ADOTAS — Truly successful advertising makes a real connection and a lasting impression. Television, magazines and traditional outlets have offered a relatively effective platform for brands: from Apple to Wendy’s, brands have found ways to resonate with their audience in these mediums. But digital advertising, with the most promise, has yet to even come close. Today, most digital ad formats are disruptive, misleading or (most likely) ignored.
In order for brands to truly connect with people in digital media, we must begin to re-think our approach, especially with video advertising, one of the most engaging and impactful ways for brands to make an emotional connection with people. We have the opportunity to make an incredible and visual impression similar to TV, but on a more personal level, on the web and handheld devices. What’s more, we can reach people during key moments, establish personal connections and engage them with interactivity unlike what could ever be done on television.
One of the most promising opportunities for video advertising is within social and mobile games. According to eMarketer, by 2014, 226 million people in the U.S. will play social and mobile games, reaching more people than Facebook and Twitter. Mobile gaming, in particular, is on a meteoric rise, providing a massive and engaged audience for brand marketers. However, research shows that pre-roll and other standard ad formats are ineffective. According to a 2012 Harris Interactive study, the majority of people who play Facebook games and smartphone owners prefer immersive, interactive ads to standard banner ads. Similarly, these audiences prefer user-initiated video ads or those shown during natural breaks in games to pre-roll video ads.
Video advertising within social and mobile games provides the best user experience and, if done correctly, will also provide brands a way to use advertising in an additive manner that will enhance game play and be embraced by users. I’m referring to a new type of advertising that occurs through “breakthrough moments” in social and mobile gaming advertising. Breakthrough Moments (BTMs) occur during critical points in a game where people are most receptive to advertising, including when a player gets a new high-score, achieves a personal best or gets stuck on a level and is in need of help. In other words, align brand messaging when the dopamine kicks in during game play.
Here’s a real-life scenario to help you get your head around BTMs: Imagine your customer is on level 3 of a game and almost out of lives. But your brand can save the day by offering to “rescue” the player with a “free life” in exchange for viewing a short video ad. Similarly, with BTMs, you can reward people with a branded good and celebrate with people when achieve a new high score. Through this approach, people will develop brand affinity and favorability. A television ad, of course, can’t do any of this. Neither can any other form of digital or video advertising.
The best part is that the true value of video advertising at BTMs doesn’t stop there. We’ve established that people who play social and mobile games respond positively towards brands during breakthrough moments. How does this impact your campaign? Consider these statistics we uncovered during a recent study my company conducted:
- Video ads on mobile gaming see an average CTR of 3%.
- Average social and mobile gaming engagement rates are around 20%, the highest of reported ad formats.
- Mobile gaming value exchange ads — where the users receive a reward for viewing the full ad — see an average CTR of 11%.
Compare this to benchmarks supplied by eMarketer, with standard banner ads averaging a CTR of .10% and rich media banner ads garnering an average CTR of .12%. Video ads on mobile gaming have an average CTR 30x higher than standard banner ads and mobile value exchange ads produce a CTR that is over 100x higher than standard banner ad campaigns. It’s clear: Breakthrough moments in social and mobile games perform well for video advertising and brands.
Not since television have we had such an opportunity to make a brand’s message engaging, impactful and visual to an audience. Even more, brands can establish personal connections and engage people with interactivity – something that can’t be done with television. Reaching users at breakthrough moments in social and mobile gaming, when they are most attentive and responsive, gives video advertising the best performance results. At these moments, your customer not only feels rewarded by your brand but your brand experiences growth and groundbreaking metrics. Game on.