Mobile users prefer ads that appear within more natural contexts such as in-game, according to new research by Dentsu Data Labs commissioned by Adverty, the in-game ad platform.
The survey of 301 gamers found that seamless in-game ads led to better ad awareness and brand recall, improving the user experience 31%.
Display ads within gaming apps were the favoured ad format among mobile users.
E-sports environments were up to 5x more preferable for ads than other gaming genres.
When ads merged more seamlessly within an app environment, 50% of participants said they preferred them compared to 30% preferring banners ads.
“It is clear from this research that ad-funded mobile gaming is only growing as a form of entertainment, and it is up to us to find the ad formats that work best for gamers and brands,” said Niklas Bakos, CEO and Founder of Adverty.
“We are not surprised by the positive reaction to advertising in natural contexts within games, and we think brands will be extremely interested to note the strong ad recall among gamers in this instance. In-game advertising offers a remarkable opportunity for brands to reach consumers at a highly engaged moment, which is why many are now starting to prioritise games and esports as the media channel for the future.”
But the good news is that placement doesn’t deter the majority of gamers with two-thirds admitting that the placement had no negative impact on their experience, while 17% judged it to have a positive effect compared to 13% for web banner ads.
One of the reasons why in-game ad formats are performing more strongly is because they blend into the rest of the game more effectively.
What’s surprising is that just 9% of players would pay for games to avoid ads, whilst 43% are happy to view ads in exchange for free games.
“The research demonstrates that in-game ads are able to hold their own against traditional web advertising formats, and it is also interesting to note that they meet with a more favourable response among mobile users,” added Maria Sedlenieks, Insight Strategist, Dentsu Data Labs. “With the development of this form of advertising, we would expect to see further strong evidence of the potential of in-game advertising.”