The largest addressable market in the history of media is forming as you read this, and it can be found in the pockets of billions of people around the globe.
According to a recent Millard Brown study, 47 percent of consumer media screen time is now spent on mobile devices. Audience media consumption patterns are rapidly shifting, yet mobile marketing approaches have not evolved to embrace the new paradigm: banner ads are ineffective, interstitials are interruptive, and video ads feel intrusive.
One emerging form of mobile marketing, however, has been found to successfully engage users like no other: branded mobile web games.
When you stop to think about it, it makes sense. To engage users, simply provide them with the content type they covet. Games are the dominant media on smart devices, accounting for 32 percent of time spent overall and 76 percent of time spent on tablets alone, according to the research firm Digi-Capital. But how can a brand best leverage games as a means to market its products and services?
The solution for brands lies in mobile web games built on HTML5. How are these games different from native apps? A mobile web game is a game that plays directly out of the mobile browser -- just tap-and-play directly from a mobile web site, a link within a Tweet, a chat or post or even from within a native app. Here are links to recent mobile web games from HBO, Warner Bros./WWE and McDonald’s.
Unlike native games, there is no requirement to go to an app store to download the game. That friction is removed. The games themselves are ultra-portable and can be supported on all smartphones and tablets.
Here are five reasons why a mobile web game can help your brand blow away its marketing goals:
1. Off-the-charts engagement
Typical engagement times for branded mobile web games range from three to 10 minutes. That's pretty amazing when you consider engagement for a typical mobile video ad is capped at 15 seconds.
2. The gratitude effect
Instead of interrupting users while they are enjoying content on their mobile devices, be the supplier of the content itself, and do so in a way that removes unwelcome gameplay deterrents and distractions, such as in-game banner advertising and constant prompts to upgrade or make purchases. Providing users with the best elements of the content they love most on mobile results in a sense of affinity towards the brand that can enhance all of your brand’s marketing efforts.
3. Driving home marketing messages
A good mobile web game can seamlessly weave in brand messaging directly within gameplay. Remember, people learn by doing. This Rocketcat Game is a great example of how Progressive Insurance used a mobile web game to educate users on the value of bundling home and car insurance.
4. Cost-effective distribution
Mobile web games can be distributed to millions within the brand’s target demographics through emerging mobile-web-game distribution channels, including popular mobile media sites, portals, messaging apps and carrier and mobile browser storefronts at a fraction of what it costs to drive installs in the app stores. A single HTML5 code base means lots of efficiency and simplicity for your brand, as the game will work on all the major mobile and desktop devices and operating systems.
5. Social amplification
People like to share game experiences. If you keep it fun, simple and remove all friction, users will share. With no download requirement and the fact that mobile web games can work directly within the existing mobile social channels such as Twitter and Facebook and emerging ones such as Kik, a branded mobile web game has the real possibility of going viral should it resonate with the audience.
In many ways mobile web games are the ultimate mobile engagement ad unit: they allow a brand to engage its target audience at scale through the preferred activity on mobile, and to do so in a cost effective manner in a way that fosters social and viral growth. With mobile gaming now representing such a substantial percentage of people’s daily media engagement, brands simply cannot afford to sit on the sidelines. Are you ready to get into the game?