Connect with us


In-game advertising: A marketer’s guide



In-game advertising: A marketer's guide

Video games aren’t just fun. They can be profitable for savvy advertisers looking to reach one of the most lucrative and elusive groups of consumers.

In-game advertising merges ads with the game environment seamlessly. Imagine seeing billboards while racing through the streets or branded in-game products you can purchase. These ads are more powerful and effective than in-app advertisements — those annoying pop-ups or banner ads you commonly see in mobile app games.

With nearly 3 billion games worldwide, in-game advertising can give brands incredible reach. From virtual billboards to branded experiences, video games have become a marketer’s paradise for reaching the coveted gaming demographic.

This guide covers the basics of in-game advertising, including common ad types, available targeting options, associated costs, challenges and best practices.

Types of in-game advertising

Before exploring how to take advantage of in-game advertisements, let’s review the most common types of game ads.

Static in-game advertising

These ads are directly hardcoded into the game. Since the ads can’t be changed and will exist in the game ad infinitum, rates are expensive and charged on a fixed-fee basis.

Dynamic in-game advertising

Dynamic ads can be replaced quickly and deployed instantly. These ads can appear in different places and formats (display and video ads are the most common). The 2008 billboards from Barack Obama in Need for Speed: Carbon are a great example of this ad format’s simple yet powerful use.

Sponsored game content involves integrating a brand or product into the actual game content, making it even more tangible and visible to the player and engaging them with the brand.

Dig deeper: PepsiCo’s strategies for marketing via online games and esports

KFC did this exceptionally well when it partnered with Nintendo to create a virtual island in the popular game Animal Crossing: New Horizons. The island was designed with KFC-themed items and decorations and even allowed players to win a voucher for chicken in real-life.


Rather than integrating the ads into an already existing game, advergames are games specifically designed to promote a brand or product. They provide a fun and engaging way to interact with a brand and can effectively build brand awareness and loyalty.

Chex Quest, made by Chex, was the first video game ever to be included in cereal boxes as a prize. It was a top-to-bottom conversion of the popular game Doom but adjusted it to be family-friendly. The game was a hit among consumers and even won several awards.

Activision Blizzard Media has recently created many Playables — branded stand-alone mobile app games.

Product placement

The classic advertisement method still works. Advertisers can put their products directly into video games to guarantee players see the brand and “use” the products.

I remember playing Mario Kart 8 on the Nintendo Wii and unlocking the Mercedes-Benz cars. This made the branded products more exclusive since they had to be earned.

Targeting options for in-game advertising

The other unique benefit of in-game advertisements are the targeting abilities. It starts with choosing the right game (or games). Advertisers can focus on consumers based on demographics, geolocation, device type or platforms. However, integrating these traditional targeting approaches with behavioral targeting makes in-game advertisements even more effective.

Behavior targeting uses the actions the player has taken (or has not taken) to create an ideal segment of users to reach. For example, an advertiser could target players who have demonstrated a willingness to open their wallets by spending money to buy items in a game — or players who have reached a certain level and are, therefore, more engaged.

Combining these different ways of targeting and deploying them across various games that reach consumers on multiple platforms (gaming consoles, computers and smartphones) makes in-game advertising extremely powerful. With abundant reach and powerful targeting, brands can build awareness, drive engagement and boost sales quickly and effectively.

How to buy in-game advertising

Getting started with in-game advertising will ultimately depend on the types of games you want to appear in and your budget. 

When selecting an approach to buying in-game advertising, consider the specific goals, budget and target audience of the campaign. 

Game publishers

  • Example: Activision Blizzard Media

You can work directly with game publishers to create custom ad campaigns within their games. This approach provides more control over the creative content and targeting and a deeper level of integration with the game environment. 

However, it can be more time-consuming and expensive than other options and may not offer as much scale or reach since it is limited to a single game.

In-game ad networks 

  • Examples: Admix, Unity Ads

Ad networks connect brands with multiple game publishers, providing access to a broader collection of games. They offer greater scale and reach and more efficient pricing and targeting options. 

The downside is that you have less control over the creative content and placement. Some ad networks are not as high-quality and have limited targeting options. 

Programmatic advertising platforms 

Programmatic platforms use data and algorithms to automate the buying and placement of in-game ads across multiple publishers and platforms. This approach can offer greater efficiency, scale and advanced targeting options based on user data and behavior. However, programmatic platforms may have less control over the creative content and placement and may require more technical expertise.

The costs of in-game advertising

How expensive are in-game ads? It depends, but it’s only going to get more expensive. In-game advertising pricing can vary based on several factors, including the type of game, ad format, targeting options and the size and scope of the campaign.

CPM pricing is the most common approach, and rates can vary widely based on factors like ad format and targeting. The average CPM for in-game display ads ranges from $10-20, with video ads from $15-30.

These numbers will vary dramatically depending on the audience, game, targeting and ad formats. For example, CPMS for in-game ads targeting Gen Z and Millennials were 30-50% higher than those targeting Gen X and Baby Boomers, according to an Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) study.

You can also expect CPMs to continue to rise with the growing popularity of games and the high demand to reach gamers who are otherwise difficult to reach. Other in-game ads follow a flat-rate pricing model, especially static ads or advergames.

Challenges and best practices

It’s all fun and games until your campaign stops performing well. In-game advertisements come with their own unique set of challenges — and fatigue is a real concern. 

  • Players can quickly become bored or annoyed by seeing the same ads repeatedly. Be sure to monitor frequency and refresh creative as often as possible.
  • Players will also be upset if ads are intrusive, distracting, or disrupt their gameplay in any way. This isn’t commonly an issue, but it’s an important consideration.

As with any advertising, targeting is critical. It’s best to use non-intrusive creative formats to engage users. If possible, rewarding users with in-game currency, items, or exclusive content can increase engagement rates and brand affinity. The aforementioned example of being able to earn Mercedes-Benz cars in Mario Kart is a simple but effective model of this in practice.

What’s in store for in-game advertising?

In-game advertising is a powerful way to reach a highly-engaged, lucrative and fast-growing audience. There is no shortage of different types of games and no reason not to try in-game advertising.

Mobile games and handheld gaming platforms like the Nintendo Switch make it even easier for brands to stay connected and engaged with users even more than ever before.

New technologies like virtual reality and the Metaverse will bring more gaming environments, unique experiences and even more diverse opportunities for advertisers to explore.

Get MarTech! Daily. Free. In your inbox.

Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily MarTech. Staff authors are listed here.

Source link

Keep an eye on what we are doing
Be the first to get latest updates and exclusive content straight to your email inbox.
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Invalid email address


Take back your ROI by owning your data



Treasure Data 800x450

Treasure Data 800x450

Other brands can copy your style, tone and strategy — but they can’t copy your data.

Your data is your competitive advantage in an environment where enterprises are working to grab market share by designing can’t-miss, always-on customer experiences. Your marketing tech stack enables those experiences. 

Join ActionIQ and Snowplow to learn the value of composing your stack – decoupling the data collection and activation layers to drive more intelligent targeting.

Register and attend “Maximizing Marketing ROI With a Composable Stack: Separating Reality from Fallacy,” presented by Snowplow and ActionIQ.

Click here to view more MarTech webinars.

About the author

Cynthia RamsaranCynthia Ramsaran

Cynthia Ramsaran is director of custom content at Third Door Media, publishers of Search Engine Land and MarTech. A multi-channel storyteller with over two decades of editorial/content marketing experience, Cynthia’s expertise spans the marketing, technology, finance, manufacturing and gaming industries. She was a writer/producer for and produced thought leadership for KPMG. Cynthia hails from Queens, NY and earned her Bachelor’s and MBA from St. John’s University.

Source link

Keep an eye on what we are doing
Be the first to get latest updates and exclusive content straight to your email inbox.
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Invalid email address
Continue Reading


Revolutionizing Auto Retail: The Game-Changing Partnership Between Amazon and Hyundai



Revolutionizing Auto Retail: The Game-Changing Partnership Between Amazon and Hyundai

Revolutionizing Auto Retail The Game Changing Partnership Between Amazon and Hyundai

In a groundbreaking alliance, Amazon and Hyundai have joined forces to reshape the automotive landscape, promising a revolutionary shift in how we buy, drive, and experience cars.

Imagine browsing for your dream car on Amazon, with the option to seamlessly purchase, pick up, or have it delivered—all within the familiar confines of the world’s largest online marketplace. Buckle up as we explore the potential impact of this monumental partnership and the transformation it heralds for the future of auto retail.

Driving Change Through Amazon’s Auto Revolution

Consider “Josh”, a tech-savvy professional with an affinity for efficiency. Faced with the tedious process of purchasing a new car, he stumbled upon Amazon’s automotive section. Intrigued by the prospect of a one-stop shopping experience, Josh decided to explore the Amazon-Hyundai collaboration.

The result?

A hassle-free online car purchase, personalized to his preferences, and delivered to his doorstep. Josh’s story is just a glimpse into the real-world impact of this game-changing partnership.

Bridging the Gap Between Convenience and Complexity

Traditional car buying is often marred by complexities, from navigating dealership lots to negotiating prices. The disconnect between the convenience consumers seek and the cumbersome process they endure has long been a pain point in the automotive industry. The need for a streamlined, customer-centric solution has never been more pressing.

1701235578 44 Revolutionizing Auto Retail The Game Changing Partnership Between Amazon and Hyundai1701235578 44 Revolutionizing Auto Retail The Game Changing Partnership Between Amazon and Hyundai

Ecommerce Partnership Reshaping Auto Retail Dynamics

Enter Amazon and Hyundai’s new strategic partnership coming in 2024—an innovative solution poised to redefine the car-buying experience. The trio of key developments—Amazon becoming a virtual showroom, Hyundai embracing AWS for a digital makeover, and the integration of Alexa into next-gen vehicles—addresses the pain points with a holistic approach.

In 2024, auto dealers for the first time will be able to sell vehicles in Amazon’s U.S. store, and Hyundai will be the first brand available for customers to purchase.

Amazon and Hyundai launch a broad, strategic partnership—including vehicle sales on in 2024 – Amazon Staff

This collaboration promises not just a transaction but a transformation in the way customers interact with, purchase, and engage with their vehicles.

Pedal to the Metal

Seamless Online Purchase:

  • Complete the entire transaction within the trusted Amazon platform.
  • Utilize familiar payment and financing options.
  • Opt for convenient pick-up or doorstep delivery.
Ecommerce CertificationEcommerce Certification

Become A Certified E-Commerce Marketing Master

The Industry’s Most Comprehensive E-Commerce Marketing Certification For The Modern Marketer. Turn Products Into Profit, Browsers Into Buyers, & Past Purchasers Into Life-Long Customers

Click here

Hyundai’s Cloud-First Transformation:

  • Experience a data-driven organization powered by AWS.
  • Benefit from enhanced production optimization, cost reduction, and improved security.

Alexa Integration in Next-Gen Vehicles:

  • Enjoy a hands-free, voice-controlled experience in Hyundai vehicles.
  • Access music, podcasts, reminders, and smart home controls effortlessly.
  • Stay connected with up-to-date traffic and weather information.

Driving into the Future

The Amazon-Hyundai collaboration is not just a partnership; it’s a revolution in motion. As we witness the fusion of e-commerce giant Amazon with automotive prowess of Hyundai, the potential impact on customer behavior is staggering.

The age-old challenges of car buying are met with a forward-thinking, customer-centric solution, paving the way for a new era in auto retail. From the comfort of your home to the driver’s seat, this partnership is set to redefine every step of the journey, promising a future where buying a car is as easy as ordering a package online.

Embrace the change, and witness the evolution of auto retail unfold before your eyes.

Revolutionizing Auto Retail The Game Changing Partnership Between Amazon and Hyundai

Source link

Keep an eye on what we are doing
Be the first to get latest updates and exclusive content straight to your email inbox.
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Invalid email address
Continue Reading


How to Schedule Ad Customizers for Google RSAs [2024]



How to Schedule Ad Customizers for Google RSAs [2024]

It’s no wonder that responsive search ads have steadily grown in popularity in recent years. Through Google’s machine learning capabilities, RSAs provide a powerful way to automate the testing of multiple headlines and descriptions to ensure a closer match to user intent. The benefits are clear: RSAs mean broader reach, better engagement, and improved performance metrics.

However, all these benefits come at a significant (but reasonable) cost – they can be extremely difficult to manage, especially when it comes to updating ad copy to promote limited time offers.

I know this firsthand – I work with several ecommerce clients with promotions that constantly change. Not too long ago, I found myself going through the consistently tedious process of updating a client’s RSA headlines and copy. As I was making the changes, I thought to myself: “There must be a better way to update this ad copy. I shouldn’t have to use find and replace so many times while pausing and enabling my ad campaigns.”

After expressing this to my colleague, Jordan Stambaugh, the two of us agreed there must be a better way. But we’d have to make it happen. A few weeks later, we put that idea into action and created a more efficient process for updating RSA ad copy on a scheduled basis. If you want to try this process for yourself, just keep reading.

Responsive Search Ad Customizers 101: Basic Options & Execution

Before diving into the process of scheduling automatic updates for your RSA customizers, it’s essential to understand some key Responsive Search Ad fundamentals.

First, you can customize three main options within RSAs: the Attribute Name, the Data Type, and the Account Value. Each of these plays a vital role in personalizing your ads:

  • Attribute Name: This is essentially the identifier for the customizer. It is how you’ll reference the specific piece of information you’re customizing within the ad. For instance, if you’re running a promotion, you might name an attribute “Promotion.”
  • Data Type: This indicates the kind of data the attribute represents and it determines how the information can be formatted and used within the ad. Common data types include Text (for plain, non-numeric text), Percent (to represent percentage discounts), Price (to denote monetary values), and Number (for any numerical value).
  • Account Value: This is the default value for the attribute that you set at the account level. It acts as a fallback if more specific values aren’t provided at the campaign or ad group level.

For example, if you wanted to promote a 10% off discount using RSAs, you’d use the “Discount” attribute, a data type of “Percent,” and an account value of “10% off.” Then, when someone is searching for products, Google would test automatically inserting a copy regarding a 10% off promotion into your ad.

Once you’ve set up the right customization options, you can start to format your RSAs with customizers.

Here’s how:

  • Start by typing in {
  • Click on Ad Customizer then select your attribute
  • Google will populate your attributes that are already uploaded
  • For a simple offer, use the “Default text” attribute as a catch-all. This will ensure your ads run smoothly if Google can’t pull the right messaging from your RSA feed



How to Schedule Your Ad Customizers with a Feed

Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s cover how to schedule your ad customizers.

Just follow this three step process:

1. Create the feed

Start by creating two sheets: The Parent sheet, and the Child sheet. The “Parent” sheet will act as the primary data source, while the child sheet will pull data from the parent sheet.

We’ll start by building the parent sheet. After opening the sheet, start by renaming the active tab to “Promotions.” Don’t skip this step, it’s crucial for referencing this range in formulas later on.

In your “Promotions” tab, head to the top row and label columns A, B, and C with the headers of your ad customizer attributes. For example, you might have “BrandSaleHeadline” as your attribute in column A, “text” as the Data Type in column B, and “Shop the Collection” as the Account Value in column C.

Once your headers are in place, move to cell C2. Here, you’ll input the expression =lookup(today(),F:G,E:E). This formula will play a key role in dynamically updating your RSA customizer based on the current date.

Next, go to columns E, F, and G, which will be used to manage your scheduling. In these columns, you’ll list out the different values your chosen attribute might take, alongside their corresponding start and end dates. For example, under the “BrandSaleHeadline” attribute, you might schedule various promotional headlines to appear during different sale periods throughout the year.

Here’s how your sheet might look:

Now look back at the first 3 columns on your sheet. They should look like this:

Now create a second sheet. We’ll call this sheet the Child sheet. It’s going to automatically pull in data from the parent sheet you just created, and will be the one you link to Google Ads later on.

Columns A, B and C will be almost identical to the child sheet, but we will be using a special formula later so we can automatically populate this. So, start by labeling Row 1 Column A “Attribute,” then the next column as “Data type,” then column C as “Account value.” 

Then go to C2 and use this expression to populate the right account value from the parent document: =importrange(“[PARENT DOCUMENT URL HERE]”,”Promotions!C2″)

Your sheet should now look like this:

We recommend adding a date range with default text for any days you’re  not running a promotion. In the example above, we have “Shop Our Collection” appearing as default text.

2. Input attributes

Once you have your feed created, the next step involves inputting your attributes into the Google Ads platform. This can be done either manually or through a bulk upload.

For the manual approach, navigate to “Tools & Settings” in your Google Ads interface, then go to ‘Setup’ followed by “Business Data.” Here, you’ll find an option for “Ad Customizer Attributes.” Click the plus sign to add your attributes. It’s crucial to use the same attribute names that you’ve established in your Parent Google Sheet template to ensure consistency and proper data synchronization.



Alternatively, if you prefer the bulk upload method, again head to “Tools & Settings.” This time, select “Bulk Actions” and then “Uploads.” For this process, you only need to upload columns A to C from your template. 

Be aware that it might take some time for your uploaded attributes to be reflected in the business data section of Google Ads.

3. Set up an automatic schedule

At this point, you’ve almost finished scheduling your ad customizers. Navigate to Tools & Settings, then Bulk Actions, then Uploads, then click the Schedules tab at the top. Select your Child Google Sheet as the data source, and share your Google Sheet with the appropriate email.



And there you have it – Google will automatically pull in the data you populated in the sheets into your RSAs.

Common Challenges When Scheduling RSA Ad Customizers

When we test these sheets with our clients in the wild, we’ve uncovered five common challenges. Be on the lookout for these issues – solving them before they happen can save you a lot of trouble down the line.

Not scheduling your upload when the site changes 

The first and most significant hurdle is the mismatch between the scheduled data upload and website content updates. For instance, if the Google Sheet is set to upload at 11 am, but the website changes occur at 3 pm, there’s going to be a discrepancy where the wrong message could be displayed for several hours, or new messaging could appear prematurely. Conversely, if the website updates happen before the scheduled sheet upload, outdated promotions might linger until the new data is imported. Synchronizing these schedules is crucial; it’s best to align them so updates occur simultaneously.

Skipping QA during a message change

Another pitfall is neglecting quality assurance (QA) during message updates. It’s vital to regularly check the business data section to verify that the correct values are in place post-update.

Issues with the IMPORTRANGE function

Then there’s the technical aspect of setting up the IMPORTRANGE function correctly in the Google Sheets template. The ‘child’ template must reliably pull data from the ‘parent’ sheet. If this function isn’t configured correctly, data won’t be imported as needed.

Not sharing access of the Google template for automatic uploads

Pay attention to your access permissions for the Google Sheets template. Google will prompt you with the email address that needs permission to access the ‘child’ sheet for automatic uploads. Overlooking the sharing of your sheet with this address will prevent the system from working.

Having date range gaps in your parent sheet

Lastly, a common oversight is leaving date range gaps in the ‘parent’ sheet. Every single date must be accounted for without overlaps. A practical tip is to have an ‘evergreen’ backup message ready, scheduled to run continuously, ideally through the end of the year, to cover any potential gaps.


Leveraging Google Sheets in conjunction with Google Ads to schedule RSA ad customizers is a game-changer for managing dynamic promotional content. This process not only streamlines your workflows but also ensures that your ads remain relevant and up-to-date, reflecting current promotions without the need for constant manual intervention. 

By adopting this method, you’ll save significant time and effort, allowing you to focus more on strategy and less on the minutiae of ad copy updates. Give it a try and experience a more efficient way to manage your RSAs, keeping your campaigns fresh and engaging with minimal hassle.

Source link

Keep an eye on what we are doing
Be the first to get latest updates and exclusive content straight to your email inbox.
We promise not to spam you. You can unsubscribe at any time.
Invalid email address
Continue Reading