Future of Media: Metaverse potential, ads in games, agencies now plugging in

Future of Media

Future of Media: I hope you enjoy the first week of our deep dive into Gaming. I’ll tell you about some of our features and analysis articles.

We’ve been diving into the Gaming topic for a week now, so we have a lot to talk about in this issue of the newsletter. So put down your controller, turn off Candy Crush and let’s explore why the marketing industry needs to wake up to what is now the world’s biggest entertainment medium.

The basics of the meta-universe.

Games are just a stepping stone in shaping the metaconsciousness. What are you saying? We knew you’d ask that. Chris Sutcliffe explored this new frontier, the brain-exploding mix of the gaming and social in the virtual, all the more palpable now that we can hang NFT artwork bought with digital currency in our pixelated homes.

Your skepticism is valid, but just imagine what will happen to the marketing world when the digital world offers almost limitless reach and creative possibilities. Here’s where it will all lead. Find out more here.

I know, it’s hard to keep track of it all. Separating the gimmick from massive future habits is a challenge, so Marek Wrobel of Havas Media Group has prepared this handy explanatory piece on some of the latest innovations in gaming technology.

Funding the basics.

I’ve been researching how ad tech companies monetize games and everything that follows (cough *metaverse*).

Shares of virtual outdoor placement can now be traded on the open market. If you have creative for a billboard, you can easily place it in a bunch of games. You can even target a specific person, which real billboards can’t do. But from what I understand, it’s a means, not an end. These advertising firms are more interested in integrated product placement and branded experiences. A programmatically placed Pepsi charge can help you on your gaming journey. Adidas cleats will make your Fifa player run a little faster. You might be able to get free access to a Call of Duty card if it’s adorned with Mountain Dew stickers. I don’t have enough space to describe all the features. But I’ll do it here.

2.5 billion gamers = a sleeping Facebook, one executive told me. Will they be able to wake up the beast?

I hope so, because people succumb to the influence of in-game advertising, and in some cases even love it, according to our YouGov survey. Interruptions are decreasing in favor of integrations.

What agencies need to know

We know there are more of you marketers specifically dedicated to in-game activation. There have been a number of launches this year.

Sam Bradley interviewed five new agencies working in the games industry, some of which are part of the world’s largest networks. This “who’s who” list is a good baseline and shows that no one agency is doing the same thing. And yet. Experimentation continues.

In the meantime, I asked Essence’s Claire Chapman to explain last year’s gaming boom and why now is the perfect time for marketers to plug in. This was the first piece published this week, and it explained the basics of this space very well (almost as if it were Claire’s work). If you’re a brand marketer contemplating where to start… you’re welcome…

Reddittold has told us everything he knows about gamers, and apparently the metaverse is invented and created in his forums. But there are dozens of different niches. There is no single type of gamer.

While gamers are trying to show their usefulness to advertisers, advertisers are using gamers to sell other things. They will sell the public on 5G, which, in turn, will create the next generation of games. Think of all the fantastic metaverse graphics being transmitted through the cloud. And don’t forget how the advertising agency Engine recently used Fifa to tell a touching story about a young soccer star who lost her life.

That’s probably enough explanation about the games, instead move on to reading them. And come back next week for more articles, features and interviews.

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