INSIGHT: How games marketing has been split across various media formats

Over the last two years we have seen a host of new mobile and online gaming properties enter the games and consoles ad market.

As we approach the busy Christmas retail period and forthcoming launches of triple-A titles, it is a good time to reflect upon how the overall media mix in games and consoles has evolved throughout this time.

We are led to believe that online advertising is leading the way in the UK, with digital ad expenditure growing 16.6 per cent year-on-year during the first six months of 2014 versus the same period in 2013.

New online ad opportunities are constantly emerging and evolving, especially in a space where the majority of advertisers are targeting a tech-savvy, digitally-native and highly engaged audience. Twitch, for example, has continued to experience rapid growth. This is just one of many go-to spots for gamers and advertisers alike.

Despite these new opportunities, when looking at the media mix year-on-year (latest Nielsen Addynamix data), 2014 reveals a resurgence in TV advertising in terms of overall ad expenditure.

"Digital ad expenditure has grown 16.6 per cent year-on-year
during the first half of 2014."

Henry Degnin, Generation Media

When looking at the Top Ten advertisers across the same period of comparison, the rising dominance of mobile and online properties and their media habits can largely account for this trend.

Combined, Midasplayer and Supercell occupy almost 30 per cent of games ad expenditure so far this year.

Tellingly, both advertisers were completely absent from the Top Ten games ad spenders in the same period of 2013; a table which was dominated by ‘traditional’ players such as Activision, EA and Ubisoft.

TV offers relative newcomers access to mass reach and exposure (dependent on strategy and objectives), at what can be a relatively cost-efficient investment.


Whilst higher-profile, mass audience spots are less frequent in King’s TV campaigns, its position in both the top spenders and TV advertisers says something about the volume of advertising it has invested in during 2014. Over 60 per cent of all individuals in the UK have seen a King commercial at least nine times this year, with over 92 per cent of the population seeing any King commercial at least once.

In contrast, Supercell has employed a similar strategy to the likes of FIFA 15 and other male 16 to 34-focused triple-A titles in their investment in high profile, mass-audience spots; over 7m UK individuals saw its ad during England’s Euro 2016 qualifier versus Switzerland.

It will be interesting to see how the rest of 2014 plays out as Sony and Microsoft up the ante across the busy Christmas period.

Although it would be expected that mobile and online properties do not operate on similar ad cycles as their traditional counterparts,’s heaviest TV presence of 2013 was in December, proving that they are prepared to fight for share of voice.

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