4 In-Game Advertising Strategies for Winning Campaigns

4 in-game advertising strategies

In-game advertising leverages programmatic technology to enable ads to appear in mobile, computer, and video games. Blended in-game ads are seamlessly integrated, so they don’t interrupt gameplay. They can appear on in-game objects. 

They are non-intrusive and highly-viewable. Blended in-game ads can be delivered through programmatic advertising on devices like mobile and PCs.

With gaming becoming a mainstream pastime, this channel is quickly gaining prominence. There’s no better time than now to start experimenting with in-game ads!

The Rise of In-Game Advertising

Gaming has become a mainstream, social pastime that is now a global phenomenon. The gaming industry in 2023 is estimated to exceed $300 billion USD, and by 2027, it’s expected that there will be 3.8 billion gamers worldwide.

In 2022, Insider Intelligence estimated that more than half (54.2%) of the US population were digital gamers. Mobile gaming was the largest segment, with 48.3% of the population (162.9 million people) playing games on their smartphones.

With the new release of highly popular video games and next-generation consoles, in addition to strong consumer spending on games, the gaming industry could see explosive consumer spending in 2023.

This growth signals that it’s the perfect moment for marketers to embrace in-game advertising. Time spent with this channel is increasing, and gamers are a desirable audience to reach  during gaming sessions. 

Video game players are highly engaged with the game and are typically not multitasking. This gives a huge advantage to advertisers who want to place their ads in an impactful environment. 

4 Strategies For Blended In-Game Advertising Campaigns

Let’s dive into 4 blended in-game advertising strategies that you can test. 

1. Blended In-Game For Brand Awareness

You can leverage blended in-game ads to drive strong brand awareness. Launch a brand awareness campaign across all devices and suppliers. This can be done as a standalone in-game campaign, or as a multi-channel campaign. Take advantage of the highly-viewable ad slots to display your messaging at large during an engaging game. 

2. Measure Awareness With Brand Lift

A brand lift study measures the impact of your campaigns across all your programmatic channels. It typically provides a picture of the consumer sentiment and brand affinity of people who have been exposed to your media. 

You can create a brand awareness-focused blended in-game campaign by launching a survey through an additional display advertising campaign. Such a campaign will have most of the same targeting tactics available as other channels, and measure brand lift results off of their ads. 

This strategy enables you to ask users questions through a controlled survey and ultimately drive performance data related to items like brand perception, brand preference, and ad recall. Running a brand lift study alongside your blended in-game advertising efforts will help assess the effectiveness of your ads. You can leverage the resulting insights to optimize future campaigns. 

3. Retarget Impressions For an Incremental Audience 

Running brand awareness campaigns on blended in-game grants you access to a new audience through this new inventory. From there, you can retarget this audience to guide them further down the funnel, ultimately driving visits, or whatever your desired action happens to be. 

By implementing an impression tracker on your blended in-game ads, you can retarget users on different channels, like native, display, video, connected TV (CTV), and audio. Optimize on those channels towards driving this new set of users toward the next action they should take.

4. Leverage In-Game to Target By Game Genre

Running on blended in-game inventory across all devices and suppliers is the best way to scale and drive performance for your campaigns. But running an additional, simultaneous tactic that targets a specific game genre could be a great strategy to test performance and intentionally allocate budget towards certain types of games over others. 

Through your programmatic platform, you can run this strategy alongside your open targeting tactic to test performance for specific, contextually relevant games.

Testing sports games inventory, or games within the adventure category for instance, is a great way to test how effective your brand awareness ads were depending on their game context. This is especially true if you retarget specific users on other channels afterwards. 

Start Running Blended In-Game Ads 

Video game ads are on the rise, and so now is the time to add it to your media mix. Leveraging in-game advertising enables you to reach engaged, focused users to build brand awareness and loyalty. These in-game advertising strategies, specifically blended in-game formats, will help you get ahead of the game as this channel gains prominence. 

Want to run exceptional in-game advertising campaigns? Request a demo to learn more about StackAdapt.

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Erin Hynes
Erin Hynes

Content Marketing Manager


Erin is a content marketer with experience crafting thought-provoking content that drives awareness and supports customer acquisition. She is also a travel writer and podcaster in the tourism space.