Advertising in games is a powerplay

An “unethical, immoral, mendacious coven of techie wannabes” is a pretty catchy insult. It’s what the chief executive of the Interactive Advertising Bureau recently called the creators of ad-blocking software.

In his keynote address at the annual leadership meeting this year, the IAB boss went on to say ad-blocking is “stealing from publishers, subverting freedom of the press, operating a business model predicated on censorship of content and ultimately forcing consumers to pay more money for less”. Phew!

Ad-blockers, if you don’t know, are browser add-ons which cut off all advertising before the consumer sees it. Banner ads, YouTube video ads and even Google AdWords are all gone. Hundreds of millions of consumers use them.

A lot of online advertising has become very intrusive. You may be half way through a gripping article when – kaboom – up pops an ad which the readers must close in order to continue.

Consumers and techies have become so fed up with such intrusive adverts that they’ve created new technologies that essentially shut this model down entirely. And who can blame them? If advertisers are not respecting the consumer, then it’s only understandable that consumers would take action to block them out.

There is, however, one environment in which consumers actually welcome advertising – mobile games. Adverts within mobile games are not intrusive; in fact they add to the player’s in-game experience and can be far more effective than traditional adverts.

In-game advertising allows brands to target consumers with messages during natural breaks and pauses during the game. For example, once the consumer completes a level of the game successfully, there is a lull while they wait for the next level to load. During this time, a targeted advert appears. None of this mid-article pop-up nonsense.

And here’s the crucial bit. The consumer is offered a native in-game reward for interacting with the advert. In gratitude for their time, they are given virtual currency that can be used directly in the game they are playing.

When consumers play games, their minds are relaxed and receptive – it is the perfect time to communicate

The premise is simple: if people give their valuable attention to an advertiser, the advertiser should give them something valuable in return. Put plainly, if you want to win consumers over, you must offer them something of value that adds to their experience and does not interrupt it.

In-game adverts are incredibly versatile. Consumers can be asked to download an app, trial a product or watch a video in return for in-game rewards. The triple-win approach ensures each party – consumers, developers, and brands – all want to participate.

Mobile gaming is the future of advertising while consumers are addicted to their smartphones. According to Nielsen, a fifth of all time on phones in the UK is spent playing games, up 3.7 times in two years.

And everyone’s at it. When consumers play games, their minds are relaxed and receptive – it is the perfect time to communicate.

Tapjoy is the pioneer in this space. We offer brands access to reach more than 520 million global consumers within the mobile games that consumers love and we drive on average over ten million ad engagements every day.

Our approach guarantees access to a large, receptive audience. Whether you want to drive awareness, promote an app or engage consumers with a rich media ad, it is all possible.

Ad-blockers don’t figure in mobile games. And our approach means consumers want to see the message. Our data on engagement proves the power of the model.

Sephora, LEGO and Google are just some of the brands using Tapjoy’s approach to reach receptive consumers.

The old method of delivering ads was inconvenient, imposing and one-directional. Consumers were right to block those ads.

The in-game, rewards-based way benefits all parties. And it is far more effective, with measurable, trackable metrics. It’s a transformation long overdue.

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