Digital advocacy and political campaigning have come a long way in recent years, but one area that is often overlooked is in-game advertising. As a political communications professional, you might be wondering why you should consider learning about this form of advertising.
First of all, it’s important to understand the scale of the gaming industry. The global gaming market is valued at $197 billion and is larger than the film and music sectors combined. Furthermore, video games are played by more than 3.2 billion people worldwide, making it a huge and rapidly growing market.
One of the reasons why in-game advertising is so effective is the high level of engagement that gamers bring to the table. According to research from Oxford University, time spent playing games is good for well-being and happiness. A study from Tapjoy also found that when gamers were asked to describe how they feel when playing mobile games, the most common response was “relaxed” followed by “interested”, “focused”, “engaged” and “happy”. This means that when gamers are playing, they are in a positive state of mind and more likely to pay attention to advertising messages.
In-game advertising also offers a unique opportunity for brands to actively engage with their audience and build meaningful connections. Traditional advertising is often passive and intrusive, but in-game advertising allows players to be part of the narrative. This is why levels of engagement with in-game media are shown to be higher than for other forms of advertising. According to the TapJoy study, 41% of people said they were likely to pay attention to ads in mobile games, compared to 17% for internet advertising, and 15% each for magazines and billboards.
You can leverage these benefits to reach a large and engaged audience, especially among younger generations who spend a significant amount of time playing video games. The young generation is the electorate that most public officials try to reach but often unsuccessfully. It is hard to professionals engaged in political communication to be on top of the events that drive the younger generation as the trends are continuously changing. Political campaigns can use in-game advertising to promote their candidates, platforms, and events taking into consideration the demographics and regions of the targeted audience.
In addition to the numbers of reach, creating branded content, such as characters or environments, can help the campaign build a strong presence in the game world. This can help establish the candidate or cause as a familiar and trusted presence to players. In-game ads can be integrated with social media platforms, allowing players to share the ad and participate in discussions about the campaign. This kind of discussion can help spread the campaign’s message and build momentum among players and their networks.
As we presented all the benefits that come from in-game advertising, professionals creating political campaigns should definitely consider entitling this strategy into their agenda and modify their messages consequently.