Venatus' 7 Key Takeaways from IAB Playfronts 2024

Fresh from our experience at the IAB Playfronts 2024 in New York last week, the Venatus team has rounded up the best bits.

May 14, 2024

That's right! Another eye-opening industry event, and another set of highlights and key takeaways to share — and all neatly wrapped up in an informative rundown for you, our lovely readers. Sound good? Then let’s go.

1. IAB’s latest research is a game-changer

Venatus are proud sponsors of the IAB’s brand-new research paper, released on the day of the event — all about how gaming is an often overlooked and misunderstood method of supercharging revenue for both advertisers and publishers. The bottom line? If You ignore gaming, you’re leaving serious gains on the table. Keep reading to uncover a taste of the stats on offer.

2. The emotional power of gaming

The event highlighted gaming's unique ability to evoke emotion and create deeply engaging experiences for audiences from all walks of life. Gaming has evolved to become far more than a niche pastime, establishing itself as a potent medium for impactful advertising. Delve into gaming and you can expect to forge a real, emotional connection with your audience — and reap the game-changing ROI that comes with it.

3. Gaming audiences are more diverse than ever

Presentations from industry giants like Activision Blizzard shed light on the multifaceted nature of gaming audiences, particularly the significant impact of mobile gaming. Once again, the IAB’s research does major work here, revealing that 45% of women are now gamers — one of countless eye-opening facts that many remain clueless about. Males aged 18-34 only make up 30% of gamers, so it’s never been more clear that advertising to gamers now means advertising to everyone.

4. The push for respectful in-game advertising

Ubisoft’s advocacy for respectful in-game advertising, along with a demonstration on the effectiveness of intrinsic in-game ads, highlighted a shift towards advertising that enhances rather than interrupts the gaming experience. This approach is pivotal for brands looking to engage gamers without detracting from their immersive experiences, and is already being practiced by many developers and publishers worldwide. An easy example of this is rewarded ads in mobile games, incentivizing users to view ads in return for in-game currencies, boosts, and the like. Not only does this increase the view rate of video ads, it also makes a great impact on how well the brand in the ad is received. 

Venatus and friends on the show floor!

5. Engaging Gen Z through authenticity

Roblox and Zynga’s strategies for engaging Gen Z audiences reiterated the importance of authenticity in gaming advertising. As the first generation to be born with smartphones in their hands, Gen Z have a ruthless, discerning eye, and can smell the difference between a genuine hit or a half-hearted cash grab from miles away. Our advice? Reach out and ask audiences what they want to see! Give the people what they want and your brand will reap the rewards. 

6. Augmented reality and cloud gaming

Niantic’s exploration of augmented reality ads were a real eye-opener, and together with discussions on free-to-play cloud gaming with NVIDIA and PlayerWON highlighted the forward-thinking approaches to gaming ads. Venatus is proud to be joining forces with PlayerWON as the exclusive ad partner (in UK, FR, DE, KR, AU, NZ markets) for NVIDIA GeForce NOW, enabling our partnered advertisers to reach NVIDIA’s global audience of 25 million+ gamers. Together, we're on the cutting-edge of rewarded ads and gaming ads as a whole.

These emerging trends point towards a future where ads are not just seen but… experienced, promising next-level, personalizable engagement with a transformative effect on how marketers approach ad spend. 

7. Community and creator partnerships are OP

The emphasis on gaming communities and the role of creators, as discussed by Bent Pixels, points to the growing significance of leveraging these vibrant ecosystems for brand campaigns. The success of advertising in gaming is increasingly dependent on understanding and integrating into these communities in a genuine way. Once again, gamers can tell when the vibe isn’t right.

The IAB Playfronts once again provided invaluable insights into the state of immersive media advertising, with amazing presentations that only reaffirm our belief in the power of gaming. Advertisers unwilling to delve into the world of gaming ads are missing out on serious opportunities for growth and awareness. For Venatus, these takeaways reinforce our commitment to pioneering strategies that resonate with gaming audiences, ensuring that every campaign is not only seen but felt, remembered, and acted upon.

If you're an advertiser looking to get your next campaign in front of our ever-growing, ever-engaged gaming audiences — get in touch today and let's make it happen.

Publisher FAQs!

Q: How does Venatus support brands in maintaining authenticity while engaging Gen Z gamers?

A: At Venatus, we understand the importance of authenticity in reaching Gen Z gamers. We guide brands to craft messages that resonate with this demographic by emphasizing transparency, creativity, and relevance. Our strategies involve collaboration with influencers and content creators who share genuine connections with their audiences, thereby maintaining a brand's authentic voice.

Q: What community and creator partnership strategies does Venatus recommend for maximizing brand visibility in gaming communities?

A: Venatus recommends forming partnerships with well-known gaming communities and influential content creators to maximize brand visibility. We facilitate collaborations that align with the brand’s values and appeal to the community’s interests, ensuring that advertising campaigns are both organic and impactful. Our approach helps brands engage deeply with players and build lasting relationships within the gaming ecosystem.

To learn more, speak to our team today, or head to our Knowledge Base and discover our library of publisher resources.