Advergames are games specifically created to promote a particular product or service, allowing companies to seamlessly integrate ads into digital gaming. Because digital games in general offer appeal to a large audience, marketers have begun to recognise their potential. Though the practice is not new, it has gained traction in recent years due to consumers spending so much time online. Whether it be for shopping, news or entertainment, most of us browse the web for hours each day.
Advergames are a marketer’s dream, due to the trifecta of mobile, social and digital components that all currently flood the everyday consumer’s life.
Using games as a marketing tactic allows businesses to associate themselves with an activity that people are already engaging in for differing reasons such as, stress relief and fun, and giving consumers a positive interaction with their brands. Educational games are another opportunity for brands to inform consumers about topics like health, finances and other need-to-know topics.
But wait, you say, isn’t it expensive to produce a video game? Big brands have big bucks to throw at advergames, but how can small businesses compete with that?
The answer lies in technology, namely in HTML5. You can design and build highly complex games with beautiful interfaces in HTML5 at an affordable cost, making it perfect for companies with a leaner marketing budget. HTML5 offers you the following advantages:
- Inclusive: These days most people own multiple devices which all have access to the internet, social media and apps. Wherever these elements can be found, Games can be implemented. Whether it be mobile phones, tablets, laptops or desktop computers, Games can be formatted and converted to fit each platform, making the reach of a Gamification campaign unlimited.
- Instant play: Playing a HTML5 game within the browser requires no app or software download and installation, just click and play.
- Ease of publication: No need to wait for Apple or Google to approve your app. You simply publish on your website.
- Promotion: App promotion is expensive, but to promote your website game, you can use your existing and developed marketing channels and the website itself.
- Sharing: To share your game, players only have to copy and paste the URL, or better yet, click the social share button that will link to a range of Social media accounts, email, and chat forums. Easy Peas!
- Data: You don’t have to measure data on different channels. On your own website, you implement the tracking, monitoring and analyses you want to evaluate the performance of your advergaming campaign.
Advergames have been proven to increase engagement x8 that of traditional marketing mediums and have been recognised as a strong tool in which you can create a strong and engaging marketing vessel for your brands message. With Gamify’s own pro-tool, you don’t need any prior programming or game design knowledge for you to be able to develop your own game campaign.
Gamify is a great SaaS-tool in which you can build and analyse the performance of your own game ads. The pro-tool has a simple subscription service model, with an interface that is easy to use, does not require any previous technical or game design knowledge and can provide you, your own game ad up and running in less than an hour.
The Pro-tool Process
Using Gamify’s pro-tool is as easy as 1-2-3. These are the three simple steps to create your first advergame campaign:
1. Select a game: You can choose from our library of popular game templates. Our Game library is constantly being updated, but what game templates we have on offer are what we have studied to find are the most effective game styles for the current marketing landscape. The games on offer are perfect when for when it comes to boosting any of your KPIs such as:
- Lead generation
- Increasing engagement
- Leaderboards and competition
- Distributing rewards & giveaways
2. Add branding: Customise your game within your understanding and skill level of photoshop, to reflect your style and brand identity through the addition of personalised logos, colour schemes and images using our online tool. You can also ask our experienced art & game design team for help at any time. Show your audience your playful side and increase both engagement time and rates, through the replacement of game template assets that result in a finished product that best represents your brand.
3. Launch & track the campaign: Gamify makes it super easy to add game links to both your website and social media accounts. Either through using an embed link or clicking on the social share buttons, your advergame has the ability to be present across all of your places of digital branding. Gamify also provides a login, for an easy to use analytics dashboard that can help you track all of the metrics that indicate the progress and health of your marketing campaign.
Benefits of Gamify’s pro-tool
- Easy to use interface, no need to test or code
- Cross-platform compatible and super fast loading of games on any device
- All elements are customisable to perfectly fit your brand identity
- Clear analytics interface enables you to track all of your ad game campaign useful metrics
- End-to-end managed service packages for creation, design, performance and optimisation
Different forms of Advergame creation
The Internet is flooded with different types of advergames that have been created to advertise all types of brands from fast food chains, soda companies, car companies, clothing, to recruitment in the military. Advergames are classified into three categories; associative, illustrative and demonstrative advergames. The type of advergame chosen is based on the brand image and the message that needs to be communicated.
Illustrative advergames are a form of sponsored promotion where the advertising messages, products or services are integrated in the games and feature during the game play. Most of the time the products are central to the game play for clear reinforcement of the brand message.
These games allow the user to use or experience the product in the stimulated, virtual confines of the video game.
The essential idea of associative advergames is to make the consumer associate the product with the lifestyle that is depicted in the game. This allows the company to direct the product message directly to the people who are likely to use it. The advertisements are often featured in the background and the user is not bombarded with messages of the products.
The Benefits of Advergaming
Advergames use the interactive and social components of games to the advantage of a brand. Here are some of the main benefits they offer to brands:
- Increased Brand Awareness: Boosting brand awareness is easier with advergames because they are fun, engaging and sometimes challenging. This helps in brand retention.
- Reaches Target Group: Advergames are perfect way to target the hard-to-reach, technology-savvy young market especially teenagers. Many of these gamers did not mind, and even liked the ads in the games.
- Popular Advertising Tool: It is not just teenagers. According to a study by IGN Entertainment, a unit of Fox Interactive Media, 144 million out of the 244 million online consumers are gamers. The new crop of gamers are not just men and children, but also women. According to research, an estimated 67% men and 62% women under 35 years, are avid online gamers. In short, games can be targeted at audiences of all ages and demographics.
- Comparatively Low Cost: Compared to traditional channels of marketing and advertising, like television and print media, games are a low cost marketing tool. Unlike half a million dollars which is needed to produce a 30-second commercial, a video game can be developed in $50,000.
- Cuts the Clutter: Another advantage over traditional marketing media involves the viewing time. Unlike television commercials which last for 30 seconds, and print ads which may or may not get even that time, video games keep the consumer engrossed for 7 to 10 minutes at a time. Moreover, consumers can log in and play any time, thus helping in increasing the ad exposure time.
- Goes Viral: 86% of users passed viral messages to another person which could account for the popularity of advergames. So, all that the advertiser has to do is create a great game, and viral marketing is sure to do the rest.
- Helps Market Research: The tracking tools within the game, like knowing a user's design or colour preferences allows the manufacturers to understand market preferences.
- Non-invasive Marketing: Intrusiveness to the user is low to nonexistent while users proactively engage with the advergame
Though advergames deploy a wide variety of game types and elements, there are best practices marketers should keep in mind when considering incorporating them into their strategy. For example, be smart about how ads are featured. You have the option of showing ads before the game is played or integrating them into the game during play, so determine which method is more effective for your target audience. Another way to use advergames effectively is to balance advertising with game play. It is important for the game to be a good standalone product, but be sure that it has an effective marketing component. Finally, better your chances of going viral by allowing users to share the game on third-party sites rather than housing it solely on your own.
Although many clients and campaigns are different, advergames have been used by large and small companies in both B2B and B2C businesses. The average results are impressive, outside of amazing individual performances.
Simple HTML5 web games are being used as advergames because of their affordability and flexibility as a mobile marketing tool. With no barrier to entry, users can play, register, and replay the advergame from any device. Social sharing helps boost the awareness of the game and the format helps boost conversion rates.
The future of marketing is clear. The future is games. Have fun and happy advergaming!