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Advertising increasingly requires more creativity to reach the consumer and is continually looking for ways to not realize that he is consuming it.
That’s why advergaming is here to stay. What is it? This concept arises from the combination of advertising and gaming, thus naming an advertising technique that uses video games to promote a service or product, getting the consumer to have fun while receiving these messages from the brand.
For example: In 2013, those responsible for the Melbourne railway network “Metro Trains” created the game Dumb Ways to Die that served as support for their advertising campaign.
The game consisted of saving the protagonists from fairly certain death, such as keeping them away from the train tracks or not allowing them to pass when the train is approaching a level crossing, among other things.
This curious pastime had 130 million downloads, becoming one of the most virtualized advergaming. This success shows that when advertising brings entertainment and interactivity to the consumer, the consumer enjoys the experience.
As Roger Bretau, a Digital Marketing expert, comments, “It’s about consumers playing while acquiring brand knowledge of an organization.
Therefore, a company is exciting because it represents a non-intrusive form of advertising that encourages empathy and engagement. Interactivity with the consumer is increasingly necessary; even though traditional online advertising in banners is still used, attempts are made to generate different and quality content in various media (especially the online world).
However, as Teresa de la Hera, an advergame expert, points out, it is still an advertising discipline to be developed. For her, “they are a diamond yet to be polished.
Much is speculated about their potential, but little has been proven about their actual effectiveness so far. Although this marketing strategy has been used for decades to try to take advantage of the addiction that digital games can create to persuade an audience, the reality is that there is still a long way to go.
Could we say that advergaming as an advertising technique works? Several studies conclude that video game players often remember better a brand that appears while playing than television viewers in a particular program or movie. One of the reasons for this is that players are immersed in the game, and therefore more attentive to what is happening.
As an advertising format, advergaming presents some exciting advantages for advertisers:
It is tough to capture consumers‘ attention with advertising; for example, an advertising billboard or a banner manages to keep interested for a couple of seconds, while a video game user can spend several hours interacting with the brand through the game. According to a study carried out by the FECEMD (Spanish Federation of Electronic Commerce and Direct Marketing), the average time spent with the brand is between 15 and 30 minutes.
While, in other media such as radio or television, the consumer can maintain a more passive attitude towards the advertisement. The user’s disposition towards the videogame is active because no detail of what happens during the game can be lost.
The consumer is enjoying the experience offered by the brand. The videogame provides entertainment, and the user appreciates this type of advertising, facilitating the memory of new products and the message and identifying the brand.
Being so immersed in the game, the user does not perceive advertising as “annoying,” practically the opposite, because the brand will try to be an element that leads to success in the game, thus getting a good image.
With the active participation of the public, both parties win: users get entertainment by playing, and brands can collect data from them to continue communication with them outside the video game by asking questions about the game or the brand, knowing what the experience has been like, and so on. In this way, the target audience would be much more segmented.
The more involved we are in something, the better we will remember it. This is one of the bases of advergaming because the more interaction the user has with the videogame, the greater the memory with the brand that created it.
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