a programmer from the midwest
Between 2010 and 2020, every brand, company, and influencer opened up a Shopify account to sell merch. From 2020 to 2030, in order to stay cutting edge, these same people are going to be creating their own video games.
My name is Max Albert, and I’m the founder of a Gamevertising startup in Ann Arbor, MI.
This article is a dive into the world of Gamevertising, straight from the source. I’ll answer some common questions about the industry and offer my thoughts on why the Gamevertising revolution is about to explode!
Gamevertising is the act of advertising product(s) within a video game. There’s a reason for the emphasis on the word “within”; Ad Banners, Pop-Ups, or Transition Screens aren’t really part of Gamevertising because these promotions are in the app but outside of the game.
The simplest form of Gamevertising is to put your product in the background of an already established game.
Integrating a product into the scenery and mechanics of the game itself is a much more friendly way to advertise. A great example of this is in “Bike Unchained” where RedBull flags are littered throughout the bike obstacle course.
But that’s only the tip of the iceberg.
Gamevertising can be taken up a notch (or three)! Many custom games can be built with your product at the center of the game mechanics. Consider if “Bike Unchained” added a RedBull can as a powerup on the track or added an in-game shop where you could purchase RedBull upgrades. These options would incentive players to want RedBull in the game — and, as a result, outside the game as well.
Another option is to allow your product(s) to be earned within the game. This can drive traffic to an e-commerce platform and convert sales there. A great example of this is in one of my own games, “QB Chase.” In this game, discounts for NFL Defensive End Chase Winovich’s real-life clothing line can be won if the player gets a high score.
The examples listed above are what I call “External Gamevertising,” where the video game has some sort of call to action (CTA) — an objective to guide the player to buy a product outside of the game.
Another form of Gamevertising is “Internal Gamevertising” where an influencer may promote products within the game itself!
You may already be familiar with “Internal Gamevertising.” The Kim Kardashian or Connor McGregor games are great examples which were ahead of the curve by allowing the titular figures to be unlock-able characters. Having these prominent characters in the game can drive in-app purchase sales. After all, who doesn’t want to buy sunglasses to chill by the virtual pool in Calabasas with Kim K?
To summarize, Gamevertising can drive revenue both inside and outside of the game. It’s a friendly, non-intrusive way to advertise products, and its highly integrated nature means that players don’t feel burdened by the interruption of an ad.
TV commercials and social media marketing are great for products that are unknown and in need of an audience. Conversely, Gamevertising is best suited for influencers, companies, and products that already have an established audience but want to engage with their community on a deeper level.
Video games need a lot of funding and marketing in order to get going. I wouldn’t recommend a video game as a great way to “get the word out” about a new product.
But I would recommend video games to established brands that want to drive their marketing flag further into the ground, or brands which are trying to get their audience to understand a complex product. Players are far more willing to spend time learning about your product if it’s wrapped in a fun game rather than an ad.
Gamevertising shines because of its interactive nature. Humans learn best by doing.
Working with Chase Winovich on the game QB Chase, we learned that his PR team was hoping to promote him as “Strong,” “Fast,” and “Goofy.” We worked with his team to design a game around those concepts and found that players of QB Chase were more likely to describe him with those adjectives after playing.
One of the reasons why Gamevertising is so attractive to bigger companies is that it’s unintrusive. TV and Web advertisements “attack” the consumer, seeking them out on their own turf. Instead, Gamevertising invites consumers to come explore their ad in an interactive experience. Rather than a banner describing Chase Winovich as “Fast” or “Goofy,” players of QB Chase got to experience that first hand — and internalize the message.
I often find myself comparing Gamevertising to the approach we find in educational video game tools (EdTech) that help K-12 children study concepts such as Math, Programming, and History. EdTech companies like Coding Combat and IXL Learning use video games as a tool to teach these complex ideas.
Gamevertising uses a similar approach to teach consumers about your brand through a digestible experience. Companies that are struggling to “teach” consumers something may find this new avenue attractive.
Games have never been cheaper to develop. Thanks to low-code tools such as Gamesparks & Thunkable, even non-technical workers can get in on the game design action. There are also innovative art tools such as Spine that makes animation much cheaper too!
There’s also much more demand. The player-side is booming. Young kids are starting to spend more time playing video games than watching TV. Even older adults are beginning to realize that the future of entertainment is gaming and want to invest in strategies that emphasize that.
In addition, the video game industry is already just a massive space — the market value of video games in the U.S. exceeds most other entertainment spaces.
The market is mighty and still growing: in 2019 alone, consumers spent 76 billion on in-app purchases. And like any substantial market, it has the power to affect a lot of public perception.
Put simply, a huge amount of culture is being pumped out through the video game industry. The brands that are best equipped to harness that power now will win out in the long run.
In summary, Gamevertising is the act of marketing a product inside a game. It best suits brands and products that already have an audience. The gate-keepers to making games don’t exist anymore, meaning that in 2021 and beyond Gamevertising is set to take-off.
What’s your favorite “gamevertising” game? Drop it in the comments below. My all time favorite may be pepsiman.
Also published on: https://byrslf.co/what-is-gamvertizing-d8fb723ad5b2
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