In the coming years, in-game advertising is going to transform into something that none of us could ever have imagined. Web3 is coming to fruition, and it's making it clear the future will hold a larger focus on gamified digital experiences. As virtual experiences wash over into the mainstream, brands need to be aware of how this will affect their advertising and where they should be spending their ad budgets in future.
Some brands have already started getting creative with marketing campaigns in the metaverse. For example, Hellman’s created a campaign in the popular social simulation MMO Animal Crossing that encouraged players to go to ‘Hellman’s Island’ and drop off their rotting vegetables. For every turnip that was dropped off, Hellamns donated meals to real-life FareShare food banks.
This is a creative in-game marketing campaign but brands need to think a step further and examine how they can start in-game advertising.
You may already have in-game ads running for mobile games but as gaming innovation continues and technologies become more sophisticated, you will need to re-think your in-game ad strategy.
Here is a quick debrief of how and why metaverse ads are the future of in-game advertising to help you get started with your new strategy.
In-game advertising is nothing new. An overwhelming majority (94%) of mobile game producers already use them within their free-to-play games. There are lots of creative ways brands can advertise in the metaverse – from creating their own virtual worlds to building VR storefronts – however in-game advertising is the most simple and accessible which is why it should be where most brands start.
Ad platforms such as Bidstack and Anzu are already connecting publishers and advertisers within the metaverse to deliver in-game ads. Game developers can offer advertisers the possibility to show their ads within metaverse worlds. From billboards in eSports stadiums to posters lining the streetscapes in Roblox City, there are many simple options for brands to start delivering in-game ads in the metaverse.
The great news for both brands and game developers is that players are very receptive to ads being dotted around the virtual worlds they roam in. In fact, 95% of players say that ads increase in-game realism.
In-game ads in the metaverses are a great revenue stream and your brand needs to jump on them now.
According to eMarketer, over 9 billion hours were spent watching live-streamed video game content around the world, excluding China, in Q2 2021. This was an increase of over double from Q2 2019 (3.8 billion hours). This huge viewership of gaming is great for your brand. You have an incredible opportunity to tap into a highly engaged audience and reach consumers from all over the world and in almost every possible niche.
Advertising, branding and marketing in the metaverse are all still very new. It's time for your brand to take advantage of this. As this is a new form of in-game advertising, prices are still very low for running campaigns. Your brand can use these low prices to start experimenting and get your metaverse in-game advertising strategy fine-tuned before other players start entering the game and driving up ad costs.
Player engagement can be used as your primary KPI for your in-game ads. Since this is still a relatively new form of advertising, measurement tracking is not exactly where you would want it to be yet, but it is only a matter of time before the tracking technology catches up.
Through the second half of 2022, we will see brands from all kinds of industries making in-game advertising in the metaverse a part of their media buys.
Developers and publishers will continue to make gaming inventory from the metaverse easier to purchase and as this happens more and more brands will find this advertising accessible. The successful brands will be the ones that are ahead of the curve and start their metaverse advertising strategy now, rather than waiting to see what their competitors do.
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