Advergaming – how to use games in advertising successfully?

Picture of Kalev Kärpuk
Kalev Kärpuk

Many people congregate online for research, entertainment and shopping purposes. The concept of “gamification” has gained much popularity over the past few years. Different companies use video games for marketing purposes. These games are different from the customary annoying banners and videos. In this article, we’ll delve into the world of advergaming and talk about marketing benefits, the best practices and successful examples.

What is advergaming ❓

“Advergames” are games explicitly created to endorse a scrupulous service or product, allowing companies to integrate ads into digital gaming flawlessly. The use of digital games offers appeals to large viewers, which helps in making a brand popular among people.

Another name used for advergame is advertisement game. The games that are used for this purpose are specially designed and developed by or in close association with a commercial unit to advertise a brand-name product.

Advertisement games are different from other forms of entertainment generally because these games require dynamic participation from customers. It is an ingenious process for avoiding ad exhaustion with viewers. This approach will help companies promote their products further by integrating in-game marketing elements, resulting in a rise in brand knowledge and user dialogue with their family and friends regarding the game and the product advertised.

Advergaming: Pros

Firstly, let’s look at some of the benefits of using advergaming for brands:

Helps with branding

The use of advergame also helps with branding. The brand is the major focus of the game in the advergaming market. Everything that you observe in the branded game will revolve around the services and products of the company.

Players get rewards for playing

The brands establish obvious rewards for players most of the time. It includes discounts, free games, prizes on services or products, or incentives for subscriptions or purchases.

Voluntary contact is the whole thing

Advergames present a fun, non-intrusive substitute for connecting with the community. Users are those who penetrate to play willingly, knowing that it is a game developed by a brand.

Work for any product or brand

One of the great benefits of advergames is that they work for all markets and industries. It doesn’t matter if your business is small or big. One can easily design the game according to their brand or business theme. Try to make the game creative and interesting so users can enjoy it.

Increase brand awareness

Advergames have been proven to augment brand awareness among users, which could be their prevalent advantage. This approach will help in increasing brand awareness. Also, if the game is interactive enough, it can persuade conversations between friends and family about your brand.

Long-term results

People often overlook the products or services with conventional advertisements after the campaigns are over. But in the case of advergames, the videos reside on users’ devices for a longer period. This trouble-free actuality has the authority to constantly remind them that your game is entertaining and that your brand deserves their attention, even when people know it is a marketing tactic.

Maximum user attention

Advergames work for an extensive variety of demographic groups. In the past, it was believed that such campaigns attracted only young people. But this myth was dislodged. It can be observed that advergames cope to attain diverse demographic groups as long as appropriate research is completed before game design.

The solution to advergames lies in being imaginative about incorporating your brand into the game. This approach is simpler and easier to perform but not all companies consider creating a successful advergame.

Advergaming: Cons

Consider these cons:

  • Advergaming can be expensive. One should keep in mind that mobile advertising and advergaming are quite expensive. Developing a high-quality video game, for instance, Candy Crush, needs a budget for development. Besides, you need money to incorporate advertisements into games.
  • The advergames must be creatively designed. People do not like to play games that are boring and similar to the other 100 games they’ve played before. To stay ahead of others and catch maximum customer attention, one must leverage new technologies in their advergame to engage their audience.
  • It requires promotion. One must promote their game to tell the maximum number of people about it. In many cases, promotions are hard to develop because you need them to be creative and deeply understand user psychology.
  • Highly competitive market. Keep in mind that the gaming market is highly competitive. It means that to stand out, you need to develop top-notch content. This will cost money and need more effort and thought invested.

The success of your advergaming approach depends on the ability to consider and deal with disadvantages.

Advergaming – part of your marketing strategy

Many people have heard the term gamification marketing, which refers to joining conventional advertising and marketing strategies with basic gaming techniques to boost brand engagement. In today’s digital world, advergaming is becoming an increasingly admired form of marketing brands and products.

The three main types of advergames are as follows:

Full games for computers or mobile devices

The most popular form of advergaming is the construction of a full game, which severely incorporates the brand, and game expansion is entirely financed by the firm. This type of advergaming focuses on enhancing brand awareness. It also helps build strong relationships with clients and is practically a friendly approach to advertising, as its main focus is building brand awareness and not making revenue.

Branded mini-games

Advergames help increase brand awareness and customer engagement, increasing the time they spend on the website.

Placement of advertising into existing games

This is the third and last main approach of advertising in games. It is also known as below-the-line advergaming advertising technique. In this approach, the companies use already existing games and place their adverts in the setting. It is merely product placement.

The video game “Zool” from the 90s is one of the most popular and successful examples of this type of advergame. The latest example includes “Mario Kart 8 Deluxe”. This advertising approach allows clients to grow brand and product responsiveness of clients by continuously placing brand logos or products within a game.

Advergaming – best practices

The use of mobile advergames also helps marketers to integrate with sites like Instagram and Facebook, as these sites offer the added potential of going viral. The interconnected world provides marketers the possibility to create inclusive advergame experiences. One can also catch the attention of a maximum number of people towards their game by adding features like community-based platforms, multiplayer, and more.

However, advergames set up an extensive assortment of game elements and types distributed online now. There are best practices marketers should keep in mind while considering incorporating them into their plans.

For example, one must use all the smart strategies of featuring ads in their campaigns. Your game must show ads before it is played or incorporate them into the game during play, so find out which method is more effective for your target audience.

Another way of using advergames effectively for your business campaign is to balance marketing with gameplay. The game you design and develop must be a good standalone product with an effective marketing component.

One can easily improve the chances of going viral by allowing consumers to share the game on third-party sites rather than lodging it exclusively on their own.

Why should one invest in in-game advertising?

Gamifying is the deliberate attempt to improve systems, organizations, services, and activities to produce analogous experiences to those qualified while playing games to encourage and engage users.

If you want to grow your business then the most important thing is to advertise it properly. Advergames help users in several ways. The in-game advertising approach is a great marketing strategy. This technique can help people in making their brand visible on different advertising channels where the competition is low.

Similarly, by selecting the right in-game advertising arrangement, you can distinguish your brand from others and reach specific target viewers. The amazing in-game advertising technique can also help you in optimizing your ads in real-time. The customization features provide a lot of benefits to your brand. One can easily create a custom-made advertising message by making use of these features.

Advergames can be a great way to accumulate very precise data, and enhance your client knowledge. Through this, you will get to know what the typical gamer profile is, the time your viewers spend playing video games, and more. All this can help you in improving your key messages day after day.

Tips for advertising success in advergaming

Advertising in video games is a blooming opportunity for brands as they can take their contributions to debatably the most considerate user base on the internet. In this section, you will get to know more about some of the tips for success in advergames.

Understand your audience

The first step is to understand your audience. Get complete information about your target audience’s geographic, demographic, and behavioral characteristics so that you can establish the basis of your advertising successfully. This information lets you easily determine what types of games your target audience likes to play.  

Select multiple ad networks

Always try to choose multiple ad networks for maximum customer attention. When your target viewers are dispersed across a wide range of distinctiveness, it is rare for a sole ad network to accomplish all your requirements.

Try to work smart by getting in touch with different ad networks that cater to diverse segments of your audience. Most people find this difficult as one needs to assess different parameters and select ad networks, but it’s not a lot difficult. One can easily automate this activity through an ad mediation platform.

Provide your customers with the best gaming experience

People do not like playing games that contain full-screen banner ads during gameplay. Do not interrupt your audience in the game. Being a marketer or advertiser, your goal is to classify the precise instances when ads will be presented on the screens without being an annoyance during a fun game.

Don’t force users to leave the game

Another technique that can help you in providing a good User Experience (UX) is to make sure that the player isn’t being taken out of the game once they snap on your ads. Taking them out of the game will annoy especially when the user accidentally clicks on your ad.

Successful advergaming examples


There are numerous successful advergaming examples to choose from. However, when it comes to advergames that proved to hit the bull’s eye, consider these:

  1. Chipotle Scarecrow advergame. Chipotle and Moonbot Studios collaborated to create the game, which was a big success and featured in the New York Times.
  2. Zool advergame. This game was presented by Chupa Chups and intended to compete with Mario Bros and Sonic the Hedgehog. It has a 90s theme, making it appealing to millennials.
  3. Lego Apps advergame. Lego is a company that knows how to market and use advergaming to promote itself. They create games and partner with other firms to increase reach.
  4. Crazy Taxi advergame. It is a game featuring product placements from KFC and Pizza Hut.

How can Adact help with your advergaming strategy?

Advergaming strategy with Adact

Adact is a leading game-based platform transforming marketing campaigns and lead generation. With Adact, you can create and customize your marketing campaign in minutes and with zero coding skills to achieve:

  • Greater customer engagement
  • New leads 
  • Increased brand awareness
  • Fun promotion of your product or service

Book a call and we’ll help you choose a gaming campaign for your specific needs!


So, advergames are video games designed to promote a particular product or brand. It is a great advertising and marketing strategy that incorporates the same brand and product into the game’s dynamics. All these games can help improve brand awareness further among the public and produce conversations around the brand.

Book a demo with us and then we’ll show you how to incorporate advergames into your workplace.

Advergaming: FAQs

What is an example of advergaming?

One of the notable examples of advergaming is the collaboration between the mobile game Angry Birds and the Rio movie franchise. In a nutshell, 20th Century Fox partnered with the creator of Angry Birds, Rovio, to develop an Angry Birds Rio. It was a game integrating the movie’s characters and settings. The overall objective was to promote both the film and the mobile game.

What is advergaming in digital marketing?

In digital marketing, advergaming strategy is the approach that incorporates marketing messages into video games to promote a brand, product or service. It can be branded games, product placements or sponsorships within games. Advergaming in digital marketing aims to boost user engagement and promote brand awareness in a fun and interactive way.

What is the difference between gamification and advergaming?

In short, gamification is incorporating game elements into non-gaming contexts. In other words, you can incorporate aspects like points, levels and rewards into online campaigns and then add them to websites, apps to boost user engagement. Advergaming involves incorporating branded advertising messages within video games to promote products, services or brands.

How does advergaming work?

Advergaming works by embedding promotional messages in video games to capture player attention and create positive reinforcement and association with the advertised product or brand. This includes in-game product placements, branded games or sponsored content. Overall, advergaming works because people like fun and entertainment. It results in high levels of engagement and repeated purchasing behaviors.

What are the benefits of advergaming?

When it comes to the benefits of advergaming, consider these:
– Increased brand awareness
– Higher customer engagement
– Positive brand association
– Enhanced message recall
– Highly targeted marketing

Originally published on March 8, 2022, updated on February 15, 2023.

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