LGC 14: Video games ads are the lowest performing on Facebook

Video game advertisements on Facebook are less successful than dating ads, the firm has revealed.

In fact, game ads are the worst performing on the social network in its entirety. The news was announced at today’s London Games Conference.

You are not just competing with other video game ads, you are competing with Loreal, Lynx and other ad companies,” warned Facebook’s global director of sales for games Rick Kelley.

There are only so many ads we can show people on any given day.”

Kelley says there is a number of things games companies can do better without the need to spend more money. They are:

1. Precise targeting.

Games as a genre doesn’t cut it anymore. There’s casual, hardware owners, franchise fans, casino players and so on. Facebook wants publishers to upload your own internal data, upload email addresses and phone numbers and they say they can present to the games business a custom audience, which is specific to you that you can target ads too. And then you can create a lookalike audience. It lets publishers hone in on a specific audience.

2. Create Relevant creative specific for individual people

Kelley gave the example of a recent Madden campaign. EA created a specific video campaign just for Facebook to raise awareness that the Madden game is coming out. EA then released a follow-up video the next day to anyone that watched that first video. That second video showed a trailer featuring the favourite team of the person viewing the video, which reached them directly. And then they did a third ad that called them to action – which was to pre-order the game. Kelley said video on Facebook is on the rise. The firm started auto-play in news feeds and they now do 1bn video views per day. 65 per cent of that comes from mobile.

3. Leverage your brand

Kelley stated that app developers think they have a one in a million game that is going to take over the world, but in reality it is one in 2m. Kelley suggests taking a page out of Supercell or King’s book, who all brand their games with a watermark. The sales boss advises publishers to leverage those past hits to generate interest in their new game. Leverage the fact that people enjoyed your previous game,” he says. It is a new industry. Four to Five years old. But if you want to be an industry leader in the future, you need to find ways to leverage your brand.”

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