What marketers need to know to get in on gaming

People holding gaming controllers

In an article published by WARC, several VMLY&R leaders explore gaming trends, how they affect marketers, what the near-term future of gaming looks like and how marketers can successfully embark on gaming initiatives.

Gaming and streaming were already on the rise before the COVID-19 pandemic. However, with the onset of stay-at-home orders, this trend accelerated exponentially, causing a surge in in-game advertising revenue of 59% during lockdowns. Viewership on Amazon-owned Twitch, the livestream gaming platform, increased 50% between April and June, and Facebook Gaming saw an even larger increase, though off a smaller base.

Gaming doesn’t depend on any one platform or demographic, as people flock to gaming on their phones, in social channels and in the cloud. Because consumers are seeking new platforms for entertainment, marketers looking for effective and efficient communication channels have increasingly turned to platforms that were once considered exclusive to the gamer community.

As gaming continues to grow in prominence, it is becoming a major avenue for marketing. Many brand opportunities exist and the field is becoming crowded. However, to determine the right strategy it’s important that an appropriate amount of rigor is applied to ensure the right audiences can be reached, and importantly in a way that feels authentic, and right – both for the brand’s reach ambitions, and also for the value a brand can bring to the space. 

As with any media platform, acquainting yourself with what the different types of content are, who gravitates to what, and the best way to integrate your brand, are paramount. With gaming, it’s also crucial to remember how its two-way nature makes it different than other media, which impacts how brands can “play”.

Brands who want to make gaming an important way to reach their audiences need to take a close look at how gaming breaks out along demographic lines, and also at how marketing opportunities can best integrate with different platforms.

Click here to read the full article by Lara O'Shea, executive director, strategy and insights; Jeff Danley, director, innovation and partnerships; Ethan Scott, associate director, brand strategy; and Snehal Lochan, CX and brand strategist.