The Quest For Game Advertising

As of recently, advertising for online gaming has increased tremendously. Games have been used almost since their inception to advertise products as seen in this photo from eMarketing:

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But when it comes to advertising the games themselves, advertising has been a bit more shabby. Dedicated gamers have to learn new languages, watch confusing YouTube videos and search high and low just to find promotional material of new games.

Over time slow progress was made. Some game stores and websites started promoting the games using distributed material. Online banner ads especially took off. However advances were still lagging. 

That was until about the last year when advertising for gaming surged. It used to be difficult to find game advertising – now it is impossible to avoid it. Subway stations, TV’s, in games and many other places have been lined with gaming promotional material.

Take for example this subway station in Taiwan. The walls are plastered with giant virtual posters broadcasting apps and virtual reality games: 

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The genius of this ad is twofold. Firstly is it’s placement – passengers passby it just as they enter the metro station. Secondly is the product promoted. What better place to advertise an app than a subway full of bored passengers who want to play on their phones?

Another great example of the prolifferation of game advertising is this TV ad for candy crush saga:

It is likely you have heard of Candy Crush saga through word of mouth. In fact, you may even have it downloaded on your phone! However the creators decided word of mouth just wasn’t enough and launched an international TV campaign. 

At first that doesn’t seem too bizarre. That is until you really think about it. This is a free app with an already mammoth following paying hundreds of thousands to advertise on TV. When is the last time you saw a free product advertised on TV without being sponsored by government? 

Apps aren’t the only games uping the anti on their advertising. Console video games are also finding new ways to reach the masses. In the past, console games have been unafraid to step into heavy promotions. You may have seen posters, billboards or even trailers in movie theaters for games. 

While these media are all nobel pursuits, they don’t quite capture the interactivity of games. I mean, there were interactive virtual reality storm billboards for movies! And games are incomparably more interactive than movies – shouldn’t their advertisements be the same? 

There is great potential for video game advertisers to promote games using interactive billoards and other devices. Unfortunately console gaming companies haven’t quite tapped into this yet. 

However they have tapped into the next best thing – conferences. For example think of E3, the largest electronic entertainment conference in the world. Here video game companies take to screen to promote their latest creations. This is through live screenings mainly, as in showing people how the game looks through a short teaser.

So in short, video game advertising has plenty of room for improvement. But at the same time, it is making monumental steps in finding it’s own place in the world of marketing. So one of the most advanced entertainment technology is finally upgrading it’s laggard style of advertising. Or so we can hope!

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