Why Media And Entertainment Brands Are Looking To Gaming

Even though media and entertainment brands have had a close relationship with gaming in the past, recently, there seems to have been an incredible surge in the number of brands in this space looking to gaming to help attract new audiences, and with the rise of in-game advertising, they are now able to naturally bring their brands directly into the gameplay.

Just as TV and films have influenced gaming in the last few decades, we are now starting to see new movies and shows created through a video gaming lens. League of Legends, the 4th most popular PC game with over 100 million monthly players, saw rise to its critically acclaimed Netflix spinoff series — Arcane — becoming a firm favorite with fans and achieving a 96% rating on review site Rotten Tomatoes

We spoke to Marc Merrill, the Co-Founder of Riot Games, the company behind League of Legends, about this during an Anzu webinar.

“The more companies that deliver great experiences, the more they elevate our medium in a way that a broader audience can appreciate the craftsmanship and the artistry that goes into it, which is then helpful for players because there's less stigma attached with people choosing to engage in it deeply.”

By creating fresh new content related to gaming IPs, Merrill concluded, it has helped to remove the negative stigma associated with gaming felt from various aspects of society.


The Synergy Between Gaming, Entertainment, and Media

After that discussion, we saw the release of the highest-grossing film based on a video game IP of all time, The Super Mario Bros. Movie, which made over $1.3B at the box office, coming in just behind Barbie as the second highest-grossing film of the year. With streamers, film studios, and record labels all looking to gaming for inspiration, it’s no wonder that when you look at the habits of people who play games, many also regularly stream, love visiting the cinema, and attend live music gigs. 

Our US gaming report found that:

  • 63% of people who play games have a Netflix account
  • 40% of people who play games enjoy going to the cinema
  • 32% of people who play games enjoy going to live music events

Brands That Have Seen Success From In-Game

Many of the biggest media and entertainment brands know that their audience play games, and as a result, we have seen multiple campaigns from the likes of Disney+, 20th Centruty Studios, Universal, HBO Max, Prime Video, Spotify, and Paramount+, and many more leverage gaming to connect with their target audiences.

A recent in-game campaign we worked on with US-based record label EMPIRE for their artist Baby Face Ray saw the rapper's album top the charts. The album’s ads ran across popular mobile and PC titles from Anzu’s vast premium inventory.

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This included Ubisoft’s Trackmania, Axis Football, Left To Survive, and Ultimate Car Driving Simulator via in-game placements built into the gaming environment, complementing play and enhancing realism. Some topline results included a 90% viewability rate vs. 52% desktop display norm, 3.3 seconds of average attention vs. the desktop display norm of 0.7, and a 9% increase in listening intent.

Another well-known streaming brand we worked with in the US used in-game ads to drive brand awareness around the films and TV shows available to you if you subscribed. Targeting a male audience aged 18-30, the streamer worked with us and our partners Lumen and Oracle to understand the effectiveness of their in-game ads. The results show that the campaign achieved 7.8M impressions, 88% of mobile users said they would consider subscribing to the service, and 3x more time was spent viewing the ads than the mobile average.

Why Anzu's Audience Is Entrenched In Media and Entertainment

With a huge inventory of video games spanning mobile and PC, many of the abovementioned brands have seen huge success running in-game campaigns with us because of how entrenched our audience is within entertainment and media. Working with our partners at Comscore, we found that compared to the average mobile user, Anzu’s audience is:

  • 106% more likely to have bought tickets to a live musical or play in the past six months
  • 96% more likely to be first among their friends to buy or try new TV programs
  • 96% more likely to be first among their friends to buy and watch new movies
  • 80% more likely to have attended a comic/anime convention in the past six months
  • 62% more likely to be first among their friends to buy and watch new movies
  • 64% more likely to be the first among their friends to try new music

It’s clear that if you’re a media or entertainment brand, gaming is where you need to be, and at Anzu, we have worked with many advertisers within this vertical to help them take their first steps into the world of gaming. To learn more, fill in your details, and we will be in touch.

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Nick Woodford

Nick works as Anzu's Content Lead. As a gamer with a background working in AdTech, he has a unique perspective on the industry and the in-game advertising sector.

Nick Woodford