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Why should brands care about gaming and the metaverse?

“It’s not just about exposure; it’s about engagement, innovation, and data-driven results”, says AdScholars’ Srikanth Rayaprolu

Buckle up because we’re about to dive into the exciting world of advertising in the Middle East, packed with facts and insights that will leave you ready to conquer the digital realm. Get ready for a data-driven journey through gaming, the metaverse, and why they’re the future for brands.

Let’s start with gaming. You might remember when we all thought gaming was just a pastime. Well, fast forward to today, and it’s a multi-billion-dollar industry with 150 million gamers in the Middle East alone. Yes, you read that right—150 million people gaming their hearts out.

So, why should brands care? Well, gaming is a goldmine for advertisers. In-game ads, sponsored content and virtual billboards are all the rage, with engagement levels that put traditional ads to shame.

Gamers are a captive audience, and brands are quickly realising that their products and messages can seamlessly integrate into the gaming experience. It’s a win-win.

Now, let’s dive into the metaverse. It may sound like science fiction, but it’s a very real digital universe. Imagine a place where you can be anyone or anything—a superhero, a wizard, even a talking pineapple.

Brands are rushing to stake their claim in this virtual wonderland, creating immersive experiences for their audiences.

Imagine slipping on a VR headset and exploring a virtual store, trying on clothes that exist only in the digital realm. Want to test drive a car? Just hop into a virtual Lamborghini and hit the gas. The metaverse is a playground for brands, offering limitless creative opportunities.

Srikanth Rayaprolu, CEO & Founder of AdScholars

A diverse audience

It’s a misconception that gaming is solely the domain of teen gamers. In reality, gaming transcends age boundaries, appealing to a diverse demographic.

Moms do comprise a significant portion of ‘Super Swipers’, totaling 659 million mothers globally aged 25-44, but they are not alone in this realm.

Professionals, from doctors to lawyers, find solace in virtual worlds as they seek relaxation and entertainment after a long day. Moreover, seniors are embracing gaming as a way to stay mentally active and socially connected.

This diversity showcases the universality of gaming’s appeal, making it a prime arena for brands to engage with a wide spectrum of consumers.

Why gaming and the metaverse?

Now, let’s get down to brass tacks. Why should brands shift their focus from social media to gaming and the metaverse?

Audience Engagement: Gamers are among the most engaged audiences out there. They spend hours immersed in virtual worlds, making them receptive to well-integrated ads. In fact, 85 per cent of Middle Eastern consumers embrace digital experiences.

Innovation: Gaming and the metaverse offer unparalleled creative freedom. Brands can craft unique experiences, from virtual showrooms to interactive events, leaving a lasting impression on their audience.

The decline of organic reach: Organic reach on social media is declining. Algorithms are constantly changing, making it harder for brands to connect with their audiences without paid promotion. In contrast, gaming and the metaverse offer more direct and immersive interactions.

Data and analytics: These platforms provide robust data and analytics, allowing brands to measure the impact of their campaigns accurately. You’ll have concrete numbers to back up your success.

Brand partnerships with game developers

Brands are already forging partnerships with game developers to tap into this thriving ecosystem.

Ralph Lauren is releasing content in Fortnite, McDonald’s collaborated with Overwatch 2, and household names like Kraft, Hershey, Frito-Lay, and M&Ms have launched campaigns on gaming platforms.

For instance, Kraft teamed up with Animal Crossing: New Horizons to create an in-game branded island, and Hershey’s crafted a virtual Easter egg hunt in Roblox. Frito-Lay even allowed gamers to redeem codes for in-game rewards.

PepsiCo’s partnership with EA highlights the brand’s expanding approach to gaming.

Luxury brands like Gucci, Prada, and Burberry have been venturing into Decentraland, a virtual world within the Metaverse. They’ve hosted virtual fashion shows, created digital clothing lines, and opened virtual stores.

Adding more to these brand partnerships are Nike’s Virtual Sneaker Drops, Budweiser’s Metaverse Pub, Louis Vuitton in League of Legends, Louis Vuitton in League of Legends and many more exciting brand partnerships in the gaming/metaverse has been increasing. 

What’s the takeaway?

In this ever-evolving world of advertising, the Middle East is a treasure trove of opportunities.

Gaming and the metaverse are the new frontiers where brands can create unforgettable experiences for their audience.

It’s not just about exposure; it’s about engagement, innovation, and data-driven results.

As for the future, it’s looking incredibly promising. With gaming and the metaverse taking centre stage, advertisers in the Middle East have the chance to revolutionise how they connect with their audience.

So, gear up for an advertising adventure like no other. The Middle East is where the magic happens, one pixel at a time.

By Srikanth Rayaprolu, CEO & Founder of AdScholars