Gaming ads take the lead in capturing audience attention but face challenges in brand recall, according to a recent study commissioned by Dentsu and conducted by Lumen Research.
The study focused on three key gaming environments, exploring:
- Twitch live streaming
- Rewarded video ads with Activision Blizzard
- In-game advertising with Anzu
The examination of gaming platforms revealed that all three gaming environments surpassed Dentsu's norms in holding audience attention, yet there were distinct differences in brand recall.
How Did Twitch, Blizzard and Anzu Fare?
Twitch, standing out as a frontrunner in both attention and brand recall, exhibited an impressive 57% brand recall in post-exposure surveys, surpassing Dentsu's norm of 38%.
Ads on Twitch showed a significant 17% lift in brand preference, outshining other media studies that reported lifts ranging from 5% to 10%.
Beyond Twitch streaming, the study indicated that brand recall in gaming fell below the average when compared to other media measured by the media company.
Activision Blizzard's unique "rewarded viewing" ads, allowing players to advance in gameplay by watching, showcased a perfect 100% on-screen impression rate and an average of 10,043 attentive seconds per thousand audience impressions (APM).
These results surpassed the average APM for online video, emphasizing the effectiveness of this advertising approach.
Anzu's in-game ads captured attention for an average of 3,442 seconds, outperforming traditional online ads and boasted a 99% on-screen visibility rate — well above the standard 87% for online video.
Despite variations in brand recall, the study emphasized the cost-effectiveness of advertising in gaming, with an "attentive cost per 1,000 impressions" (CPM) of $3.38, which proved to be more efficient than Dentsu's overall norms.
Kevin Villatoro, Director of Global Media Partnerships for Dentsu Media U.S., suggested that the dynamic nature of gaming environments might contribute to this discrepancy, as not all video ads are optimized for such settings.
"If it’s a shooting game or racing environment, things are moving pretty quick," Villatoro explained.
Alternatively, Twitch views itself as a premium video environment, justifying a higher cost. "If you look at the attention, brand recall and brand lift, you're OK. Now, all of a sudden, the price kind of makes sense," he concluded.