Marketing dollars will chase casual gamers

Brands and agencies know that two-thirds of all smartphone users in India are casual gamers

For Gaurav Agarwal, co-founder, Gamezop, gamers are the most diverse group on the internet
For Gaurav Agarwal, co-founder, Gamezop, gamers are the most diverse group on the internet

By Gaurav Agarwal

To say that India is in the midst of a gaming boom will be stating the obvious; two-thirds of all smartphone users in India are casual gamers. 

A new study by Dentsu, one of the world’s largest advertising agencies, has projected that India will have 700 million gamers by 2025, most of who will be casual gamers. Perhaps this led them to launch Dentsu Gaming: a dedicated vertical to support brands looking to find their next customer among gamers.

All the world’s a game, and all the men and women are merely players

There are many factors playing in favour of gaming as the digital advertising hotspot for brands. With over 3 billion of them worldwide, gamers are the most diverse group on the internet, allowing for a level of granular targeting that no other advertising avenue can match. As almost every digitally-connected person is a gamer, advertisers with all kinds of goals and budgets have to buy gaming inventory to meet the objective of their campaign – whether branding or performance marketing.   

As gaming is a highly interactive form of entertainment, attentiveness during gameplay is higher than that during the consumption of other forms of content. Further, games allow brands to tell their stories to potential customers in the least intrusive way. Rewarded ads, for instance, are video ads that appear between game levels inducing a small break in exchange of rewards within the game.

More than just fun and games

A survey conducted by Gamezop, which facilitates casual gaming within nearly 5,000 non-gaming products, shows that integration of games increases the time spent on these products by 15-40 percent. Among these non-gaming products integrated with Gamezop are Amazon, Paytm, Samsung Internet, Tata Play, Snapchat, and Oyo.

There has been a massive surge in demand in recent times from non-gaming apps to add HTML5 games that are instantly playable – just like videos – and do not require further installation. Alongside gaming, a lot of apps are also looking to add trivia to engage their users. Quizzop, also operated by Gamezop, is one such solution that allows apps to add a plug-and-play quizzing platform for their users. 

In addition to improved engagement, the presence of games can be used to build meaningful user journeys and earn the trust of new users, fast-forwarding their cycle from explorers to buyers. For instance, achieving a certain score within a casual game on an e-commerce app could unlock exclusive vouchers, thereby driving sales through gaming.

Like it or hate it, just don’t ignore it

Gaming brings joy to more people around the world than any other form of entertainment. If a brand can associate itself with that joy by delivering its message at the right time, it could be a match made in heaven. More immersive games will open the possibility of more immersive advertising at scale. In fact, game designers have noted the increased interest from brands in this segment and planning branding spaces within the virtual worlds has become a crucial part of game development.

With games dominating such a large proportion of our downtime, in time digital natives will expect brands to have a presence within popular gaming ecosystems. If that’s where users are going to play, socialise, create, and eventually shop, it has to be a part of every savvy brand’s advertising mix!

The author is the co-founder of Gamezop

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First published on: 07-01-2023 at 09:32 IST
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