Video games have been a popular way to escape reality for years. All age groups and all demographics find value in connecting with their friends, challenging themselves to win new levels, and learning new skills.
Video games are being used in a completely new way today than they were 30 years ago. People aren’t just playing; they’re also escaping their real lives into virtual worlds, where they can make virtual friends and build virtual businesses.
During the pandemic, people’s “escaping from a life of physical” behavior and thirst for escape only grew.
Nielsen discovered that 82% of global gamers played video games or watched gaming-related content in the height of COVID-19 lockdowns. Global gaming revenue topped $174.9 billion by 2020. You might be able to strike it rich if you are able to properly leverage this space for your brand.
The Rise of Interactive Gaming Experiences
Gaming was once considered a niche market. But that is no longer true. According to the 2020 Gamer Segmentation Report by The NPD Group, 244 million Americans are avid gamers. This is a 3 out 4 figure, an increase of 32 million since 2018. Gaming is growing at an unprecedented rate: Nearly one-third of gamers play for more than 15 hours per week.
Gaming spans many demographics
Gaming is an extremely broad market that appeals to so many people. This makes it a perfect place for your brand. Every marketer dreams of creating integrated brand awareness content that is both organic and non-intrusive.
Do you remember the brand integration opportunities provided by “Animal Crossing: New Horizons”, 2020? The game allows players to create their own outfits using brands such as Supreme or Gucci, and decorate their homes with custom artwork (sponsored by the Metropolitan Museum of Art).
Burger King Spain used the editing features in “NBA 2K21”, to create a customized basketball court known as The Menu Court. You could download the court, which featured photos of some of the most popular menu items. Burger King challenged players to take trick shots from these marks. Players could get free menu items by posting a tweet with the hashtag #BKMenuCourt and tagging Burger King or NBA 2K.
Modern gaming engines: charge your business battery
Developers will create more brand integration possibilities, so must move into the gaming sector to capitalize on its success. You wouldn’t be remiss to overlook this trend. Politicians, musicians, bands, and many other groups have already taken up the game of video game marketing.
Run Sprint: Your Brand in the Gaming Industry
1. Kick-off an esports campaign.
Newzoo’sLive Streaming and Global Esports Market Report show that more than 75% will be generated by sponsorships and media rights in 2021. To get involved, you don’t need to be the best in the space. You just have to play according to your strength.
Think of fashion giant Louis Vuitton. collaborated with Riot Games to create the League of Legends World Championship. The brand created a custom trophy case for the champions. It also offered skins and other digital assets to players.
2. Partner with gaming influencers.
Many YouTube and Twitch gaming influencers have built large, engaged followings over the years. Strategically partner with these creators to reach the right audience.
Andrew Telfer, aka Nasher, grew his following playing the NHL video games on his channels. He was so well-known in the hockey world that he received sponsorships from Bauer and Gatorade as well as Adidas, SeatGeek, Nike, and the NHL.
3. Get in the advertising game.
Traditional advertising can be disruptive during a gaming session. However, some brands have had success offering unique experiences in games.KFC Philippines created a unique gaming experience that was tied to the real world and was branded by KFC Philippines.
The popularity of “Animal Crossing: New Horizons”, which was launched in 2020, presented an opportunity for the brand. KFC Philippines quickly opened its own virtual restaurant inside the game, complete with menus and Colonel Sanders. All those who found the colonel in the game received a code that allowed them to receive a bucket of chicken at any KFC restaurant in the Philippines.
4. Think outside the box by making this space your own.
Gaming is a great way for your brand to make your own experiences. You don’t need to reach out to gamers to build relationships. All you have to do is find a way for gaming to be integrated into your brand.
F’real, a frozen beverage brand that blends it-yourself, developed a mobile game to appeal to Generation Z. It could be activated by QR codes placed on in-store purchases. To draw consumers’ attention to the campaign, F’real partnered with TikTok creators.
Keep Your Head in the Game
What next for your brand? After you have a better understanding of opportunities, it’s time to work with your marketing team on your budget, strategy, and creative execution.
You never know, you might be the next big thing in headlines such as Gucci or Burger King! you just need to join in the game.
You want to get in the game and feel the zone.