Gaming is a unique medium, in terms of its ability to hold
attention as well as drive interaction. So, what is it about gaming
that makes it so engaging? And does it really hold potential for
brands as an advertising medium?
In a whitepaper by Kantar Media, we share the findings of
original research conducted to answer these questions. The consumer
research behind the paper used innovative hybrid approaches,
including: qualitative, quantitative and biometric observations
(GSR, facial coding and eye-tracking). The paper shows there are
two key dimensions for marketers to consider when integrating
brands into any game: Realism and Ownership.
Realism: The more true to life a game appears,
the easier it is for real-life brands of all types to integrate
into it. When this is done well, it helps add to the immersive
experience of the game. For example, in FIFA 15 as with real
football our gamers expect to see brands as part of the environment
making them a welcome inclusion as long as they hold category
relevance. Whereas, with Grand Theft Auto V, the environment is
hyper-real and includes parody brands rather than real world ones.
To simply switch all of the parody brands to real ones risks
Ownership: The more public the space across the
whole gaming experience, the more welcome brands appear to be. So
for example, the start-up home screen is a very personal space and
the sight of an ad might feel like an intrusion. Whereas, areas
like the 'What's New' screen can be considered as a retail
environment and therefore advertising was not deemed out of
The report also maps out the two dimensions, to show that
opportunities that fit in the top right quadrant are the most
favourable for brand integration. Click on the image on the right
hand side to expand the Gaming Experience Map (GEM).
Finally our gaming experts have identified three types of brand
integration with potential:
- Exposed: This approach is comparable to internet advertising
via overlay and pre-rolls and is transactional in the sense that
the viewer/gamer exchanges their attention for an opportunity to
play or free content. The less interactive the moment, the more
room there is for overt advertising like this. Our gamers didn't
mind this kind of advertising on YouTube and Twitch and felt that
it has its place in mobile gaming, but rejected the idea of it on
console games where they have often paid to play in a more personal
- Embedded: This type of brand integration can be seen as
beneficial to the gamer. If done well, it enhances immersion in the
game and therefore brands become a welcome part of the environment.
Brands with a strong pre-existing association with the scenario
cannot be changed where Realism is an important characteristic of
the game, but generally brands can be embedded into games if they
have reasonable category relevance/authenticity.
- Enhanced: Going beyond simply embedding, the brand can add
something more to the gaming experience while the game can bring a
new meaning to the brand. Enhanced integrations could be
sponsorship of tournaments within games, added features or
If brands can understand the different roles and rules, and find
ways to create unique value for the gaming audience, then gaming
really does offer a special opportunity to them. Read more by
downloading the GameON report below, or visiting the Kantar Media website.
Source : Kantar Media