Dentsu Data Labs & Adverty Reveal Mobile Users Prefer Non-Intrusive In-Game Ads


Display advertising placed in natural contexts within games are the favoured ad format among mobile users, according to new research carried out by Dentsu Data Labs and Adverty, a leading in-game ad platform for advertisers, agencies and developers.

The recent study also positions ad-funded gaming as the mainstay of consumers' increasingly eager gaming habit. Furthermore, the study showed that esports environments were up to 5x more preferable for advertising, compared to other gaming genres.

Fifty percent of the participants who were presented with a series of adverts in different online environments said that ads which blended seamlessly into the gameplay experience were the type they would prefer to see - compared to 30% favourability for a banner ad on a news website.

Of those who participated in the study, 84% were aware they had seen ads within the game, while 78% of those seeing the ad were able to recall the brand they had seen.

Almost two-thirds said the ad placement had had no negative impact on their gaming experience, while 17% judged it to have had a positive effect, compared to 13% for the web banner ad.

Respondents reported that in-game ad format offers a significantly more positive experience than web banners: “ It became more faithful to reality. My attention was directed to the surroundings and then I registered the advertising on a conscious level.” In addition, having seen the in-game ad and web banner, the respondents were asked which ad environment they would prefer to see ads in.

The research also gives an insight into the habit-forming nature of mobile gaming; among those who play games on their phone, 68% report playing daily or more often.

Advertising will continue to underpin this mobile gaming boom, judging by the attitudes of the 301 gamers involved in the study. Only 9% of people report a willingness to pay for games in order to avoid ads, while 43% are willing to watch advertising in exchange for free gaming.

Niklas Bakos, CEO and Founder of Adverty, said: “It is clear from this research that ad-funded mobile gaming is only growing as a form of entertainment, and it is up to us to find the ad formats that work best for gamers and brands. We are not surprised by the positive reaction to advertising in natural contexts within games, and we think brands will be extremely interested to note the strong ad recall among gamers in this instance. In-game advertising offers a remarkable opportunity for brands to reach consumers at a highly engaged moment, which is why many are now starting to prioritise games and esports as the media channel for the future.”

Maria Sedlenieks, Insight Strategist, Dentsu Data Labs said: “The research demonstrates that in-game ads are able to hold their own against traditional web advertising formats, and it is also interesting to note that they meet with a more favourable response among mobile users. With the development of this form of advertising, we would expect to see further strong evidence of the potential of in-game advertising.”