Newzoo, a market intelligence firm recently released a report with Activision Blizzard in which they outline how mobile gamers are an untapped audience for brands. According to the data collected 2.4 billion people across the globe are playing mobile games.
According to Newzoo, mobile gaming is the third most popular type of mobile app, with social media and shopping apps taking the first and second place. For the age group 18 to 20, games are their second favorite apps, a tie with music streaming apps for that age group. Music apps have a 50/50 gender split, whereas gaming apps seem to attract 1% more women making it a 51/49 % spilt.
The genre of games preferred by the men and women takes an interesting turn. When it comes to mobile game apps, women opt for puzzle games by a majority of 66%, while men prefer action and adventure games with 63%. Shooting genre mobile games have the highest percentage of men users at 74%.
According to Newzoo, the most played mobile game in the previous month was Candy Crush Saga. Released in 2012 by King, Candy Crush Saga is a match-three puzzle game. Activision Blizzard acquired it in 2016 and it has remained twice as popular as its closest contenders, which include Pókemon Go, Fortnite and Angry Birds. It has stayed at the top of the list for many years, quite a feat when compared to how some of the other contenders started off as global phenomena but didn’t reach the same levels of ongoing success.
Mobile advertising grew to a $112 billion market in the last year, but only 15% of that was spent on mobile games. Since gaming apps are so huge why don’t the more popular brands advertize on them? This was because gaming was initially seen as a niche activity, but the new statistics are proving them wrong.
In the U.S. alone, 200 million mobile users play games on a regular basis and worldwide it is 50% of mobile users. These figures have got brands thinking, but the shift from the proven platforms to games can take a while still because the brands have to find what works and as economically as possible.
These five methods have been used to successfully advertise on mobile games:
Sponsored events within a game
Gatorade sponsored a spot in EA’s Madden NFL Mobile, where players got an electrolyte boost, allowing them to play longer. Asos, the popular clothing brand also linked with EA in the simulation game The Sims mobile. Through some of the games customization options they introduced branded clothing and timed quests.
These ads are not forced on players, but they can watch them and be rewarded in exchange for a bonus. Nestlé ran these across 200 mobile games with King, including Candy Crush Saga and the ads performed very well, with 99.5% of them viewed until the end.
Kellogs used interactive ads to promote one of its cereal brands. They had an impressive completion rate at 82% and 2.1 million impressions in a campaign run in combination with an Indian online retailer.
Pizza Hut capitalized on one social game with leaderboards and reached players who were within 5 minutes from one of their stores, inviting them to meet other players in store.
Starbucks drove in-store traffic through Pokemon Go when the game was at the height of its popularity. Over 7,800 stores became Pokestops or Gyms and they even created a Pokemon Go Frappucino that appealed to gamers.
Mobile game advertising has proven to be viable, especially as mobile game developers look to them for added income.