Marketers need to add value as APAC gamers slam in-game ads


“The gaming universe is an incredibly exciting one and there are numerous opportunities for brands and marketers”

In-game ads are making gamers ditch gaming, according to new research by Omnicom Media Group (OMG). 

The Unlocking Gamers in Asia Pacific report surveyed 12,204 respondents who were asked to rank their attitudes towards ads when gaming on mobile. Most respondents reported that ads are too often causing them to stop playing the game. Respondents also prefer in-game ads to be seasonal or on rotation in a game set-up.

Nina Fedorczuk, OMG APAC’s Chief Enablement Officer, said the research showed that marketers need to add value to the gaming experience if they wish to connect with audiences.

“The gaming universe is an incredibly exciting one, and there are numerous opportunities for brands and marketers. We need to understand the different nuances within the gaming ecosystem, including the types of moments gamers experience. For example, they can connect with friends via gaming over the weekends and be fully immersed in the experience but also play a quick puzzle game during a weekday commute.

“It is no longer enough to treat gamers as a niche audience because almost everyone is a gamer. Brands need to find the sweet spots for this audience, and think hard about how they can add value to the gaming experience instead of blatantly interrupting it.”

Nina Fedorczuk

Nina Fedorczuk

The research found four key points, as follows.

1. Behaviours – Mobile dominates the market; not all gamers identify as ‘gamers’

Brands targeting APAC gamers should consider alternative labels such as ‘players’ and understand subcultural behaviours.

2. Advertising and brand attitudes – Offer real-world incentives from mobile game ads

Real-world incentives from mobile game ads appeal to gamers, with initiatives like creating original games, hosting events, and offering in-game and real-world rewards gaining traction

3. Preferences – Solo gaming versus wanting connections

Gaming preferences vary, with younger gamers seeking connections and immersion, favouring in-game chats and frequent gaming with friends. In contrast, older demographics prefer solo gaming experiences and quiet gameplay.

4. Online engagement – PR efforts help build strong social credibility among gamers

Winning over gamers requires effective word-of-mouth. Family and friends carry significant influence, with 89% of gamers valuing their reviews. Influencers and players play a crucial role, too, holding a 90% importance level, particularly in China, India, Indonesia, and Hong Kong.

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