What Pokemon Go Has to do with Advertising

The immersion of augmented reality into the daily lives of consumers can be split into two – before and after Pokemon Go.

Before Pokemon Go, augmented reality becoming widely accepted was just a dream of advertisers. Today the idea of incorporating digital elements (like cute and fuzzy Pokemons) through our hand held devices and seeing them in our real world is exciting and new and most importantly, accepted by mainstream consumers.

Already in 2008 the first augmented reality was launched, however it wasn’t until 2011 when advertising powerhouses such as Disney and Toyota tried to integrate augmented reality into their advertisements. No matter who the brand, what the product, or how cool the ad, augmented reality just didn’t pick up with mainstream consumers.

All that changed this past month when Niantic unveiled Pokemon Go with unexpectedly little buzz. Despite the lack of pomp and glory, Pokemon Go has quickly become one of the most viral sensations of the summer, taking people out of their homes and into the streets to capture as many Pokemons as they can. In becoming a viral sensation and altering the augmented reality learning curve, Pokemon Go has single-handedly changed the safe of augmented reality, and in doing so, changed the future of advertising for years to come.

With Pokemon Go, Niantic has created an instant desire by consumers to intertwine what they see through their screen with what they see in real life – an act that augmented and virtual reality giants like Oculus and Samsung have tried to do for several years with the launch of their augmented reality lenses.

By bringing augmented reality to the mainstream consumer, Pokemon Go bypassed the need to purchase pricey augmented reality gear and gave the average consumer the chance to try and love this new technology. By simplifying the access and reducing the price barrier, Niantic has given digital advertisers rekindled hope that their dream of augmented reality integrated campaigns can become a reality sooner rather than later.

The result of the widespread acceptance of the augmented reality offered by Pokemon go will likely increase the availability of games that utilize mobile cameras as well as open up the digital advertising world to unlimited possibilities. Instead of struggling to take online ads to an offline location, advertisers will now be able to be a part of the journey consumers take from the moment they see an ad in the comforts of their own home, and all the way until they complete a purchase or visit a storefront.


Is Online Gaming in 2015 Going Free?

It’s no surprise that the online gaming industry is growing faster than the ever expanding universe. In fact, it is forecasted that the online gaming industry will reach $81.6 billion by 2016! That being said, you can only imagine that the number of online gaming companies will be flooding the gaming world in the upcoming year. What companies need to focus on now, besides creating a killer game, is to advertise correctly and efficiently. This means creating quality banner ads that will bring in your next customer. Why? Because banner ads are your secret to building brand recognition. Because social games generate so many pageviews, banner ads are the biggest part of advertising revenue for the industry.[1] Companies must reinvent themselves for 2015 and begin to create digital advertising strategies that work. And here’s how:

Free-to-play business model (F2P)

Face it. No one likes to feel obligated or committed to anything they haven’t tested or tried first. This is especially true when it comes to social gaming. And while you may think that charging for your game upfront may be the key to generating revenue, it’s not.

2015 is the year of the F2P, or free-to-play model. This model is based on the concept that free games will help attract customers and try new things with zero commitment. Once the player gets hooked, then it’s time to monetize.

The purpose is to design the game so that it provides never ending needs to the user. You provide them with the resources they need to start and then begin offering them in-app purchases once they start to get to higher levels. And this isn’t too hard to believe or understand. I mean, people pay for entertainment all the time, so why wouldn’t they pay for entertainment that is convenient, fast, and supplies instant gratification.

F2P has become so important in the gaming world, that top industry leaders are even making it a point to mention that the game is free on their banners. Have a look:


Mobile in-app ads

According to a recent study done by Newzoo, it is believed that revenue from mobile gaming is predicted to surpass console gaming in 2015.[2] This means that game developers better include a thoughtful approach to banners when it comes down to their mobile marketing strategy.

Even though you may think that users don’t often click on the mobile ads, there is still a much higher click-through-rate for in-app banners as compared to desktop web ads (1% compared to 0.1%). This is especially true when it comes down to creating native ads, which Facebook is dominating right now. Make sure you invest in your mobile in-app ad and make sure that your impressions are not being wasted. Show the right banner to the right person at the right time, and watch your next prospect become your next user.


Use Media Intelligence

I can’t emphasize this point enough. I don’t care how big you are or how ahead of your competitors you are, you must ALWAYS know what your competitors are doing and what’s going on in the industry.

With Media Intelligence tools such as AdClarity, you can get a birds-eye-view of the entire online gaming industry and always have one finger on your pulse to stay one step ahead.

Let me give you just a taste of what Media Intelligence can do for you.

Just by looking at the mobile advertising (I can pick between display and mobile) strategy of Plarium, I can see all the traffic sources they are advertising on. Pages and pages of traffic sources that undoubtedly provide me with some of my own new potential traffic sources to gain more traction for my game.


I can also check out what creatives my competitors, or top leaders in the industry, are using for their own campaigns and build off of what works best for them and avoid their failures. Let’s take a look at what Playtika does with Slotomania to get some ideas for our own creatives and banners.


With Media Intelligence you can find new traffic sources to work with in order to extend your reach and get more users, find new partners to work with, discover the best campaigns and creatives, and build off of the success of others, virtually eliminating the need for A/B testing.


Yes, 2015 is going to be one heck of a year for the online gaming industry and who could blame them. But if you want to succeed in what currently is and what will continue to be a flooded market, you’ve got to make sure that your digital advertising strategy is distinct, accurate, and precise. Focus on creating effective banners that resonate with the users. Make sure you create an interactive environment for them, put the right call-to-action, and, most importantly, not waste money on creatives and campaigns that your competitors have already proven not to work.

So come on digital gamers, let’s make 2015 a good one!


About AdClarity

AdClarity is a Marketing Intelligence tool which provides online marketers with actionable insights about their competitors’ advertising activities. Driven by big data and proprietary behavioral content discovery technology, AdClarity unveils brands’ campaigns, ad creatives, impressions, and spend data across multiple channels, including Display, Mobile Web, Mobile Apps and Video. Data is collected across 20 geographies and covers over 50M URLs daily while discovering over 40K new campaigns every day. The AdClarity product suite is used by over 7,000 media and advertising professionals globally in Fortune 500 Brands, Agencies, Ad Networks, and Publishers.


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[1] http://www.businessinsider.com/zynga-revenue-analysis-2011-9

[2] http://www.internap.com/2014/12/01/top-five-online-gaming-industry-trends-2015/