstitial ads that are irrelevant to them and intrusive to their experience? Coercion and trickery may well register impressions but they are impressions that do nothing for brand image other than, in some cases, harm. According to Kleiner Perkins’ Internet Trends Report from last year, interruptive pop-ups provoke negative reactions in a staggering 81% of mobile users.

Dynamic in-game advertising integrates products seamlessly – but prominently – into game worlds without ever interrupting or obstructing play. In doing so, it increases brand visibility while sidestepping the typical aggression of standard digital ad formats that leaves gamers frustrated and unengaged. Better still, by giving them the choice of promoted brand for the upcoming level/mission, AdinMo further personalizes the player’s experience and reduces the intrusion of being advertised to. A small detail, yes, but one that has a significant impact for three reasons:

  1. The act of touching a brand logo builds an association with that brand and a habit of interaction.
  2. Consciously choosing a brand as ‘preferred’ provokes a subconscious positive reaction to (and perception of) that brand.
  3. Selecting one of several brands involves active thought, while interstitials and other video ad formats require only passive interaction.

Photo by Francois Olwage on Unsplash

What Will You Be Remembered For?

In our own survey of UK and US millennials, we sought to find out how the upcoming generation of gamers would react differently to native ads vs. typical in-game formats. We showed them:

Experience 1 – A typical mobile game experience with gameplay interrupted by a 30-second interstitial

Experience 2 – An AdinMo-powered mobile game experience sponsored by one of two brands, chosen by the player pre-gameplay.

For the purpose of this piece, we would like to draw attention to two main contrasts.

Firstly, just over 20% of participants were able to correctly recall the brand advertised via interstitial in Experience 1. In stark contrast, almost 70% of participants were able to correctly recall the sponsored brand advertised in Experience 2.

Secondly, we found that players were three times as likely to recall one of the brands NOT selected during the AdinMo-powered experience than they were a 30-second interruptive ad. Even those brands discarded before gameplay had more of an impact than those forced on players for half a minute.

Conclusion

AdinMo’s dynamic in-game ads give advertisers, publishers and (most importantly) players the power to display ads in ways that are effective and unobtrusive. Simultaneously more memorable and more popular, they have none of the drawbacks associated with mandatory interstitials. They depend on tactics proven countless times before video games in general, never mind mobile.

The players are the people that decide the value of adverts so we’ll let them have the last word. 75% of the people that we asked preferred AdinMo-style ad integration to 30-second interstitials. Enough said.

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