For many advertisers, mobile games may still seem like a passing fad. But according to experts, mobile game advertising may be set to outpace traditional advertising much sooner than expected. In fact, it may even be taking money away from traditional advertising methods.
In a discussion at the Global Mobile Internet Conference early this month, Dave Madden, senior vice president of global media solutions at the mobile games division of Electronic Arts, said that mobile games are sucking so much money out of other forms of media advertising that he believes it will soon be the largest advertising platform in the world.
In the past, mobile games have been used primarily to appeal to a gaming crowd that subsists on Doritos and Mountain Dew, but that image is no longer representative of the crowd mobile games are reaching. In fact, mobile games seem to appeal to everyone. According to Forbes, four out of five smartphone users have played a game on their device, and almost half of them play games every day.
“We are starting to do deals with Madison Avenue agencies and brands,” Madden said at the San Francisco conference. “Brands are trying to figure out how to get to this young, engaged mobile consumer with an experience that they will welcome. It’s like ESPN in the old days. They started with direct response ads, and now it’s Budweiser advertising.”
He pointed out that TV and radio advertising are on their way out, since people find it annoying and intrusive. Both methods disrupt things that viewers actually want to see, as opposed to mobile gaming, which provides content that viewers actually seek out. “The money is moving to mobile, where the ad is targeted and welcome,” Madden explained.
According to Forbes, mobile games are now driving a majority of audience and advertising dollars, even if the industry is reluctant to admit it. But advertisers won’t be able to keep the advertising hierarchy in place much longer.
“It’s happening,” Madden said. “Brands are buying into it. Users love it. The data is undeniable…It may not happen overnight. But ten years from today, mobile advertising will be the single largest advertising platform in the world in games.”