Mobile in-game ads can be effective when driven by rewards

Mobile gaming has been red hot and continues to be one of the biggest growth sectors in entertainment. Publishers are heavily invested and are looking to secure bigger footholds. Electronic Arts, which had just purchased Glu Mobile for $2.4 billion in February, has now followed that up with the acquisition of UK-based mobile studio Playdemic (Golf Clash) for $1.4 billion. The growing audience and play time that we’ve seen over the last 12-18 months is creating massive opportunities for advertisers.

While many gamers want no part of in-game ads, a surprising number have been influenced to make a product purchase after seeing one during a mobile gaming session. According to The Drum, 37% of mobile players had been influenced by an in-game ad in the past three months, with 56% of 30-35-year-olds making a purchase. Interpret’s New Media Measure® also has found highly encouraging data for advertisers. Over half of the gaming population (52%) agree that viewing an in-game ad allows them to advance and almost half (47%) would like to see more ads that offered rewards for viewing and/or clicking.

This is especially true of young males age 13 to 24 (55%) with women overall less inclined towards rewards-based ads (42%). That may be frustrating for some advertisers to hear considering that women can drive over 70% of all purchasing decisions, but it also means that there’s an opportunity for smart marketers to come up with unique ways to ensure their brands resonate with women.

“Brands seeking to engage consumers through mobile in-game ads should first carefully consider the typical user profile of the game they’re advertising within,” said Interpret’s VP of Marketing Janine Cannella. “If a title has a proven young male demographic, rewards-based ads could be a great option to pursue. On the other hand, if a game has acquired a strong female audience, brand marketers should focus on portraying authentic storytelling and positive messaging through their ads.”