Mobile gaming has created a new, exciting world of brand engagement. In a recent Twofivesix podcast, Tapjoy’s EVP of Global Ad Sales and Marketing, Sarah Chafer sat down with host Jamin Warren to discuss how mobile games are powering a brand marketing revolution. In this post, we’ll cover the top three reasons why, as Warren says, “Marketing to gamers is more important than ever.”
It’s not hard to validate mobile games as an effective brand marketing channel. In the past year, we’ve witnessed a few milestone achievements firsthand. For example, Sparkling Ice’s “Flavor for All” campaign saw record engagement — three million video completes and a 95% playable completion rate. The campaign went on to win a SMARTIES X award. The results you can achieve in this space are unbelievable.
Enough windup. Let’s dig in.
The popular image of the mobile gamer needs an update because gaming has gone mainstream. Everyone knows kids play — but so do their parents (and grandparents, too, for that matter). Mobile gaming cuts across every demographic and region in the world. Regardless of industry, you’ll find your audience having a blast on these apps. Mobile gamers are, as Chafer notes, “your everyday audience,” so this space is a huge opportunity to connect.
In fact, the audience you can reach can even be more extensive and diverse than what’s possible on social media. This means that if you advertise in this space you have an edge on brands that don’t: You can reach broader and deeper. “It’s also a really good mix from a mobile perspective that is outside the big two, Google and Facebook, which are kind of an ‘always buy,’” Chafer explains. “To diversify a little bit with someone like Tapjoy does help you get a little bit of a different audience that’s a bit exclusive as well.”
Warren echoed Chafer’s remarks: “The idea that you can really reach a whole different audience on mobile seems like it’s a really big part of the appeal.”
Not sold on diversifying your media mix? Here are 7 benefits you could be missing.
Mobile gamers are not only diverse, but they’re also incredibly engaged. In our annual Modern Mobile Gamer report, we found that 69% of gamers would rather give up social media and TV than mobile games. We also discovered that 87% of affluent gamers play two or more mobile games per day, and 72% of moms spend the bulk of their free time playing these games.
When one of the busiest demographics around — moms — finds an experience essential, you know it’s something special.
This deep engagement opens up unique advertising opportunities. “There’s a special dynamic between players and advertising in this space,” Warren pointed out. “With high levels of engagement that is mutually rewarding for players, the games, and the advertised brands.” In-game ads can help drive and enhance gameplay, adding to the audience’s gaming experience — and boosting their affinity for that brand.
In the podcast, Chafer explored this unique quality of mobile game advertising: “Are you looking to really create a brand affinity experience with the user? Because that’s a big part of what we do as well….[for example] ‘Hey, I’m running a movie trailer, and, not only am I excited for you to hear about my movie, but I want you to remember me when you see this in the theaters.’ Sometimes, granting a little bit of virtual currency will create that memory, because it’s a fun one and the users are highly engaged in it.”
Want to get a picture of the rewarded ad experience in action? Check out this interview with Sherry Zarabi, head of customer experience at Tapjoy.
Another misconception is that mobile games aren’t brand-safe. Some worry that the space has the wild-west edginess of internet culture, but that’s far from the case.
In actuality, in-app advertising is exceptionally safe for brands. Chafer explored this topic at length in the episode: “You have the Google Play Store and also iTunes, [and] there’s a vetting process. They have to submit an app. They have to get approved. They have to have the right content and category in order for them to even come through as a certified app in both of those ecosystems. So once you’ve passed that test it makes it a little more safe thinking this content actually already been signed off by two major mobile marketing companies.”
Mobile games are also particularly brand-safe placements because there’s more oversight on user-created content. Developers have complete control over the content, and some of these developers are the same studios who create television shows and movies and manage some of the largest IPs in the world. These standards are reflected in the mobile games they create.
To see what brand safety looks like in action, check out our Customer Success Story with DTC wine distributor, Winc.
Overall, the podcast was an in-depth exploration of the huge opportunity mobile gaming represents to brands: a unique space to safely and meaningfully connect with your audience. If you haven’t explored this yet, you can start now by listening to the full episode with Chafer and Twofivesix.