Written by Glenda Wynyard
When we think of digital marketing, our minds often jump to social media platforms, search engines, and display ads. However, there's an ageless and rapidly growing channel that has been quietly gaining momentum in recent years – gaming.
Gaming, once seen as a niche activity for a specific demographic, has transformed into a sprawling landscape of opportunities for brands to connect with diverse audiences through in-game advertising, partnerships, and even the creation of the games themselves.
Let’s unlock the power of this multilevel, multiplayer, multi-executional digital marketing platform.
But first, if you want a background on In-game advertising (IGA), click here.
#1 Gaming’s not just for basement-dwelling teens
The gaming world isn't confined to a specific demographic anymore. A staggering 86% of global internet users have gamed on some device in the past month. From teenagers to those in their golden years, gaming spans generations and crosses demographics. In fact, older age groups are more involved in gaming than you might think, rivalling the readership of online magazines and viewership of video-on-demand services.
#2 A new generation of influencers have arrived
Gaming influencers are more than just players; they are trusted community leaders. Content creators in the gaming ecosystem have cultivated passionate fandoms, presenting unique opportunities for brand partnerships. Gaming influencers especially resonate with Gen Z, which is why they’re a prime target for many brands and can be effectively engaged through gaming. The key lies in relevance, authenticity, and collaboration rather than control.
#3 Brands are now playing the game
The integration of brands into game plots and characters has proven to be a potent tool for driving brand awareness. Research demonstrates that brands integrated into a game's narrative are remembered and recognized more frequently than those relegated to static billboards. This fusion of brand and story creates a more immersive experience that resonates with gamers.
#4 Gaming embraces diversity
The gaming audience is diverse, composed of casual, mainstream, and power players. Casual gamers, who don't always identify as gamers, make up around 39% of all gamers. This segment boasts higher household incomes and is an attractive target for brands. Surprisingly, casual mobile gamers are 50% female, providing a unique avenue for female-focused advertising.
Women are significantly driving the growth of the gaming market. Preferences differ slightly, with women favouring single-player gaming and showing hesitancy towards online multiplayer modes. Brands targeting female gamers are tapping into a powerful demographic that is receptive to advertising and influential in their social circles.
#5 A new type of social media platform is here
Gaming has evolved into a thriving social platform. Over 43% of gamers worldwide have played games with real-life friends online in the past month. Live gaming streams attract a massive audience, and gamers frequently share their gameplay experiences online. Far from being solitary, gaming is now a medium for social interaction, with players connecting via voice and text chats.
Safe to say, the gaming world is no longer a niche subculture – it's a thriving ecosystem with untapped potential for brands. The diverse audience, the rise of female gamers, and the evolving social nature of gaming all contribute to a rich landscape for digital marketing. Brands that embrace gaming's unique dynamics and engage authentically with gamers stand to unlock unprecedented opportunities for growth. So, let's level up our marketing strategies and step into the virtual world where the possibilities are boundless.
About In-game advertising
In-game advertising (IGA) is where the virtual world and real-life brands collide and is the digital marketing realm's latest playground. It comes in two primary flavours: static and dynamic. Static ads are the virtual equivalent of billboards or product placements. Once placed in a game, they remain unaltered. Dynamic ads, on the other hand, are served dynamically into predetermined locations, allowing for targeted customization based on factors like geographic location, time of day, age, and gender. This flexibility brings efficiency and campaign precision to a whole new level.
eSports, the competitive multiplayer video gaming world, has blossomed into a mainstream spectacle. Online streaming platforms and offline events draw in spectators from all corners of the globe. It's not just about the gameplay; it's about the drama, the camaraderie, and the sheer thrill of watching skilled players battle it out. eSports opens up a vast arena for brands to engage with their target audience through sponsorships, collaborations, and advertising during these events, making competition a digital marketing phenomenon.
When we speak about gaming video content (GVC), we’re referring to the multifaceted domain that encompasses eSports, live game streaming, and gaming-related video on demand. Platforms like Twitch, owned by Amazon, are hubs for video game live streaming, including eSports competitions. This universe of possibilities offers advertising opportunities ranging from pre, mid, and post-roll videos to sponsorships and host-read ads.
Mobile gaming, the darling of gaming's new age, has democratised the gaming experience. Free-to-play games, backed by ads and supplemented by in-app purchases, offer a win-win for both gamers and publishers. Ad formats like videos, banners, and native ads are skilfully integrated into the mobile gaming landscape, while reward-based videos create a seamless symbiosis between entertainment and promotion.
Okay, so now our gaming context and knowledge is up to date, let’s get to how we can best utilise the latest tool in our digital marketing toolbelt.
This article is part of a series following the topics covered on our podcast, Pending Approval. Glenda Wynyard is the Managing Director of The Media Precinct and host of the Pending Approval podcast. She draws on her wealth of experience in advertising to bring you key ideas from the topics covered in the show. Get these tips and all the podcast news, straight to your inbox.
Transcript - Pending Approval Ep 26: Game on with Adam Fischer
Glenda [00:00:00] Before we get started, we'd like to acknowledge the traditional custodians of the land on which we produce this podcast, the Gadigal people of the Eora nation, and pay our respects to their elders, past, present and emerging.
Speaker 2 [00:00:13] May I have your attention, please? This is Pending Approval, advertising from the inside out.
Glenda [00:00:23] Hello and welcome to the Pending Approval podcast, advertising from the inside out. I'm your host, Glenda Wynyard. For those of you that don't know, I really have spent about a million years in media and advertising. I think it makes me a little bit of an expert on the subject. Now with me is our wonderful, Jack.
Jack [00:00:43] Hello.
Glenda [00:00:44] How are you?
Jack [00:00:45] I am pretty well. How are you?
Glenda [00:00:47] I'm bloody marvelous.
Jack [00:00:49] That's good, how are you feeling about today's topic?
Glenda [00:00:51] I think I'm going to be really, really old.
Jack [00:00:53] I'm feeling like a little bit out of my, I think we're going to learn a lot, which will be good.
Glenda [00:00:57] I think we're going to learn a lot, but it's going to age me, I'm just going to say so we should just rip the Band-Aid off and just let everyone know who's joining us.
Jack [00:01:06] Well, we've got someone from the ever evolving, ever intriguing gaming sector joining us today. So Ready Player One, he's had an illustrious career on the publishing side of the industry with experience across a number of different verticals before recently landing in the gaming space.
Glenda [00:01:24] Ready player one, what the fuck, Jack?
Jack [00:01:27] Well, I'm sort of I'm trying to get down, you know, or fray with the language. I'm not you know, a live gamer. I don't know what the kids are saying these days. Well, not that they're just kids, but, you know.
Glenda [00:01:36] My God, I thought I was going to show my age but Jesus, okay, game on, Player One, game on, Player One or you Player Two, I don't know, I've given up. Welcome, Adam Fischer, Head of Australia and New Zealand at Livewire. How are you going?
Adam [00:01:51] Thanks, guys. I'm good. How are you?
Glenda [00:01:53] I think you're going to scare us.
Adam [00:01:56] It'll be educational. We'll all learn.
Glenda [00:01:58] We will.
Jack [00:01:58] What we like to do is we like to start by asking all of our guests a similar question. Let's get a bit of background, you know, on who they are and how they got into the industry. And what we kind of discover a lot of the time is that people sort of happened upon, you know, the different positions they were in. And our industry, although I'm sure there are some people who were, you know, destined to be media planners or copywriters straight out of the womb and, you know, no discredit to them either. But could you tell us a little bit about how you got to where you are today?
Adam [00:02:25] Yes, of course, so 16 years in media, I went to uni straight out of school, didn't know what I was going to do. So when I did a Bachelor of Business Marketing and Management still had no idea. And there was a like a media sales cadetship. So I did that as an intensive three-month course and then you get a feel for all of media. And then I got placed in a role at the Financial Review. So that was my very first job back in 2007, super interesting, discovered media that way and then had some roles at APN, Bauer and then went to Ziff Davis, which was IG and Mashable. And I'm not a big gamer myself, have played in earlier in career, but it was to go and build the non-endemic side of that business and then that I was there for six years. And then that evolved into Val Morgan because of fandom and then found myself a Livewire.
Jack [00:03:21] There you go, what a journey.
Glenda [00:03:23] That is crazy, okay, Fish, so obviously gaming, like you said, wasn't something that you were always interested in by career choice, but you've obviously evolved and moved into it. I've got to ask this question, did you actually have a favourite game or video game when you were a kid?
Adam [00:03:39] I mean, look, back then we had we had an Atari, so we used to play everything that came with it, like Alec Kidd and Summer Games and we had a Nez and then a Snez. So it was all old classics. Early high school, we played a bit of Quake, but you know, I've got three kids now. If I was still a gamer, there is no way I have time, but my little ones love Roblox and Minecraft too much.
Glenda [00:04:07] What about you, Jack?
Jack [00:04:09] I felt like I was deprived a bit as a kid. I didn't actually have a gaming console until I could save up with my brother with our some jobs to buy a PlayStation 3. I think it was at the time that, gee whiz, that was a summer, got NBA 2k9 and Guitar Hero World Tour, which I think was actually pretty instrumental in the part of me learning how to play drums. So it was a great summer, huge and the guitar, too, you know.
Glenda [00:04:36] We had it all going on in the '70s and early '80s too.
Jack [00:04:42] Just slightly to slightly more rudimentary graphics.
Glenda [00:04:44] So no, look, well, yes, basically I thought my favourite was Space Invaders. The Space Invader machine was in the takeaway bar, Cavill Avenue, Surfers Paradise right at the top next to my mother's, made to measure knitted bikini shop. But we couldn't take it home with us. Like you went and played it there and all the rest of it. But I used to have a really good top ten score and things like that. But at home we had the Atari and it was Pong. It was the favourite game, you know, the tennis
Adam [00:05:15] And it's still a thing.
Glenda [00:05:18] Is it?
Adam [00:05:18] Still a thing.
Glenda [00:05:19] Oh, my God, why? When you can actually like my kids are adults, but my two daughters, they love killing each other in COD. What is that? What is it?
Jack [00:05:30] COD, Call of Duty.
Glenda [00:05:31] Yes, Call of Duty. Studio Pat, how are we?
Pat [00:05:34] Hi, Glenda, how are we?
Glenda [00:05:35] I'm great, what's your because you've just discovered gaming, I hear.
Pat [00:05:39] No, more, I've just started getting back into it.
Glenda [00:05:43] What do you do?
Pat [00:05:44] I'm big on my Fortnite at the moment, keeping up with the trends. But when I was younger, it was always Rugby League Live or some GTA caused a bit of mischief.
Jack [00:05:53] Well, we can have a bit of cross-promotion here as well, which is actually something we'll talk to as you know how the gaming industry has evolved. But Pat's actually got a Twitch channel as well, don't you?
Pat [00:06:01] Yes, I've just launched it last week as part of my personal podcast. So we're doing a bit of Twitch streaming, too.
Adam [00:06:08] Shameless plug.
Pat [00:06:10] I'm pretty average, but I get angry pretty easily, some people like to laugh at.
Jack [00:06:15] Well, that's the thing I actually find the most entertaining about Twitch is not even necessarily the game itself, but it's, you know, the way people interact with it. It's almost like a, you know, a reality TV kind of thing with it. But we'll get into all of that more and more later on. But just sort of toning it back in Fish for, you know, some of our listeners who may not be so familiar with gaming, you know, let alone the advertising opportunities that are available in this space. Could you give us a quick 101 on what advertising in the gaming world can look like?
Adam [00:06:43] Yes, of course, there's a lot to it. Before coming to Livewire while I was working around gaming audiences for ten years and I thought I got gaming, but that was just like the IGN and or Phantom, like the publishing side of it. Turns out I didn't know shit about gaming. So within gaming there are all of these different verticals. So you got platforms like Twitch and YouTube games. Publishers like EA, 2k, Ubisoft gaming news sites like IGN, Fandom, Press Start, influencers, e-sports leagues, teams, IRL events like PAX and DreamHack Hardware, there are more. There's a whole lot more. Those are the main ones. Each of those has their own sales house, so like we sit horizontally across that entire ecosystem, but you can link all of those things together, whether it's world building or influencers or like, you know, deep like triple-A partnerships and integrations. On a flywheel, there are like 15 different parts that make up gaming, but we never really think about all of those things together.
Glenda [00:07:43] It's such a behemoth, isn't it, gaming, like you say, these 15 different parts that make it all happen. And, you know, I look at it and I go like from an old tart's point of view, and I'm sitting there going, what on earth is it that you guys actually do? Because it's such a breadth, like you say, you're sitting across so much. So how about you tell us about Livewire and some of the specialties that you've got.
Adam [00:08:06] Yes, totally, so Livewire's role is to help brands be authentic in gaming. There are all of those different parts that make up gaming and it is quite overwhelming. So we're like a single entry point into gaming for brands. We have monthly catch-ups with all of the publishers and developers. So there are a lot of opportunities that kind of sit around the ecosystem that aren't widely known and not everyone can integrate into. So we have a bunch of media exclusivity, but then relationships across the entire ecosystem that allows us to bring to life some of those opportunities that people aren't aware of or know how to do or can't access.
Glenda [00:08:42] What type of opportunities?
Adam [00:08:44] We can talk through a couple of them. I mean, they might be coming up later, but some of them involve like, you know, IP integrations with major triple-A titles being released or if we're talking about an in-game media perspective, Activision Blizzard Media inventory, we represent exclusively in APAC, same with in-game billboards, the largest and most premium supply [00:09:05]via. [0.0s] We're relaunching in console advertising, there's a whole lot to it.
Jack [00:09:10] It's such a huge space, isn't it? And I think, you know, it's such an exciting space too and just to sort of draw it back is, as you said, Fish, I think we will go a little bit more into detail on formats that are available and you know, how they kind of weigh up against "traditional" media, as we call it. But I wanted to ask a broader question too, and I think just something is kind of interesting in 2023 is this definition of gaming and you know how we actually categorise what this behaviour is. I think especially, you know, with the advent of virtual and augmented reality with the Apple Vision Pro coming out soon as well. How should we be defining gaming in 2023? And how do you see this sort of world or world evolving in the future?
Adam [00:09:53] Yes, I mean, like with the Apple Vision, you know, it's about premium experiences for gamers, and gamers want premium experiences, whether it's on PC, mobile or in VR. So it's about being able to deliver those. I think that the lines are being blurred already between films and games. You see the level of production. So as things begin to evolve, games are already such a big part of everyday life, you know, whether you're on the commute or downtime, you know, in between work or wherever it may be. There are so many different platforms to do it. So, I mean, we expect to see brands align with game releases the same way they do with film. You know, with an Avengers release coming out like a brand will sponsor that film and it's happening already with games, but deeper integration in earlier stages as well.
Jack [00:10:43] And I think that's really interesting too, I think a lot of people have maybe a bit of an outdated notion of what constitutes a gamer again. And I think, you know, there are so many different ways that we do gaming our day-to-day life. It could be, you know, something as intense as Call of Duty, as you said before, Glenda or something I've been getting into is a little bit of mobile chess on the train here and there. And, you know, I'm still being served ads in that environment and it's still, you know, an immersive kind of space. And we've moved so far from this really, I think, stereotypical idea of what a gamer is or, you know, World of Warcraft in the basement. There's so many different touch points and different ways that we can engage with this space. I think I read something on a Forbes article the other day that said two thirds of Australians even play video games in one way or another. So within that, I just wanted to sort of ask your perspective on that and get some insight as to how Livewire meshes what gamers are.
Adam [00:11:34] Yes, that's a great start, like the two thirds one, Digital Australia talks to that, that there's over 17 million Australians engaged with games in some shape or form. We use a lot of different sources. Digital Australia is widely accepted as that in that currency. But same with a lot of partnerships like with Newzoo or GWI and then game publisher insights as well. We're actually we're going to be launching a console data solution as well, so being able to unpack those audiences. So there are a lot of freely available stuff, the stuff that's kind of harder to access via the publishers and partners and then a tech solution that's coming soon too.
Glenda [00:12:11] That's really cool, I use GWI a lot for gaming stats and things like that, I really do, I think it's brilliant.
Adam [00:12:19] There's a really good stat in GWI about the top gaming franchises in Australia, sorry, it's not relevant to this particular question, but it's a mind blower. Candy Crush is the most played gaming franchise in Australia ahead of GTA, Fortnite, Minecraft.
Jack [00:12:37] It isn't just even mobile, like it's the most playful. So you do see it on public transport. You're seeing at least one person playing Candy Crush at all times.
Adam [00:12:45] We always start our pitches with is there any gamers on the call? And everyone says, no, I'm not a gamer but someone's like up I've got Candy Crush or Words with Friends.
Glenda [00:12:54] And that is an interesting thing too, because you can stereotype a gamer and I look at it and I go, I'm a gamer. I'm absolutely addicted to Match 3D and that whole, you know, I know it's sad, but it's very true.
Glenda [00:13:12] Scrabble is another one and all the rest of it and I actually told you this podcast was going to date me. If the admission that I was playing Pong back in the '70s, didn't already but, you know that's a big thing but look, Fish, I know Livewire has got a whole lot of different game segments that marketers can tap into. And look, we've been experiencing success ourselves lately in gaming with a much older profile. We work with a client that's in the aged health care. I'm looking at it and I thought, gosh, that's really interesting because it's actually been really successful for not only click throughs but actually engagement within their website as well. And so what does a typical gamer look like to you?
Adam [00:13:57] I think that's probably the big part of it like there isn't really a typical gamer. Everyone imagines a teen in the mum's basement, covered in Dorito dust and pizza stains. But the reality is so different, you know, white collar, blue collar, moms, dads, grocery buyers. We were talking about Minecraft the other day, my almost six year old is obsessed with it, but then people up to 30+ play it. You know Digital Australia talks a lot about ages of gamers and you know, right up to 45, but then it spikes again around 60 because they talk about games being a way to stave off dementia and keep the mind busy and active so the health benefits of and then as people then move into retirement trading the golf course for mobile games. And my wife like she's completely not a gamer at all. She by definition is an extremely hardcore gamer because she plays Wordscapes for like 7 hours a day while breastfeeding. You know, like it was just something to do in the middle of night. So I don't think there is a typical gamer. But it's really interesting because that's a big misconception from a lot of brands.
Glenda [00:15:05] Look, when you think about gaming as well, it's that great challenge that we've got as an industry about cross-platform distribution as well because we constantly jump between screens and these digital touch points, it can be really hard to determine, which formats are the most effective for campaigns. And so I wonder, could you explain to our audience about GMI and how it tackles this challenge?
Adam [00:15:31] Yes, I think, you know, years ago gaming was the Wild West. Digital is always held to a higher standard and there are more robust reporting and measurements required. So within gaming, we can still do brandless studies to measure things like ad recall, purchase intent, consideration. We can do attribution studies. There's no shortage of ways to showcase how like when, where and why people are using and what happens after that. So I think one of the learnings is that gaming stands really well on its own, but it's super complimentary of other channels because you think about when people are, like you said, sitting there watching TV, they're also playing mobile games but whereas if you're actually playing a more in-depth game, you can't really be doing other things. It's really high attention and so I think there's probably a little bit more work to do with brands as they figure out how to use it, whether it is on its own or with other channels, and then looking at like media mix modeling.
Jack [00:16:37] Well that actually lends itself really nicely to my next question because I think, you know, the results obviously really speak for themselves beyond, you know, audience numbers alone, but also in terms of success from campaigns in the gaming space. But I think another one of the kind of barriers to entry for people from an advertiser perspective into getting into gaming is maybe a bit of a misunderstanding about where this sort of fits in the funnel. And be interesting to get your perspective on that because I know there are so many different formats. You know, is it something that's more about broader brand building or is it conversion or is it a bit of both?
Adam [00:17:11] Good question and it comes up a lot because people think that because it's gaming that it's not going to work for consideration driving. But there are different ad units for all funnel metrics. The gaming can serve as the full funnel. If we're talking about specific ad units, in-game billboards, awareness, because you can't click them, it will be a horrible user experience. We've got in-game audio or rewarded video that you know, drives click through. We can use creators with like influencers with creative codes and or immersive experiences and engage that way. You can do like, you know, ecommerce functionality inside like so it depends what the push is.
Jack [00:17:53] That's what I find so fascinating about it though is I think has the kind of cross section of reality or virtual reality becomes increasingly blurred. In some ways you're almost directly emulating what is a "normal" consumer experience, sometimes in a virtual capacity. So it makes sense that there are different touch points for different parts of the journey in that way, too.
Glenda [00:18:12] I just I love it because I think about the billboard example that you're talking about and you look at the real life billboard and the influence it has versus the virtual billboard and that in-game placement. And I think that some games players can drive past them, but you've got people that are walking up, their avatars are walking up and they're interacting with that billboard. And I just look at the possibilities for clients with these in-game placements and these billboard placements, how are clients finding the results like compared to like a roadside placement, for instance? Can you compare that at the moment?
Adam [00:18:51] Probably not well, I mean, we definitely draw that comparison a lot because you look at even some of the examples that we share before, brands haven't used the inventory before. It's literally an open world with billboards. We talk to it a lot again is probably the way that you can, gaming stands so well on its own or as an extension about a home strategy and the market's like not very mature for gaming you know here like US, UK like people have been doing gaming for a while and a lot of integration, whereas here a lot of it still feels shiny and new. So there's probably some hesitation around it. But when you're buying it in the same way that you buy out a home as an extension and being able to, you know, like geofencing. If you're going to a stadium to watch a game, being able to then target in-game for everything after they've left the stadium or the daily commute, you know, the billboards you see on that road, we can follow that same path. We can, you know, follow the commuter route within game. So there are a lot of different ways you can match and mirror. But I don't think we all necessarily think about those ways.
Jack [00:20:00] Yes, I guess just because it isn't directly like-for-like comparable doesn't mean that it's not incredibly valuable. It's actually kind of interesting. We were just speaking with our head of digital about, you know, the qualitative nature of impressions. And I think arguably in this sense, depending on the game you're playing or the format, I think, you know, obviously looking at a billboard in-game versus driving on any given street, I think, you know, your attention, as you said before, you're completely immersed in this game, you're not, well, sometimes you can literally die in a game, you are not actually, you know, driving in a real car.
Glenda [00:20:34] Just observing my children when they're busy killing each other, they use points of reference. And so I think some of these billboards are actually used as points of reference within the gaming. So I think the attention is totally very high and I don't think advertisers really realise that. I don't think they get it.
Adam [00:20:54] You know, you look at real world out of home and it's based on that opportunity to see, whereas in game we're serving like 100% viewable ad impressions and if you run a brandliv study with it, the one we did for Xbox showed that the ads got viewed, you know, one and a half times the benchmark, but they drove like 19 point increase in subscription intent and consideration, like you can then run like the eye tracking software that the brandliv study is part of. So you can see how and where people are viewing the ad in the game creative.
Jack [00:21:25] That's fascinating, isn't it because being able to track I mean not only your eyes on the screen, but even just looking at what the whole screen is, I think is a far more accurate measure of, you know, someone's attention than potentially out of home in the real world. But I mean, there you go, it will be interesting to see how it goes.
Glenda [00:21:40] I worked on the launch of Xbox. Is it still popular?
Adam [00:21:44] It's still a thing.
Glenda [00:21:45] Still a thing?
Jack [00:21:47] It's one of the one of the big two.
Glenda [00:21:49] Is it, is it still one of the big two though?
Adam [00:21:52] It's one of the big two.
Glenda [00:21:54] Outside of like because I would think the mobile phone now is it would be a device as well that would be thinking about it.
Adam [00:22:01] Definitely Australia is a console first market but 60% of gaming is mobile that's why people recognise Candy Crush. Whereas with friends, you know, like all of those things that people don't call gaming, it's just something they're doing on their phone.
Glenda [00:22:20] Exactly so that would put the mobile phone number one.
Adam [00:22:25] Well, I think that's more of a Southeast Asia thing where console would be number one in this market.
Glenda [00:22:32] I think it's interesting.
Jack [00:22:34] Well, speaking of games, I'm pretty sure you can only access on console you mentioned before or can you play Minecraft on mobile now. Maybe you can, I told you we'd be learning a lot but you mentioned fish before you were talking about your kids playing, you know games like Minecraft and Roblox and they seem to be really popular among a lot of people, but especially, you know, skewing towards, you know, a lot of youth players as well. I wanted to sort of tap on, you know, the question of brand safety, which I think is another thing. Big question a lot of marketers have in this space, how do we tackle brand safety in gaming?
Adam [00:23:08] Look, there are a lot of different ways to do it. In the end, if you're a brand that can't be around, you know, violence, first person shooters, then we can exclude those genres. We can target by game rating, and then we can target by COPPA compliant inventory as well. I do think it's really interesting that the way brands will flock to integrate with Bond, you know, and you look at the core themes of it where it's literally people are getting murdered, poisoned, you know, like the misogyny, like all of those things. But it's a big theatrical release, don't get me wrong, I love Bond. But we still we raise those points when we're talking about gaming, because whether it's Call of Duty or something safer, like sports, like in EA FC. But, you know, it has a double standard with gaming what brand safety is. But there are a lot of safeguards we can put in to steer clear of certain types of games or genres.
Jack [00:24:05] Yes, it does feel like it. There's a bit of catching up to do, I think, in terms of people's perception of what's available in the gaming space too. I know in a lot of the research we did, you do typically associate it with shoot em ups a lot of the time, which again is such an outdated phrase. But, you know, I think you often forget that there are so many more non-violent options out there.
Adam [00:24:27] And if it is a violent game there are non-violent game modes. So I think there's, it's always interesting to unpack that with brands like what they can and can't be around and what they consider to be brand safe because come down to it, there might be workarounds within a popular franchise or just focusing on major tentpoles around sporting moments. Like there are a lot of different crossovers that gaming provides and some incredible releases coming up.
Glenda [00:24:56] It's pretty interesting too. You know what I really love about gaming and I think this is going to take us into other territories, to be honest with you or other parts of our daily lives and that's the virtual experience because I look at the merging between gaming and virtual experiences, I really do believe it's going to evolve further into other parts of everyday life. I just look at that and I think that means the safety and the moderation that we've been talking about, it's going to have to be a lot more than just like an age gate or chat filtering type of scenario. So how do you see that evolving over the years?
Adam [00:25:37] I think it's an interesting one where sometimes laws and regulations take longer to catch up what's happening with tech. But you know, education is a big one. We're seeing Minecraft and Roblox usage in schools. Part of the curriculum there is that they're doing development for games already. So the education piece is happening earlier and you look at what happens with phones, people are learning quicker than what you put out there stays there forever. So I think there's a big piece is education, but also the informed approach with those safeguards we kind of touched on. And then and again, it kind of feeds into why Livewire exists to help guide brands through that.
Jack [00:26:23] Yes, I wish there was integration with Minecraft and Roblox when I went to school. A similar thing, as you said earlier, we had Quake in the in the computer labs. You'd have to get there, what was the other, we had a program.
Glenda [00:26:35] We didn't even know what a computer was.
Jack [00:26:36] What were you saying earlier, the typewriters, the golf ball.
Glenda [00:26:40] We had, we learnt, well it gets worse like so like the stencil machines with the Roney stencil machines to do copies. And I used to love the smell because it was like you know you could get a high off stuff that you used to put on the you know I forget what it was now, methylated spirit. So anyway it was the first form of crystal meth probably.
Jack [00:27:06] What a time to be alive.
Glenda [00:27:09] What a time to be alive, but we used to roll those and they would come out and we had photocopiers. When photocopiers came in like just, they were A4, black and white. I'm really dating myself now. I still remember my first boss in advertising, working out whether or not we were going to get a telex machine, an updated telex machine, or by one of these new facsimiles, like, seriously, guys. You wonder why I was playing Pong.
Adam [00:27:38] When the school got the, like the computer, and it was.
Jack [00:27:41] The computer.
Adam [00:27:42] So there was one in the computer room.
Glenda [00:27:46] We definitely have a computer. We didn't even know what a computer room was.
Jack [00:27:49] How the times have changed, well, if the numbers are anything to go by, it's really clear, you know, that gaming is no longer or should no longer be seen as a subculture. I think it's probably fair to say that it's becoming the cultural or just part of our everyday lives and culture in general. Sort of from a broader light pop cultural lens, how do you feel about the gaming first nature of phenomenon like The Last of US? I think we're really used to seeing this formula inverted. I think, you know, it often goes book and then a movie, then maybe a game. But this is kind of completely subverted that, you know, typical structure we're used to. Do you think we'll see video games lead the charge like this more and more moving forward?
Adam [00:28:29] Great show, by the way, The Last of Us.
Jack [00:28:31] So you know what's bad, I haven't done my research. I haven't actually seen it.
Adam [00:28:34] Is that a lie?
Glenda [00:28:36] No, I loved it.
Jack [00:28:38] I need to watch it. I know, I knew you'd seen it.
Glenda [00:28:42] When I started, I didn't even know it was a game and then the young ones at work told me it was a game. And I was like, oh, my God but I see it as a terrific crossover between gaming and traditional pop culture.
Jack [00:28:52] Absolutely, it's really cool.
Glenda [00:28:54] I really do.
Adam [00:28:55] Gaming is driving culture. You know, one of the things we talk a lot about is, you know, look at Super Mario game, kind of came out 30 years ago and it just crossed a billion dollars at the box office. So there are some good examples, I mean, I think there were a few previous Super Mario that were pretty horrible.
Adam [00:29:14] But, you know, there are more in the works and you see, you know, gaming as an industry is bigger than film and music combined. You know, it's almost a $200 billion industry. So as the storytelling gets better, it's definitely feeding it. I mean, again, we talk about gaming, but some of those adjacent verticals like sport, music and fashion, you see like football players doing Fortnite emotes on the pitch, but then they make their way back into the game. So it's, you know, it goes full circle, but you see new games being made into TV shows and movies and all the way back again. It is super interesting and there are a couple of good ones coming up. There's, you know, like a Gran Turismo film coming like, it's not up your alley.
Glenda [00:30:02] I will miss that, no, definitely not.
Adam [00:30:04] What was the other one, Twisted Metal, yes, they're coming in droves now. It's really good for gaming as an industry, but it all just keeps feeding itself.
Glenda [00:30:15] Yes, it does, if there's ever a house cleaning one, I'll be there. Get out The match 3D I will be good. I thought The Last of Us was absolutely brilliant. And look, Livewire took home the gold, didn't they, for the Best Use of Gaming at the Festival of Media for your one take. Could you just tell us a little bit more about that? And is there anything else that's coming on in the Australian market that's similar?
Adam [00:30:44] Yes, super exciting campaign and it was Amazon music talent paired with gaming influences and we've recreated like four Fortnite maps that were inspired by London locations. So like we recreated East London inside Fortnite and there were integrated challenges built into the map and there were like a whole bunch of Easter eggs, Amazon music, like integration. But that's another good example of something that service like full funnel. There was like 46 million impressions but also drove sign ups for Amazon music and they're actually going to whittle it out to a few other regions. It's a really interesting piece of work, very integrated, not standard, but a good use of a few parts of the ecosystem and again, talks to that cultural crossover of gaming and music.
Glenda [00:31:36] Yes, fabulous.
Adam [00:31:37] Locally we wrapped a campaign at the end of last year for ANZ Bank and banks aren't synonymous with wanting to be around gaming environments. We built them a custom court inside NBA UK and it had brand logos, colours, arena signage, you know, ANZ branding on the jerseys. And then we had a bunch of gaming and sports influencers to promote it within their communities and drive engagement so people could download the court, submit a video of them taking a half court shot, go in the draw to win an $18,000 TV and gaming set up. But one of the cool things is that it was because it's a console game mostly, predominantly, we had out of home billboards inside the NBA 2K world otherwise known as the Neighbourhood. So while people were playing they could scan a QR code with their phone. So then it drove CRM signups too.
Glenda [00:32:33] That's really cool.
Adam [00:32:34] And for people that aren't big gamers, they might have either played or know someone who's played NBA 2k, it's the top 3 console game in Australia, around 95,000 daily active users like this scale there. And it's just one of those things where we're trying to encourage brands that rather than latch on to an execution and say like, I want a custom court, I want to do like a, you know, an Amazon OneTag. If we know like a business problem, we can then use gaming ecosystem and everything around it to help solve that problem.
Jack [00:33:03] So cool.
Glenda [00:33:04] I love it.
Jack [00:33:04] I just love that, you know, as I was saying before, emulating real world consumer experiences in the gaming environment I think is so interesting too. And it is such a different, you know, a broad scale of touch points you can have beyond something as big and immersive as a whole call it, versus, you know, it's the billboard in the neighbourhood, like it's just like the real world and it's really cool.
Glenda [00:33:25] Totally, it's so cool. I love gaming and I love all the possibilities that you can do with gaming.
Jack [00:33:30] Makes me want to get back into 2k, can we get a PlayStation for the office, Glenda, in the boardroom?
Adam [00:33:36] It's a tax deduction.
Glenda [00:33:38] It's a tax deduction.
Jack [00:33:39] It's research.
Glenda [00:33:40] Not a problem, no, we already had one.
Jack [00:33:42] We had a Switch.
Glenda [00:33:44] Yes, I don't know what we had. Fish, this is the most important question you're going to be asked of the day. And it's my favourite; the most important question of the day is what is the most useless invention of all time that you've stumbled across?
Adam [00:34:01] Oh, you know what, I had time to prep for this.
Jack [00:34:07] It's a big question. You absolutely nailed all the other questions, to be fair.
Adam [00:34:11] Yes, I've come very organised for this chat. I get it but when it came to what is the most useless invention, you know, I've seen some of those like, you know, those sunglasses that actually have shades on the sunglasses.
Glenda [00:34:28] Yes, I have two.
Jack [00:34:31] Shades on the sunglasses?
Adam [00:34:33] Like shutters for a window.
Jack [00:34:36] You mean like the circa 2009.
Adam [00:34:40] Kind of, but they weren't meant for a cool intention. It was a functional aspect of sunglasses, literally shutters for your shades.
Jack [00:34:48] That's crazy, I saw a similar thing, well, not similar, but in that kind of fashion accessory kind of world, a Hoverbrella, which is I don't think if it's useless or not, but it's almost like a drone.
Adam [00:34:59] I think it was ahead of its time.
Jack [00:35:01] Yes and it sort of hovers over you as opposed to, so it's like a hands-free brolly.
Adam [00:35:07] It's like the drone is just following you holding an umbrella. You don't have to burden a hand using it.
Jack [00:35:10] Totally not useless, to be fair, it's really actually quite but it makes you look like a bit of a tosser.
Glenda [00:35:17] Actually, it would make you look like a dickhead. So I went the tech route as well, and I've seen similar sunglasses actually with windscreen wipers, but I actually went the tech route. Robovacuum have you guys ever seen those?
Adam [00:35:31] I mean know, if I had a flat enough surface that would make sense for it, it's pretty good.
Glenda [00:35:39] But no, in the real world it's too small to cope with the dog hair, getting stuck under the bed or a chair. It didn't empty properly into the bin thing half the time. Gone.
Jack [00:35:51] I saw Dyson is releasing one, I saw, entering the market.
Glenda [00:35:55] Oh, they should just stick to their bloody hair dryers and whatever they do, like seriously, they're just hopeless.
Adam [00:36:01] No, it could in theory.
Glenda [00:36:03] Great, in theory.
Adam [00:36:06] Caveat, must not have dog, must not have steps up.
Glenda [00:36:08] They can't have a real world. You can't have a carpet or rug or whatever even though they say it goes up, it was the most expensive waste of time.
Jack [00:36:18] Yes, fair enough, maybe it's got some catching up.
Glenda [00:36:20] It's gone and I'm a vacuum freak, so I just look at it and I go, no, useless. You're gone.
Jack [00:36:26] Well, there you go. Well, thank you so much for joining us, Fish that was a really interesting chat. As I said, I definitely learnt a lot and I'm sure our listeners will too. If you want to find, you know, any details about Fish or Livewire, we will have all of those listed down below in the bio as well as me and GW's details too.
Glenda [00:36:42] Oh my God, someone might actually contact me one day that would be nice.
Jack [00:36:46] Heaven forbid.
Glenda [00:36:47] Heaven forbid, I don't know what I'd say. I'd be in shock. Anyway of course, we'd love you to join the Pending Approval community and you can sign up to our mailing list and join in the conversation at mediaprecinct.com.au/pendingapproval. Chow, do come back now.
Speaker 2 [00:37:06] May I have your attention, please? This is Pending Approval, advertising from the inside out.