It set a record time when “Pokémon Go” rocketed its way to the top of the app stores in both Apple and Android. The augmented reality game where players walk around their neighborhood hunting virtual characters has garnered 65 million users in the US alone, in seven days! The game has already been touted as a great marketing tool for location-based marketing for brands and retailers. In India too, the rumor mill is already grinding that the game would work wonders for malls and offline businesses.
Pokémon Go’s creator, Niantic has announced that they are willing to create in-game advertising opportunities soon. This means that brands can have another way at catching the fancy of millions of consumers and secretly marketing their products while their audience is being entertained. Over the years, in-game has transformed into a proven method for brands for reaching to their consumers; so let’s take at look at the state of in-game advertising in India.
In-game advertising refers to advertising in computer and video games. It however, is the smallest yet the fastest growing segment in advertisement with the revenue to grow from $2.84bn to $4.75bn by 2019. There are reports pointing that India’s youth spends most of its time on mobile applications as compared to any other digital platform. It has also been found out that out of 131 million gamers in India, only 13% have made in-game purchases leaving advertisements as the major revenue source for developers.
The popularity of in-game advertising can be measured by the constant game launches by brands and films like Sultan, Fan, Baby, Mission Impossible, and Transformers. Some of the games that brands in India have launched recently are ‘Game Fuel’ by Mountain Dew, ‘Mafia Pursuit’ by Set Wet and ‘Twist, Lick, Dunk’ by Oreo. Brands prefer in-game ads compared to pop-up banner ads because they end up enhancing the game experience by being a part of the gaming universe without disturbing the flow. Brands have also regarded the fascinations of Indian audiences and developed cricket games like WCC2, and Power Cricket.
India, compared globally, in terms of in-game ads is still in a nascent stage in comparison with countries that have advanced ecosystems like Japan, US, UK and China, where the largest market of in-game advertising lies. But it is apparent that the rise in in-game advertisements is clearly visible, however slow it may be!
Author: Don Subba