They may be fun for bored commuters looking to kill time on public transport, but mobile games also have a serious side.
Allen Klosowski, vice president of mobile for video ad platform SpotXchange, says games have an “abundance of inventory” advertisers could be tapping into
“People think gaming applications are for kids. Then you dig into some of the popular gaming applications and you find out that they tend to be mid 30s females who have a high income,” he says. “From an advertising perspective, we’re talking about a really highly valued audience that they may not have considered.”
Advertising within games is a mobile ad experience that’s gained a lot of traction recently. Klosowski says different games can also highlight unique interests that will mesh with certain products. He says: “Even though this person is playing this game, they might also be somebody who is highly interested in business and finance.”
Currently data constraints from local mobile providers are hindering what should be an even greater growth market. “Australia has some tighter data caps than you see in the rest of the world where users have unlimited data plans. That’s definitely one of the areas of consideration,” says Klosowski. “We have a lot of brands who like to look at running only to people who have a Wi-Fi connection for data reasons.”
For brands thinking about getting into the space, shorter is better when it comes to creative.
“The interstitial, a video ad that plays in between gaming content, is something you want to design a much shorter advertisement for in order to see better effectiveness,” he says. Trying to transpose TVCs straight to mobile isn’t going to cut it.
“A lot of brands are still taking their television advertisements and putting them on mobile.
“The problem with that is television advertisements tend to be a little bit longer and as the industry evolves, you’ll see a much shorter format being used in mobile. I can actually envision the day you’ll see a seven second video ad.
“You may end up at a point where you get an ad that just says ‘buy a Coke’ and that’s all you get. Part of that is about sequential story telling. That’s about taking the advertisement and maybe breaking it up into two or three short messages and hitting that same individual over a period of time, with shorter advertisements that reinforce a longer narrative.”
One industry that is already nailing mobile ads is the automotive industry.
“If you think about it, mobile is not the best place to do direct response style campaigns because it’s very rare that somebody’s going to click off a computer or a mobile device and buy a Landrover or a brand new Ford,” says Klosowski.
“But those types of campaigns are built on long term brand awareness, you only buy a car so often, you need to be top of mind. For those types of advertisers building long-term brand value and awareness, they’re a great fit for mobile because it’s about branding.
“Mobile is a platform where you’re not as distracted as you can be in other mediums. You’ve got your headphones plugged in, you’re zeroed in on that experience. For a brand advertiser, it doesn’t get much better than that.”