Ad serving in video games

Internet Advertising

Updated on Nov 14, 2019

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If you have ever played video games, particularly on your phone, you have almost certainly come across ads while you play. Many times, game developers will offer up a game for free, but they will place ads within the game to help them make money. For those who do not want to see ads, the same developers will offer up a paid version, usually no more than a few dollars depending on the game, to allow players to go ad-free. There are still a lot of people who are okay with the ad-supported version. Because when done correctly, ad serving in games can be acceptable and be a great way of getting your message out to a targeted audience. There are countless ways to serve ads within games, so let’s look at some of the popular options that are out there.

Advertising as a Game
It is possible to have the game serve as an ad, making it fun for potential customers to learn more about your business or a specific product. There are several different ways to do this, but egg-hunts and trivia are some of the most common types. Players have fun playing a game, without being hit over the head with a hard sell, which makes it truly effective.

In-Game Rewards
Many games offer in-game purchases that allow players to level up or get their hands on tools and power-ups that help them advance. One great way to advertise within a game is to offer rewards for watching a short video clip. These video ads are delivered by a video ad server and generally run anywhere from 5-30 seconds, after which players receive a small reward that benefits them within the game. When people get a reward for watching an ad, they generally end up having a positive feeling about the advertiser.

Coupons and Codes
We’ve already explained how people love in-game rewards that help them advance without needing to invest a ton of money. Another way to offer up those rewards is the form of a coupon or code given in a physical product. The code can then be applied within the game for a reward. This is a fantastic way of enticing people to buy your product or an affiliate product. Consumers love the idea of getting something more for their money when they shop, especially on the essential products that they have to buy anyway.

Interstitial Ads Between Breaks
While you want people to view your ads, you certainly do not want them to be annoyed by the ads. Gamers need their focus during their gaming mission and so there is a delicate balance to compete for their attention. One of the easiest ways to make them annoying is to have many ads or place them in a spot where they are not welcome. Every single game comes with some sort of break between games or episodes, which is typically where ads should be placed so as not to be disruptive.

Promotion of Viral Content
Popular games tend to develop a large fan base that loves to be involved in the gaming world, which can include things like creating memes, sharing videos, and other viral content about the game. Promoting this type of content and adding your brand to it is something that a lot of gamers will see as cool and forward thinking on your part. As a company, you can choose to feature funny, interesting, useful user-generated content and collaborate with certain gamers and influencers to enhance your brand image and build a larger audience.

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