According to Wunderman Thompson, gaming is the future of customer engagement, the leader in understanding younger customers and how they engage with brands.
After several years of poor performance and lacklustre execution by the advertising industry, the writing was on the wall, and the industry would need to reinvent itself.
The downturn started when advertising went digital, and everyone, including ourselves, criticised the industry for simply taking existing adverts – whether in print or TV – and pasting them onto websites.
Now, not only have they got their heads around digital, but they are waking up to the fact that gaming is the future.
The upturn has, to some extent, been helped by the pandemic, which boosted search advertising. Digital advertising has grown somewhere between 15% and 20% during the last year and is expected to grow a further 9% during 2022. This is the fastest growth for decades.
Yet, just as advertisers might think they have it right, at last, the world changes again.
Facebook morphed into Meta and started talking up the Metaverse (there will be many thousands of metaverses but for the sake of sanity, let’s refer to one), and that gaming is the future of advertising.
In-gaming advertising is expected to grow by almost $11 billion between now and 2024, according to research house Technavio and advertisers and brands are embracing the new medium.
Apparently, advertising in gaming means it is no longer passive. It takes you to another world, and it gives you ‘a sense of wonder and suspends disbelief.’
So, just as advertisers get digital right, giants such as Meta set off on a different course, gaming companies become the new, cool advertising platforms, and big brands are ‘metaversing’ their own cool worlds and experiences.
Perhaps the contention that gaming is the future of advertising may be a little adventurous just now, but it certainly seems like it is one future of advertising.
Who knows, one day, we might have our disbelief suspended and stop all these people and companies trying to take us out of the real world and back into reality.
Or is that too depressing?
Meanwhile, over at Apple: