The Benefits of In-Game Advertising

Tips for Publishers

In-Game Mobile Advertisements: The Benefits of In-Game Advertising

5 Minute Read |

Smaato

Smaato
Marketing

Today we’re joined by Youssef R’Miki, Publisher Sales, Team Lead EMEA at Smaato, to learn all about the latest craze: in-game advertising. See what makes publishers and marketers most excited about this innovative, user-friendly ad format.

Smaato

We’re excited to learn about this new format! Before we do, let’s have a quick refreshed. Traditionally, what are some of the typical mobile gaming ad formats?

There are several ads formats in gaming applications. The most common are static banners, splash interstitials, rewarded ads, playable ads, and Native ads.

Youssef R'Miki
Smaato

What is mobile in-gaming advertising? AKA “in-game mobile advertising” or “Dynamic In-Game Advertising” (DIGA).

Mobile in-gaming advertising is an integrated native ad format that appears inside of the game’s environment.

Billboards inside the game are a very common example of in-gaming advertising. The billboard design makes it seem as native or organic as possible and makes it look like it is part of the environment (like product placement in movies).

There are two types of in-game mobile ads:

Static ads, which are basically fixed formats built into the game during its development. Dynamic in-game advertising on the other hand, is a strategically placed ad that can be updated in the future.

Youssef R'Miki
Smaato

What are the pros of static in-game advertising? What are the challenges?

Since the static ads are directly programmed into the game, all users will be able to see the ad even without an internet connection. However, these ads are here to stay in the game forever. As a result, advertisers should make sure to choose brands that will remain relevant in the long run.

Youssef R'Miki
Smaato

What are the pros of dynamic in-game ads?

Not only can dynamic in-game ads be updated at any moment, but also they allow for the usage of geo- and age- targeting in real time. These formats also give advertisers an opportunity to target audiences with seasonal content (i.e., a new Movie release in theaters). Plus, there is an opportunity alter ad content depending on who is playing the game. It also lets publishers monetize the same space for different advertisers. Dynamic in-game ads require an internet connection.

Dynamic In-Game Ad Example
click to enlarge

Youssef R'Miki
Smaato

What are “Advergames”?

Advergames are games created in collaboration with a company or any corporate entity to promote a specific brand product ( i.e: Pepsiman on PS1 or more recently, Wendy’s Smoky Shroom Sprint on both iOS and Android )

Youssef R'Miki
Smaato

What are the advantages of mobile in-gaming advertising?

Due to its unique format and fixed position within the game environment, users get a longer exposure to these ads, reinforcing brand awareness.

Since these ads appear as part of the game, they are less disruptive. Therefore, users will always be able to enjoy the content without any distracting and “out of place” ad popping up.

Youssef R'Miki
Smaato

What makes this ad format unique?

Whether it is static or dynamic, the in-gaming ad format revolves around smoothly blending inside the game while remaining realistic. Furthermore, this ad format is visible from many angles, improving brand awareness. For example, in a football game, the ads that appear below the fans surrounding the field can not only be tailored to the gamer playing, but also appear consistently and from every angle.

Youssef R'Miki
Smaato

What types of ads can be most effective in the mobile in-gaming environment?

To take advantage of this the in-game advertising format, advertisers should be aware where and when exactly these placements are going to appear for the users.

The game category (racing, casual, sports open world…) will make the difference between having a long text vs. a one sentence ad. A distant billboard on a racing game could make less of an impact as the user races past, vs. a branded car they’re driving, which would be more front-and-center for the duration of the game. As a reminder: ad placement should make the ad visible, not distracting.

These brands should also focus on either awareness more than anything else and this is due to one of the main limitations in-gaming advertising faces: the lack of ad clickability.

Youssef R'Miki
Smaato

What are the challenges with the in-game mobile ad format?

Of course, one challenge is that most of these ads are not clickable. However, they are great for building high-level brand awareness. Future technology may help these ads become clickable.

The biggest challenge with these unique formats is that they require additional technical resources to create. Publishers often have to rely on third party providers, which limits their control and creative freedom, to some extent.

This is not necessarily a challenge but something to keep in mind: contextual targeting is really important. In order to be effective, the type of ad should also fit inside the game context. Not only in look and feel but also in content. For example, in a horror game, there should not be a flashy and cartoony ad that would break the user’s immersion in the gaming experience.

Youssef R'Miki
Smaato

Do in-game ads require a third party to create them? How can publishers take advantage of in-game advertising?

In-game advertising is usually offered by third party providers. The complexity of the format requires significant resources and the know-how of experts in the domain.

Depending on development resources, publishers may have to work with a third party to create in-game advertisements. Even still, publishers should consider in-gaming ad formats for their monetization strategy. This format can help publishers diversify their portfolio. Publishers create games without disruptive ads, which users will enjoy. In the end, it is all about having a balance of monetizing their inventory while keeping delivering a good user experience.

Youssef R'Miki

Smaato offers a wide variety of in-gaming inventory. Our premium publishers offer a range of in-gaming placements for our advertisers. For marketers, this ad format is only growing in popularity, and offers an opportunity to reach audiences in a creative way. For publishers, in-game advertising yields competitive eCPMs, high fill rates, and a new monetization opportunity.

To learn more, get in touch!

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