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Brands increasingly using game advertising to reach diverse audiences: IAB report

The 2022 IAB Australia Game Advertising State of the Nation report has found media agencies now see game advertising as an opportunity to reach diverse audience groups as the gaming landscape continues to evolve, reflecting a marked shift from the medium previously being used to reach niche, hard-to-reach audiences.

The report, which was released at today’s IAB Game Advertising Summit, revealed 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.

The report, conducted in June 2022 by the IAB Game Advertising Working Group, involved 80 advertising decision makers working in agencies and brands with the experience of or intention to buy game advertising and marketing.

Gai Le Roy, CEO of IAB Australia said: “There has been a pronounced 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 strategic thinking and planning away from traditional gaming stereotypes which skewed young, single males into the mainstream to help build brand, 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 when creating media plans (from 20% in 2021 to 25% in 2022) but a third of agencies still have gaming in their experimentation bucket (32%).

Nearly 4 in 10 (38%) have no experience with this form of advertising, though the majority of these are looking to in the future.

The game advertising landscape is broad and encompasses a myriad of different formats.

The most commonly used formats are ones that have been around for a while, including streaming ads, adjacent display and video, mobile game ads and live streaming video. However, there is strong appetite to try new formats, including a great deal of curiosity surrounding 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 (39%) rarely or never doing so.

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