Advertisements come in all shapes and sizes, each with distinct benefits and characteristics. The differences between each type can be seemingly subtle on the surface, but investigating the intricacies of how they’re created and the audience they target reveals hidden differences.
Each type has its purpose, but it’s important to make an informed decision about what type of advertisement would benefit your game and business the most. In our experience at Igloo Gaming, we’ve seen that some advertisements produce better results depending on the game, business, and the audience’s familiarity with the IP.
As the name would suggest, gameplay videos focus on the gameplay aspects of a title – what players will experience for themselves when they get their hands on it. They usually focus on three to five core gameplay features to unambiguously show what genre of game it is and what players can expect.
These advertisements tend to be quite straightforward to produce, though it can be a challenge to find the best gameplay footage to represent the game mechanics as well as possible. The main goal is to attract viewers with the best gameplay scenarios.
Because of their cost-effectiveness, gameplay videos are well-suited for young companies who don’t want to invest too heavily, and new games, particularly fresh IPs and franchises. Additionally, these videos tend to have good conversion rates, which could be particularly helpful and appealing for new companies and their games.
In contrast to gameplay videos, narrative advertisements focus on story elements over gameplay. They aim to enrich games with story, world-building, and character details using a cinematic approach. While they don’t emphasize game mechanics, it’s not unusual to see snippets of gameplay included to contextualize it with the narrative elements.
Narrative videos are suited to helping existing user bases become more invested in the game, and as such, they can be more appropriate for established gaming franchises and companies. They usually boast better click-through rates than their counterparts due to the interesting story details contained within them, but conversion rates can be weaker, which could be attributed to the story instead of gameplay being the focal point.
User-generated content is a departure from gameplay and narrative videos. They usually showcase people playing a game, speaking about it, and presenting it, which can generate a great sense of authenticity and relatability, which helps build trust among prospective customers.
This type of advertisement is often paired with influencers promoting the game. We’ve worked with influencers and influencer agencies on past projects and found that it can provide a significant boost to click-through rates, greatly enhancing a game’s visibility.
Return on investment for user-generated content can vary, as it can depend on the budget available to make the content and if you’re working with an influence. The size of the influencer’s following can have a substantial impact on the content’s success.
Playable ads are a unique form of advertisement that allows players to experience an excerpt of gameplay from the full game. They’re great tools to generate interest among the target audience for the full title.
They’re more complicated to produce compared to the other types of advertisements we discussed, as they incorporate interactive elements and must include well-executed game design. The benefit we’ve seen is that they work excellently as a way of engaging your audience and can be successful for any company and games at any stage in their lifecycle.
Though playable advertisements are best suited for games with straightforward mechanics, due to the limitations of representing gameplay in such a succinct way, they can yield great results.
Mini-Game Based Advertisements
Somewhat akin to playable advertisements, mini-game-based ads use gameplay elements differently. They use gameplay mechanics found in the main game, but in scenarios not found in the main game. To create a sense of urgency, these ads show some gameplay ending in a loss, challenging the player to interact and play better than what they’ve seen previously.
These advertisements aren’t overly complex to create, but they do tend to require custom animations in addition to gameplay. In our experience, they can be appropriate for any game and have high click-through rates, though they can be risky if the content of the ad is too inconsistent with the main game’s mechanics.
For an experienced video partner you can trust with your game’s advertisements, take a look at our reels and contact us today. We’d be more than happy to showcase your games in our second-to-none video content!