Advertising In Games and How to Use It

Can you imagine that the first video games were made 50 years ago? One thing is certain: video games have changed a lot since then. The old arcade games and early gaming consoles feel distant because today’s gaming technologies put players right into exciting gaming worlds.

Nowadays, gamers are pretty much like regular consumers, so advertisers should take notice. 

So what is ads in games? Let’s dive in!

Putting ads in video games, which is called in-game advertising, lets you connect with a big and enthusiastic group of people. This growing trend shows that there’s a great chance to reach interested audiences through video game ads

Exploring In-Game Ads: What They Are and Why They Matter

In-game advertising has emerged as a savvy strategy game developers employ to bolster the earnings of their creations. This innovative approach involves presenting ads within the context of mobile games, enabling game developers to generate revenue. Interestingly, a substantial 73% of gamers today express contentment with the prevalence of ads video games, highlighting the acceptance and effectiveness of this monetization model.

Among the various advertising methods, the ones that yield the most impressive results and offer the highest earning potential are seamlessly woven into the gameplay itself. These ads are thoughtfully integrated into the gaming experience, enhancing both the entertainment value and the in-game economy. When advertisements become an intrinsic component of the user’s interaction with the game, they have the capacity to enhance overall engagement and contribute to higher rates of player retention.

As the gaming landscape continues to evolve, many diverse mobile game advertising strategies and formats have emerged, providing developers with an array of options to integrate into their games. However, before delving further, let’s examine why you should consider implementing in-game ads. 

Game On: The Why Behind In-Game Advertising Investments 

In-game advertising brings a lot of value to your marketing strategy! To begin with, this advertising approach can significantly enhance your brand’s visibility, especially in advertising spaces where competition remains limited.

Furthermore, opting for the right in-game advertising format can set your brand apart from competitors and allow you to connect with a highly specific target audience.

Moreover, investing in in-game advertising empowers you to refine your ads in real time. The available customization features present splendid opportunities for your brand, particularly if your aim is to craft tailor-made advertising messages.

And that’s not all—leveraging in-game advertising can serve as an excellent method to gather incredibly precise data and enrich your understanding of customers. You can delve into insights such as the typical gamer profile and the amount of time your audience dedicates to gaming. This knowledge empowers you to enhance your key messages continually.

Generate more mobile game ad revenue Regrettably, most gamers do not pay to access games. However, there’s a silver lining: mobile game advertising offers an excellent monetization approach that developers can employ alongside in-app purchases. When implemented effectively, games with strategically placed ads have the potential to achieve remarkable results, with eCPMs ranging from $50 to $100 through the utilization of mobile game advertising.
Increase in-app purchases When in-game ads are combined with a well-thought-out mobile game strategy, they can effectively amplify in-app purchases by a remarkable factor of 6. Specifically, ad units that seamlessly integrate into your in-game economy, such as rewarded video ads, provide users with a preview of the in-app purchases (IAPs) you provide. This demonstration showcases the worth of in-game items and encourages users to eventually opt for IAPs rather than continuing to interact primarily with the rewarded video ads.
Enhance the user experience Integrating ad units into your game loop enhances the user experience significantly. For instance, you have the opportunity to provide users with complimentary rewards, such as coins, in exchange for engaging with ads at designated moments within the game. Interestingly, a substantial 71% of gamers have expressed that watching video ads represents their favored method of ‘paying’ for in-game content.
Boost game engagement and retention Employing mobile game ads as a retention strategy can effectively entice users to return to your game. By offering rewards in exchange for ad engagement, you create an incentive for sustained interaction. Additionally, ads can serve as engagement catalysts by prompting users to interact with a rewarded ad unit that provides them with precisely the number of coins required to continue their gameplay.

Static In-Game Advertising: Merging Reality and Play

In the world of gaming, where creativity and innovation reign supreme, one advertising technique stands out for its seamless integration and unobtrusive presence: Static In-Game Advertising. This strategy ingeniously blends the virtual realm of games with real-world brands, delivering a unique opportunity to connect with players in a meaningful way.

Defining Static In-Game Advertising:

Static In-Game Advertising refers to the art of placing branded visuals within the gaming environment. These visuals could be anything from billboards on a virtual city street to posters adorning the walls of an in-game café. Unlike dynamic ads that change in real-time, static ads remain fixed within the game’s context, preserving the immersive experience while subtly introducing real-world elements.

How Does It Work?

The integration of static ads into a game involves meticulous alignment with the game’s theme, setting, and atmosphere. By mirroring the aesthetics of the game world, static ads seamlessly blend into the environment, creating an organic look and feel. This approach ensures that players do not feel interrupted or taken out of the gaming experience.

The Benefits of Static In-Game Advertising:

Authenticity: Static in game ads enhance realism by mimicking real-world advertising. This authenticity resonates with players, as the virtual world mirrors their own surroundings.

Subtle Brand Exposure: By fitting naturally into the game environment, static ads avoid disrupting gameplay. This subtlety enables prolonged exposure without frustrating players.

Enhanced Engagement: When ads are integrated into the game world, players are more likely to notice them as part of the environment. This can lead to higher engagement rates compared to traditional advertising methods.

Immersive Experience: Players are more likely to stay immersed in the game world when ads seamlessly fit in. This aids in fostering a positive user experience.

Targeted advertising games: Developers can tailor static ads to specific game demographics, ensuring the ads resonate with the right audience.

Dynamic In-Game Advertising: Transforming Gameplay with Real-Time Engagement

In the dynamic world of gaming, where every action leads to an exciting reaction, Dynamic In-Game Advertising takes center stage as a cutting-edge strategy that seamlessly integrates advertising into the heart of the gaming experience.

Defining Dynamic In-Game Advertising:

Dynamic In-Game Advertising involves the integration of real-time, changeable ads within the gaming environment. Unlike static ads, which remain fixed, dynamic ads adapt and evolve as the game progresses, offering a fluid and evolving connection between players and brands.

How Does It Work?

Dynamic ads are strategically placed within a game and then modified in real-time to align with the game’s narrative, setting, and user interactions. These ads can change content, appearance, and even interaction methods to enhance engagement without disrupting gameplay.

The Benefits of Dynamic In-Game Advertising:

Real-Time Relevance: Dynamic ads adapt to the context of the game, ensuring that players encounter ads that are timely and contextually relevant. This enhances player engagement and brand recall.

Personalized Interaction: Through data analysis and real-time adjustments, dynamic ads can be tailored to individual player behaviors, preferences, and in-game decisions, resulting in a personalized advertising experience.

Interactive Engagement: Some dynamic ads allow players to interact directly with the brand, leading to a deeper level of engagement and potentially even in-game rewards.

Enhanced Immersion: When ads evolve and adapt alongside the game world, they contribute to the immersive experience, further blurring the line between the virtual and real worlds.

Data-Driven Insights: The real-time nature of dynamic ads allows for continuous tracking and analysis, providing valuable insights into player interactions, preferences, and behaviors.

Static vs Dynamic Conclusions

Static In-Game Advertising is an artful fusion of reality and virtual play. It has emerged as an innovative way for brands to authentically connect with gamers, all while maintaining the integrity of the gaming experience. This unobtrusive approach, when executed skillfully, benefits both players and advertisers by creating a win-win situation in the gaming arena. 

Dynamic In-Game Advertising is a game-changer that elevates the player-brand interaction to new heights. By embracing real-time changes and interactive elements, this strategy transforms advertisements from interruptions into engaging components of the gameplay. When executed thoughtfully, dynamic ads can enhance the gaming experience while providing brands with an innovative avenue to connect with their target audience.

Innovative Routes: Navigating Through In-Game Advertising Varieties

Native ads within the gaming world blend seamlessly with the game’s aesthetics and environment. These ads mirror the look and feel of the game, making them appear as if they are an inherent part of the virtual universe. This integration ensures that players encounter the ads without disrupting their gameplay immersion. Native ads can take the form of in-game billboards, posters, or even virtual storefronts, enriching the in-game experience while subtly introducing real-world branding.

Video Ads are a dynamic way to engage gamers by immersing them in short, captivating clips. These ads in video games can be presented as part of the gameplay or during natural breaks in the action. Often, they offer rewards for watching, such as in-game currency or power-ups. Video ads provide an opportunity for brands to showcase their products, services, or messages in a visually compelling format that resonates with the gaming audience.

Audio Ads: Audio ads utilize sound to connect with players. These ads can be seamlessly integrated into the game’s audio environment, such as through in-game radio broadcasts, character dialogue, or background soundscapes. By engaging players through their auditory senses, audio ads create a memorable and immersive brand experience within the gaming world.

In-Game Product Placement involves incorporating real-world products into the gameplay environment. Product placement in video games can range from featuring a popular soft drink in a virtual vending machine to showcasing a branded vehicle as part of the game’s scenery. By strategically placing products within the game world, advertisers create a subtle yet impactful connection with players.

Advergames are games created primarily for advertising purposes. They revolve around the brand’s message or product, offering players an entertaining experience that reinforces brand awareness. Advergames can be standalone games or integrated into existing games, providing players with an interactive and engaging way to interact with a brand.

In-Game Sponsorship involves brands partnering with game developers to influence elements of the game. This could include naming rights for in-game locations or events, character costumes inspired by the brand, or even special missions centered around the brand’s themes. In-game sponsorship allows brands to be an integral part of the gaming experience, creating a lasting impression on players.

Each of these types of in-game advertising offers a unique approach to connecting with players, catering to different preferences and interaction styles within the gaming community. The effectiveness of each type often depends on the game’s genre, target audience, and the desired level of engagement and immersion.

Mastering Engagement: The Most Effective Advertising Formats in Video Games

Playable Ads revolutionize engagement by allowing players to interact with a mini-version of the game before downloading or installing it. These ads provide a sneak peek into the gameplay mechanics, graphics, and overall experience, giving players a taste of what’s in store. By immersing users directly into the game’s mechanics, playable ads not only offer a memorable brand experience but also increase the likelihood of downloads and conversions due to the hands-on engagement.

Cross Platform Video Ads take advantage of the interconnected nature of modern gaming by extending video ads across various platforms. This strategy ensures that players encounter consistent branding and messaging whether they’re gaming on a console, PC, or mobile device. This synchronized approach enhances brand recall and awareness, reinforcing the connection between the advertised content and the gaming experience, regardless of the platform.

Video with a Reward provides players with a tangible incentive for engaging with the advertisement. This incentive could be in the form of in-game currency, power-ups, or exclusive content. By offering a direct benefit to players, video ads become a seamless part of the gameplay experience. Players willingly watch these ads to gain something valuable, creating a mutually beneficial interaction that enhances brand engagement and leaves a positive impression.

Each of these advertising formats brings a unique dynamic to video game advertising. Playable ads provide interactivity, cross-platform video ads create a cohesive branding experience, and video ads with rewards offer a direct value proposition for players. Depending on the specific goals and target audience, game developers and advertisers can strategically choose the most effective format to optimize engagement and drive desired outcomes.

Attracting and Engaging with Dynamic Gaming Communities

Attracting and engaging players requires a blend of strategic finesse and authentic connection. Let’s take a quick look at potential ways to maximize your presence within these thriving gaming communities

Targeting a Diverse Gamer Audience

Gone are the days of a one-size-fits-all approach to gamers. The gaming community boasts a rich tapestry of demographics, making it a diverse landscape to navigate. Recent studies from 2021 revealed that 55% of gamers identified as male, while 45% identified as female. Furthermore, gamers span multiple generations in terms of age, as per findings from Anzu’s Q4 2021 report. This diversity is reflected not only in demographics but also in consumer behavior. Professionals seeking the latest tech, parents looking for back-to-school deals—gamers encompass an array of interests and purchase intentions.

Foster Brand Awareness with In-Game Ads

In-game advertising introduces your brand to the gaming world in an organic, non-intrusive manner. The beauty lies in connecting with a captivated audience that remains deeply engrossed in the gaming experience. This heightened engagement translates into increased brand recall and awareness. The benefits of building brand awareness are manifold—it broadens your audience, boosts website traffic, enhances brand affinity, and propels consumers further along the purchasing journey.

Engage with Influential Gamers

Gamers are not just players; they are opinion leaders and trendsetters. According to Anzu’s research, 51% of gamers offer advice to others, while 47% possess the power to influence their peers. Furthermore, 46% of gamers are enthusiastic about staying at the forefront of emerging trends, be it tech innovations or the latest fashion trends. Capitalizing on in-game advertising offers access to this influential demographic within the burgeoning gaming sector. This audience possesses significant purchasing power; those who invest over 10 hours weekly in gaming enjoy twice the disposable income of their non-gaming counterparts.

Programmatic Advertising in Gaming

In-game advertising opens doors to testing innovative ad formats exclusive to the gaming environment. The opportunity also arises to tap into new audiences through emerging technologies. Success in this realm hinges on optimizing ads to harmonize with the gaming landscape, thereby maximizing exposure and captivating user attention. Crafting creatives tailored to the in-game context ensures that messaging seamlessly integrates into the player’s virtual experience. This approach harnesses the potential of programmatic advertising in video games strategies and offers brands a gateway to the dynamic world of gaming.

Strategic Blending: Unpacking 4 Techniques for Elevated In-Game Advertising Engagement

Implementing the right strategy is vital, so let’s take a closer look at our top four methods for in-game advertising fusion, designed to level up engagement and redefine how brands connect with gamers.

1. Blended In-Game Ads for Amplified Brand Awareness

Leverage the potency of blended in-game ads to bolster your brand awareness strategy. Launch a comprehensive brand awareness campaign across multiple devices and platforms. This can manifest as a standalone in-game campaign or as a multi-channel endeavor. Make the most of the highly visible ad slots within engaging games to prominently showcase your messaging to a broad audience.

2. Quantify Awareness Through Brand Lift Measurement

Harness the efficacy of brand lift studies to gauge the impact of your campaigns across the programmatic spectrum. Typically illuminating consumer sentiment and brand affinity among those exposed to your media, these studies offer an insightful snapshot. Forge a brand-awareness-focused blended in-game campaign by initiating a survey through an additional display advertising initiative. This campaign taps into similar targeting strategies and measures brand lift outcomes derived from its ads.

This strategic approach enables you to interact with users via a controlled survey, generating performance data concerning crucial factors like brand perception, preference, and ad recall. Running a brand lift study concurrently with your blended in-game advertising endeavors furnishes a framework for assessing ad effectiveness. Subsequent campaigns can then be optimized using these illuminating insights.

3. Retargeting Impressions for Incremental Reach

Capitalizing on blended in-game brand awareness campaigns grants you access to a fresh audience via this novel inventory. This newfound potential can be harnessed through retargeting efforts, guiding users down the conversion path or toward your desired action. Implementing an impression tracker within your blended in-game ads facilitates retargeting across different channels such as native, display, video, connected TV (CTV), and audio. This facilitates optimization across channels, driving this new audience segment toward the desired next steps.

4. Genre-Centric Targeting via In-Game Ads

While deploying blended in-game inventory across various devices and platforms achieves scale and performance, supplementing this approach with targeted game genre tactics can be strategic. Running a parallel tactic that homes in on a specific game genre offer a means to discern performance variations and allocate budget deliberately to specific game types.

Employing your programmatic platform, you can seamlessly execute this strategy alongside your broader targeting approach. By gauging the performance within specific, contextually relevant games—such as sports or adventure categories—you gain insights into the effectiveness of your brand awareness ads within distinct gaming contexts. This tactic gains potency when paired with subsequent retargeting efforts across diverse channels.

Mastering the Details: What Not to Overlook in In-Game Advertising


Get Ahead with Early Monetization Tactics Don’t postpone monetization as an afterthought. Consider mobile game monetization during the game’s design phase. By doing so, you can seamlessly integrate ad units into the game loop, enhancing ad engagement and maximizing potential in-game advertising revenue.
Elevate Ad Performance: A/B Test and Experiment with Placements Constantly evolving your ad strategy is essential to strike the right balance between user experience and mobile game ad revenue. Pay close attention to factors like placement, frequency, and capping. Experiment with diverse ad units to optimize results. With ironSource’s game advertising network, you gain access to tools that empower you to fine-tune your strategy effectively.
Strategic Ad Unit Selection for Your Game Various ad units cater to different game genres. For instance, offerwalls align well with strategy games, whereas rewarded videos seamlessly integrate with match-3 and puzzle games. Assess and choose the ad units that align most effectively with the nature of your game.
Segmenting Users for Targeted Success Leverage segments to customize the ad experience based on user profiles. For instance, you can reduce ad frequency for users regularly making in-app purchases, or strategically display ads within the initial 3 minutes for users with short gaming sessions of 5 minutes.


Summing Up 

Leveraging different types of in-game ads, such as native ads, video ads, audio ads, in-game product placements, and advergames, enables brands to connect with a diverse gaming audience and drive brand awareness.

The best in game advertising strategies utilize early monetization tactics, A/B testing, and targeted ad unit selection to optimize ad performance and deliver meaningful connections with the gaming community, ultimately leading to superior results and returns on investment for advertisers.

With expertise in dynamic and static in-game advertising, a trustable development company can ensure an immersive and authentic gaming experience, enhancing brand awareness and engagement.

Elevate Your Brand with Expert In-Game Advertising: Slavna Game Studio As a Partner

In-game advertising can significantly enhance your brand’s visibility, especially in spaces with limited advertising competition. By adopting the right in-game advertising format, you can set your brand apart and connect with a highly specific target audience. The Slavna game studio’s expertise allows you to refine your ads in real-time, ensuring tailor-made advertising messages that resonate with your audience.

Moreover, our experts offer a unique opportunity to gather precise data and understand your customers better. You can gain insights into the typical gamer profile and the time they dedicate to gaming, which can help you enhance your key messages continually.

Slavna Game Studio also knows how to maximize mobile game ad revenue by combining in-game ads with a well-thought-out mobile game strategy. By effectively integrating ad units into the game loop, we enhance the user experience and boost engagement and retention rates. 

With the suitable implementation of advertising, our team ensures an immersive gaming experience while effectively integrating real-world brands or real-time ads that adapt to the game’s narrative and setting.

Contact us if you’re ready to transform your gaming experience into a powerhouse of engagement and brand awareness.

And let the Big Game begin!