Nowadays, a significant amount of time of an internet user is spent on online gaming. An increased user base on these platforms has compelled advertisers to take note of this growing industry.
From phone companies to e-commerce firms to apparel brands, all are trying to tap into this space, which not only gets them a new set of users but also helps them reach new markets.
Talking to Moneycontrol, Co-founder and VP-Growth at Hitwicket Keerti Singh said, “Mobile gaming is growing phenomenally in India with more than 600 million mobile gamers estimated by 2020. Brands get access to a user base that is highly engaged. Games bring in a lot of first-time internet users.”
Mobile Premier League, popularly known as MPL, which had roped in Virat Kohli as their ambassador, has brands like Puma, OYO, Wrogn, and OnePlus on board.
Growth and branding lead at MPL Vivek Sadamate told Moneycontrol that Puma took up its cricket game while OnePlus had partnered with the platform for Fruit Chop, a popular game on MPL.
According to Singh, brands which cater to the mass markets are increasingly embracing gaming in their marketing campaigns because “games are particularly effective at reaching a Tier III city and below audience”.
Concurring with Singh, Sadamate said, “MPL is catering a lot of Tier II and III cities, where these brands get excited to reach.”
When asked BalleBaazi CEO Saurabh Chopra as to why brands are engaging with gaming platforms, he said, “India, in general, is becoming a gaming country with more people getting enrolled in sports and gaming. For now, considering the age bracket between 18-40, gaming industry is a place everyone wants to cross-brand and cross-advertise with.”
Singh pointed out that India is among the top five countries vis-a-vis time spent per user per week on games.
“As an interactive form of entertainment, users are more engaged and focused during a gameplay session than during a video view. This makes it a very effective platform for improving brand awareness,” she added.
While things look promising for advertisers tapping this space, what will the gaming industry gain?
The obvious benefit is advertising revenue coming in which, according to Singh, will add an additional revenue source to developers. “This can be used to make even more hi-quality and engaging gaming experiences for the users,” she added.
The other benefit, Chopra pointed out is that “the whole ecosystem of cross-branding and marketers creating content which is customised for gaming audiences is great for the industry.”
Along with these, Sadamate believes that marketers betting on the gaming sector will bring the space in a different light.
“When there will be multiple brands, the entire space will be seen in a different light. It will be seen as sports rather than gaming. In future, people would consider this as a serious profession and want to take it up as a career option,” Sadamate said. For him gaming platforms are the future of sports.