Nine in 10 social media ads for Android gamers are “dark”

Anne Freier

In Mobile Advertising. October 3, 2019

An estimated nine in 10 ads shown to Android gamers on social media are “dark”, which means that their targeting is not visible to the public. That’s according to new research by GfK and digital measurement company BrandTotal.

Dark marketing accounts for 88% of social media ad spend and 891 unique brands targeted Android gaming audiences on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube during a seven-day measurement period in August 2019.

The study also found that 87% of social media ads from mobile carriers advertising on social media were dark campaigns.

Where brands targeted Android gamers, audiences were composed of 76% Facebook users, 20% of YouTube users and 3% of Twitter users.

To address the issue of dark campaigns, BrandTotal and GfK have partnered to enable marketers to track their social campaigns and optimise them for real-time customer segments.

The partnership leverages BrandTotal’s digital marketing intelligence solutions and reporting platform.

“By bringing the unique assets of BrandTotal and GfK together, we can answer one of the questions our clients ask most often – are my social campaigns really reaching my target customers?” said Natasha Stevens, GfK’s EVP of Strategy and Innovation.

“BrandTotal has developed an extraordinary system for shining light into the hidden worlds of social media activity, and GfK’s consumer data can deliver that information for the specific consumers brands care about most. We see this as a breakthrough not just for advertisers, but also for the social media marketplace, which now has a powerful tool to support its continued growth.”

The targeting will be beneficial for marketers who are looking to avoid wasting money on audiences that fall outside of certain criteria.