The COVID-19 pandemic is still pressuring countries across the globe to implement strict curfews and lockdowns, and many are finding themselves unable to find any source of entertainment or means to spend their time. And therefore it does not come as a surprise to find out that there were about 2.7B gamers worldwide in 2020. Not only that, but the mobile gaming revenue alone is expected to reach $109,658M in 2021. If anything then this points towards the fact that investing in online games might be a smart thing to do.
So does that mean brands will start utilizing mobile and online games to advertise their products and services?
If we want to talk about whether current brands will use in-game ads, it is important to mention that it is not breaking news. It first started back in 1978 when an in-game ad was used in Pirate Adventure. Later on in 1992, Chupa Chups was also featured in Zool: Ninja of the Nth Dimension.
Has there ever been more extreme product placement in a game than Chupa Chups lollipops in ZOOL (Amiga, 1992)? Great game though and the option to choose RAVE music was 👌 pic.twitter.com/TXnVWrTu3V— High Contrast (@HighContrast) October 12, 2019
However, now with the advancements in technology and the fact that the online gaming market is still expanding, advanced in-game ads are being used. And there are no signs that this expansion will stop in the foreseeable future. Therefore, many brands are now actively working towards taking advantage of the increasing demand on mobile games. For instance, Italian luxury brand, Gucci, is partnering with mobile gaming company, Wildlife, to make similar outfits worn by avatars in the game “Tennis Clash”. This way fans will have the chance to dress up like their favorite characters. Not only that but the game now includes an in-game Gucci tournament called Gucci Open, where users can purchase their favorite Gucci outfits and wear them in the tournament.
Another fashion powerhouse who is making use of the power of in-game ads is Louis Vuitton. LV designed a line of clothes in the video game League of Legends to be purchased by games for their avatars. The line of clothes, also known as skins, was then released to be bought by people to align their digital and real collections. The luxury giant also created a carrying case for the League of Legends World Championship.
First of its kind. #LouisVuitton has partnered with @riotgames and @lolesports for the @LeagueOfLegends World Championship. A bespoke trunk will protect the Summoner's Cup, the prize for the most prestigious esports event. See more at https://t.co/sUeDpQ8Uvd#LVxLol #Worlds2019 pic.twitter.com/JXkAjUgjLM— Louis Vuitton (@LouisVuitton) September 23, 2019
Through in-game advertising, brands will be able to reach billions of people in an engaging and entertaining way. Online games are a long overdue media channel that should be utilized to help brands market their products in a smart and efficient manner.
Furthermore, the increased usage of smartphones alongside the pandemic is playing a major role in the expansion of the mobile and online gaming market. And the continuous advancements in technology, marketers will soon have ground-breaking possibilities and the sky will be their limit!
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