Mobile gaming: there’s a new entertainment player in town

A switch to the smaller screen

It’s no secret that games consoles dating as far back as the Sega Mega Drive and Nintendo SNES have enjoyed pride of place in living rooms around the world, providing a welcome dose of entertainment and a brief escape from reality.

But, thanks to incredible advances in mobile technology – just look at the iPhone X and Google Pixel 2 – gaming on the small screen in your pocket is giving the latest consoles a run for their money. And that means big opportunities for marketers.

Mobile makes its mark

Back in 2012, people spent just over an hour a day using a mobile device online.

In the five years since, this has risen to over three hours, according to WARC. In 2017, mobile advertising spend overtook desktop for the first time, and it now stands to become a staple advertising platform – afforded the level of thought and attention currently demanded by more traditional channels like TV and cinema.

women make up 52% of total usage time

Once, mobile gaming may have been tarred with the archetypal young, male gamer brush – but this profile is long since out of date. Research by Google, for example, found that women make up 52% of total usage time, illustrating mobile gaming’s attraction to a broad, diverse audience.

That makes it a powerful branding tool, and brands are taking note. According to a report by Sensor Tower, mobile spending – driven by games – was up globally across the board in 2017.

Gaming’s huge potential for brands

The opportunity for brands lies in tapping into this huge, entertainment-seeking audience through relevant content in the context of the game being played. We are working with companies like Disney and Universal to realise the potential of mobile gaming.

But marketers need to remember, when it comes to mobile, how precious and personal our devices are to us.

Disruptive banner ads or invasive pop-ups appearing on personal devices can easily irritate consumers – especially when screens are small enough to cause accidental clicks. We need to ensure that we are only serving content that adds to the experience.

Creating branded mini-games and sponsored in-game events, carefully tailored to players’ interests, will see players develop positive affiliations with branded advertising. It’s a simple method, but one we know works.

Mobile’s growth shows no sign of slowing, and brands need to act on the unique role mobile gaming can play in the entertainment mix.

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NarcisRadoi
12 Mar 2018, 10:25 a.m.

My friend was talking about a campaign that happened a while back where they sponsored a coded image into a game to attract developers and code breakers. Happy to say I was part of the time when we used to do these kinds of things. Must have been 4 years ago though. Hope this helps.

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