MARCO ISLAND, FL — It is forecast to reach $109.6 billion globally this year – but can game advertising strike a balance between the urge to play and encouraging ad buyers to pay?

As the gaming industry continues to explode, advertisers are drawn to the immersive and engaging world of games, seeking to captivate an audience that is increasingly difficult to reach through traditional media.

Jonathan Stringfield, VP of Global Business Research & Marketing at Activision Blizzard, shares his insights on how advertising within games must be seamlessly woven into the fabric of the gaming experience to preserve the integrity of play.

Growth For Gaming

So, what does an in-game ad look like? There are two major kinds, according to Stringfield:

  1. One involves “very big kind of ad hoc integrated marketing” such as in-game concerts, which are “very buzzy” and “headline grabbing.”
  2. On the other hand, there are “programmatic media opportunities video, things of that nature that are a little bit more turnkey, but don’t have that same flash as the PR activations.”

The integration is happening. In-game Advertising market worldwide is projected to witness a significant increase in revenue, reaching US$109.60bn by 2024, according to Statista Market Insights, which projects a 9.91% CAGR annual growth to $145.5 billion by 2027.

Reciprocity in Advertising

Activision Bilzzard Media, Activision Blizzard’s dedicated advertising arm, wants to capitalize. It offers interactive mobile game ad formats, research and measurement and a portfolio that includes Candy Crush, Call of Duty, World of Warcraft and StarCraft.

Regardless of the ad method, a key principle stands out: reciprocity. “If you’re bringing something like a video advertisement into a gaming experience, you give something back to the player to offset that time,” says Stringfield.

“We focus on consumer experience first and foremost,” Stringfield emphasizes, underlining the company’s gamer-centric philosophy.

Integrating advertisements into games is a delicate art, where the marketing experience should be “really well blended into the game such that it doesn’t even feel like an advertisement.”

Meeting Advertiser Expectations with Robust Metrics

Gamers aren’t the only party to satisfy, As advertisers sink their teeth deeper into the gaming space, their expectations for measurable returns rise. “They’re going to have the same asks and needs as any other platform in terms of measurement,” Stringfield acknowledges.

Activision Blizzard Media says it has made “a tremendous amount of investment in measurement” to provide the necessary proof of return on investment. The unit has links with DoubleVerify, IAS and Moat.

It has also been developing its own attention measurement tools like Attention Measurement Scorecard – something that could come into its own in gaming.

You’re watching ‘Digital Media in Transition’, a Beet.TV Leadership Series at IAB ALM 2024 presented by Sharethrough. For more videos from this series, please visit this page.