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Brands set to gain through involvement in gaming space: Essence report

The report on gaming helps brands understand the full scale of the opportunity in this space and what they can expect to gain from their efforts. It highlights two main reasons for brands to engage with this sector—incrementality for non-endemic brands and building equity in the service of growth

Brands have much to gain from involvement in the gaming space, says the latest report ‘Gaming in the 2020s: Reach, rewards and the new meditation’, brought out by Essence, a global data, and measurement-driven media agency which is part of GroupM. The report helps brands understand the full scale of the opportunity in this space and what they can expect to gain from their efforts.

“Its vast scale makes it a mainstream concern while the diversity of audiences allows for reach of groups that can be underserved by mainstream media… Meanwhile, gaming partners are growing ever more mature in their approach to measurement and other campaign hygiene measures,” the report concludes.

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Though the gaming sector had been steadily growing in note among the marketing community in recent years, it was yet to become a mainstream consideration. With the global pandemic resulting in a huge increase in exposure to and exploration of gaming, it has suddenly exploded into the general consciousness of consumers and marketers alike.

The report highlights two main reasons for brands to engage with this sector—incrementality for non-endemic brands and building equity in the service of growth. With regard to incrementality, owing to the fragmentation of media time and attention, it makes sense to consider the inclusion of gaming touchpoints in campaigns, with the aim of driving incremental exposure and a greater chance of getting noticed.

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With regard to equity, gaming touchpoints can be leveraged in the service of campaigns that are not specifically relevant to the genre, just like all kinds of campaigns can sit happily on the cinema screen, for example.

“As with other forms of entertainment, where positive association and deeper connection will drive benefit for a brand, campaigns can be built specifically around the gaming genre,” it states.

The report urges brands to think of gaming in terms of moments in time rather than thinking of the gaming audience in terms of tribes as their needs are seldom fixed.

“To understand the opportunities to connect with audiences in this space, and select the most relevant ones for specific brand or campaign objectives, we must unpick the different types of gaming moments and the reasons behind each particular engagement at that point in time, on that platform and in that context,” it states.

The report brings out the diversity in the gaming audience contrary to traditional stereotypes. It quotes an eMarketer study of global internet users and mentions that 83% of all women and 88% of men can be classified as gamers. Moreover, unlike the popular notion that only youngsters play these games, it mentions that 71% of gamers belong to the age group of 55-64.

According to the report, though gamers spend a lot of time in gaming spaces, they spend more time with media than the average person, even when you remove gaming time from the mix.

“But the addition of significant chunks of gaming time to the mix means attention is fragmented even further than we are used to.”

It also makes note of a YouGov survey that found adblocking to be rife among hardcore gamers in the US. “It seems there is one stereotype that we can rely on: gamers tend to be technically proficient and highly sophisticated media consumers, adept at filtering information. To capture their attention we must plan carefully in order to cut through.”

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