From incredible speakers with inspiring success stories to heated debates on star-studded panels, AdWanted UK’s “The Future of Gaming” was a pleasure to be a part of last week. As MVP sponsors, we met plenty of amazing people and learned so much from everyone’s unique insights and experiences — so much in fact, that we’re here to share our top five takeaways from the event!
1. Gamers care about community
What better way to show you understand gamers than working with their favourite streamers?
As part of EE’s efforts to establish themselves as “the UK’s #1 destination for gaming”, they reached out to popular Fortnite streamers to organise an exhilarating event where fans challenged their favourite content creators in order to win huge prizes.
On top of this, EE went the extra mile for their online storefront and landing page, building bold assets using Unreal Engine 5 so gamers would immediately feel at home. EE’s commitment to understanding their audience was impressive and should serve as a powerful reminder for any advertisers looking to make a splash in the world of gaming.
2. Gamers want to interact.
For the launch of new horror film “Talk To Me”, independent UK film studio, Altitude partnered with Havas Media Network. When the agency's research indicated a huge crossover trend between horror film fans and gamers, it was clear that a strategic gaming activation would resonate well with their audience. An interactive gaming experience within Fortnite was the centrepiece of the campaign, complete with in-game billboards and spooky objectives that mirrored key plot points and visuals from Talk To Me’s trailer.
Boasting an average playtime of just under one hour, the Fortnite experience wasn’t too far away from equalling the runtime of the film itself! Congratulations to the team at Altitude, and we’re excited to see the worlds of gaming and marketing continue to overlap.
3. Advertising to gamers is advertising to EVERYONE.
With smartphones having fully dominated our pocket space for the better part of two decades, it’s hardly surprising that when asked “Who here plays games on their phone?” the entire audience reached for the sky.
Compared to other methods of advertising, in-game ad placements in mobile games are able to guarantee eyes on ads. Combine this with the fact that over 3 billion people worldwide play games, and you’ve got an extremely reliable way to market to an enormous audience. And it’s not all young men either! Mobile gamers now have an average age of 36, and are shown to be almost equally split between men and women, with female players even outnumbering males in certain genres.
4. Gaming stereotypes are no longer relevant.
The perception that gamers are a niche market, especially focused on young male audiences, or hardcore esports audiences, is now an outdated misconception that may be costing advertisers severely. Marketers need to recognise that gaming has become a mainstream and diverse form of entertainment, appealing to a wide range of demographics and representing a serious opportunity for growth.
Despite the immense popularity of gaming, 85% of mobile gamers do not identify as gamers. The stereotypical boundaries that used to divide those who game and those who don’t are forever dissolving, to the point where advertising to gamers now means advertising to the public as a whole. It’s something that Venatus has helped so many clients to do, though there is still a huge need for education if more are to follow.
5. Stay educated or risk getting left behind.
The theme of risk-averse marketers shying away from gamers popped up again and again throughout the day. Many marketers in the room seemed to relate to a sense of hesitation, whether it be from them, their CMO, or whomever makes the call — essentially blocking them from taking full advantage of a golden opportunity. Global marketing spend for gaming media is lagging far behind both social and CTV, suggesting a lack of confidence in space. How could this be?
The problem here, as stated by our CEO Rob Gay, lies in a lack of education. Getting clients on board is tough because people struggle to educate them properly — so we recommend letting the experts do the talking! With 13 years in gaming, Venatus has the insights to bring clients up-to-speed on why gaming ads work, and how to build out a gaming strategy.
Too many marketers still view gamers and gaming as a niche market, but this couldn’t be further from the truth.
Still not convinced? Hungry for more? Get in touch today and let’s talk about how gaming can work for you.