Digital Essays 2023: Interactive ad formats in mobile gaming

Remember the days when playing a game meant battling pixelated aliens in your parent’s basement, living on a diet of pizza and soda?

Well, say hello to the future of gaming, where advertising is cleverly woven into the fabric of your gaming experience, creating a win-win for brands and gamers alike.

In this article, we’ll embark on a journey into the world of interactive ad formats in mobile gaming – a space where marketing meets entertainment, with a sprinkle of humour and a dash of insight.

The mobile gaming revolution

Mobile gaming is no longer just a leisurely pursuit; it’s a multi-billion-dollar industry, and brands have taken notice. With a user base that rivals the population of some small countries, mobile gaming has transformed into an advertising goldmine.

However, in the quest for user engagement, advertisers have had to innovate and adapt.

Enter interactive ad formats, the dynamic duo of digital advertising. These innovative formats include mini-games, playable ads, surveys and quizzes – turning mobile gaming into an engaging ad playground. Forget passive observation; it’s time to let users get in on the fun.

Playable ads: advertisements with a game plan

Playable ads are the rockstars of interactive advertising, and for good reason. They’re like a sneak peek of the advertised game, letting players test-drive the experience.

Think of them as the “try before you buy” option for gaming. They empower users to make informed decisions, so they don’t end up with a lemon of a game.

At the heart of interactive ad formats is gamification. It’s the art of turning ads into mini-games, rewarding players for their participation.

Completing a quiz, watching a short ad, or taking a survey could mean in-game currency, power-ups, or exclusive content. It’s like turning ads into a treasure hunt, where everyone wins.

Brands that nailed it: the innovation pioneers

In the world of interactive mobile gaming ads, some brands have embraced innovation wholeheartedly. They’ve transformed their ads into memorable experiences, proving that creativity and user engagement go hand in hand.

For instance, KFC created a gamified ad where players could build their own virtual burger tower, a quirky and finger-lickin’ good way to engage users. Burger King, not to be outdone, let players navigate through mazes to reach the Whopper.

These brands have cracked the code to making ads that players actually look forward to.

But here’s the real deal: interactive ad formats aren’t just about winning awards for creativity. They’re about grabbing user attention in a world where distractions lurk around every corner.

It’s like competing in the Olympics of advertising, where gold medals translate into user loyalty and brand recognition.

The real magic of interactive ad formats is how they enhance the user experience. Unlike those intrusive pop-ups that make gamers rage-quit, interactive ads blend seamlessly into the gaming environment.

Players willingly engage with these ads because they add value to their experience. It’s like finding a hidden gem while exploring a virtual world.

Interactive ad formats also offer a treasure trove of data for adtech professionals. By analysing user interactions and responses, brands can fine-tune their targeting strategies.

It’s like having a magic crystal ball that shows you exactly where to aim your advertising arrows. No more guesswork; it’s all about precision.

The future of user engagement: A playground of possibilities

The marriage of mobile gaming and interactive ad formats isn’t a fling; it’s a long-term commitment.

As the mobile gaming industry continues to expand, adtech experts anticipate interactive ad formats taking centre stage, harmonising the relationship between gaming and advertising.

It’s like a perfect symphony, where brands and gamers play in harmony, and everyone leaves the stage with a standing ovation.

In a world where traditional advertising can feel like an uninvited guest at a party, interactive ad formats are the life of the party. They’re reshaping the dynamics of user engagement and conveying brand messages in ways that don’t just win awards but also win over the hearts and minds of gamers.

So, dear brands, it’s time to level up your advertising game and embrace the fun side of advertising. Your users will thank you, and your competition will wonder how you managed to turn ads into a part of the game.

Cheers to the future of user engagement, where ads are a source of entertainment, not annoyance.

By Satheesh Kumar, Managing Director – Adscholars