Of the wide economic disruption caused by the pandemic, the global gaming industry is thriving. With people sheltering at home, gaming is surging. Nielsen survey reveals that 82% of global consumers played video games and watched video game content.
The global video game market is estimated to be worth $159 billion in 2020. However, marketers are facing a distinctive challenge of activating in an environment different from traditional media. Recently concluded weeklong NewsFronts presentation discussed marketers’ approach towards the growing gaming and esports industry.
Esports has gained momentum due to the tech-savvy and digitally-advanced millennials. Currently, it is very popular and is the new epicenter.
How To Activate And Maximize Brand Visibility?
Gaming is a fragmented market. Marketers can approach in different ways to tap into the competitive industry by partnering with influencers, buying on platforms, or directly going to gaming publishers.
As per Adweek reports, Douglas Veney, influencer and esports marketing manager at Nestlé, said they have partnered with influencers to drive engagement with fans.
“We can really take it from the influencer level and then build upon that approach to move into … more platform level things that are a little bit deeper down the funnel for that.”
Contradictory, the Hershey company finds influencer marketing space is highly crowded and is hard to attract attention. Another challenge for the company is to find a cost-effective strategy to run an always-on campaign in the gaming space since a similar gaming audience can be found on YouTube at a lower cost.
Another interesting case to study is on Horizon Media’s Scout Sports and Entertainment group partnered with esports team FaZe Clan who helped Burger King introduce its new plant-based burger to a young audience with its three-step approach.
The holistic three-step approach – a YouTube taste-test video, followed by a Fortnite live stream where Burger King discounts were offered, and a meet-and-greet at a local Burger King restaurant.
Nico Amantia, senior account executive at Scout Sports and Entertainment told Adweek,
“That holistic, three-pronged activation allowed us to spread awareness digitally, but also have that face-to-face interaction with fans and really give them something back, which really allowed us to have a very successful campaign.”
Understand Its Implication:
One thing is clear that gaming and esports are an upward trend with a massive audience reach. According to eMarketer, 2020 U.S. gaming ad revenues are expected to reach $3.67 billion, and esports ad revenues are estimated to reach $214 million.
Although it is watched in a TV-like environment, it cannot expect the same response from a 15 min pre-rolled ads in the gaming world. David Messinger, CMO of Activision Blizzard quoted in Adweek,
“The major mistake that people make is to take the assumptions about other forms of media and try to take it into the world of gaming,”
Marketers should look to a long-term transformation -take time, approach things properly, and build on the bets to reap the benefits as gaming and esports ads are still in the nascent stage.
Messinger further added,
“Someone who comes in and starts today may feel like they’re behind, but they’re really at the beginning of what the future is going to be.”