Brands using game advertising to reach diverse audiences finds IAB

Gai Le Roy, Chief Executive Officer at IAB Australia

In a marked shift from being used to reach niche, hard-to-reach audiences, the second wave of the 2022 IAB Australia Game Advertising State of the Nation report has found that media agencies now see game advertising as an opportunity to reach diverse audience groups.

The report, which was released at IAB Game Advertising Summit, revealed that 45% of respondents cited diversity of gaming audiences as a key driver for using game advertising. Previously, getting access to hard-to-reach audiences was the main driver for investment, now focus has shifted to the diversity of game audiences as one of the top key drivers.

What is the current games’ landscape in Australia?

Gai Le Roy, CEO of IAB Australia said: “There has been a shift in thinking in relation to game audiences over the last year with more agencies realising that Australia’s games landscape reaches a diverse, mainstream and inclusive audience of all ages, genders and backgrounds.”

“This has shifted planning away from traditional gaming which skewed young, single males into the mainstream to help brands reach a diverse audience and drive incremental reach.”

The report also found there has been a slight increase in the number of agencies considering different forms of game advertising regularly (from 20% in 2021 to 25% in 2022) but a third of agencies still have gaming in their experimentation bucket (32%). 38% have no expertise with this form of advertising, though the majority of these are looking to in the future.

The game advertising landscape and encompasses a myriad of different formats. It is no surprise that the most commonly used formats are ones that have been around for a while like streaming ads adjacent display and video, mobile game ads and live streaming video.

What are the inadequacies curtailing gaming ads?

However, there is strong appetite to try new formats including a great deal of curiosity about metaverse activations. Whilst only 8% of respondents had experience with metaverse activations or planning, a further 6 in 10 (59%) are hoping to experiment over the next year.

As seen in multiple IAB Australia research studies, there continues to be a lack of creative tailoring to suit the media environment, with only 17% always tailoring the creative for gaming environments and nearly 4 in 10 of the respondents (39%) rarely or never doing so.

The report was conducted in June 2022 by the IAB Game Advertising Working Group amongst 80 advertising decision makers working in agencies and brands with the experience of or intention to buy game advertising and marketing. The report compares results from wave 1 survey conducted in August 2021 (IAB Attitudes to Game Advertising Report 2021).

To help with education on game advertising and showcase best practice, the Game Advertising Working Group has released the first IAB Australia Game Advertising Handbook.

The Handbook looks at all forms of game advertising that occur in the game, around the game. It was made by Working Group member firms: Azerion, Digital Turbine, DoubleJump Communications, DoubleVerify, ESPN, Foxcatcher, Google, Group M, Howatson+Company, InMobi, Interplay Media, Magnite, Oracle, Samsung Ads, Twitch, Twitter, and Yahoo.