According to the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB), brands and agencies are getting very excited about in-game advertising. IAB points to reasons such as mobile devices, new technology, new ad formats and programmatic buying options. That’s good news for game developers looking to monetize users and increase their lifetime value.
As always, brands want innovative ad formats to replace those that are becoming passé. They also need greater assurance about exactly where their ads will be seen and whether the audience has been targeted accurately and well.
At the same time, game developers need to protect their user experience and avoid displeasing loyal players. What’s the smartest way to meet all of these wants and needs? Sponsored gameplay integrations.
First off, in a monetization landscape where everybody’s going native, there’s nothing more native than a customized and fully integrated gameplay experience. For app developers, these sponsorships offer monetization with the least disruption to gameplay and user experience. In fact, having the right brand partner can actually add to the excitement of the game. Plus, sponsored gameplay integrations can attract big-name brands to your app—not just other games that might cannibalize your audience. For advertisers, these integrations let their brands become part of the gaming experience in a relevant way that can drive engagement beyond the capabilities of a static or video ad.
Second, sponsored gameplay integrations give brands assurance about exactly where their campaigns are running. They can even pick and choose a sponsorship partner with a user base that matches their target audience (and isn’t made up of bots). Better yet, that goes both ways: game devs can choose to partner only with brands whose messages and audiences match up with their players and add value to the overall gaming experience.
And let’s not forget about the users. Done well, a sponsored gameplay integration can offer users in-game value similar to rewarded video (offering in-game rewards like extra points, lives, etc.) or something even more precious—an exciting new way to play the game.