Want a great way to build engagement with your audience and increase brand awareness?
Take a cue from your childhood and tap into the possibilities of gamification! Gamified ad campaigns are an increasingly popular option for brands looking to deliver high-quality, interactive advertising experiences to their target audience.
And it’s easy to see why.
In their 2016 report on rich media benchmarks, Sizmek noted that rich media ads (which include ads with built in games) boosted engagement 7.44 times more than standard banners. Click through rates were almost doubled for rich media.
Clearly, there’s opportunity in gamified campaigns. In a minute, we’ll look at a few ways to build quality ads that are full of fun and games.
But before we dive in, let’s tackle one of the most frequently asked questions about game ads.
Do gamified ad campaigns take a long time to produce?
Not necessarily. While it’s true that developing game ad creative is more involved than say, a standard banner ad, it doesn’t need to be a 6+ month process. The two biggest factors that impact production turn time are a comprehensive briefing and delivery of creative assets. Once those tasks are completed, an experienced digital production agency can turn your campaign around in as little as 4 weeks.
Exceptions: industries with a lot of regulatory hoops to jump through, like healthcare, will take longer to launch. But, that’s true of any digital display advertising campaign in those industries, not just gamification ads.
Now, let’s look at a few of the best ways to build better fun-filled ads for your target audience.
Optimize for speed, functionality and server specs
Gamified ads have a lot of moving parts. Literally. Whether you’re syncing up animation and audio or developing interactive elements, file sizes can become….hefty. That’s why it’s crucial to optimize every aspect of your creative. Bulky files could result in slow load times (potentially missing out on valuable impressions), buggy functionality (resulting in user frustration) or incompatibility with ad server requirements (requiring lengthy QA rounds with your digital production agency).
Now that HTML5 has officially displaced Flash in ad development, optimizing your creative has become an even more resource-intensive process. It requires in-depth knowledge of multiple coding languages, ad server requirements and a variety of digital production tools. That’s why we recommend working with a digital production agency to develop your rich media ads.
Keep the branding discreet
We know: this tip seems counterintuitive. One of the reasons you’re putting resources into producing a game-based ad is to build engagement and brand awareness. Featuring the brand is kind of the whole point, right?
There’s just one problem.
Too much branding will drive users away (with a bad taste in their mouths, no less).
Consumers are increasingly wary of advertising, and they dislike poorly developed ads. If you present them with a game and then plaster branding across it, they’ll move on. Fast.
Gamification campaigns only need a light touch. Case in point: an interactive web page we built for Lacoste to promote their fragrances. One of the game elements featured their trademark alligator. It was subtle, fun and effective.
Choose a good digital production partner
When it comes to producing a complex rich media campaign, your digital production partner can mean the difference between your campaign succeeding or failing.
And that’s true whether they’re an agency, freelancer or in-house team.
Whatever you do, resist the urge to go with a discount solution While it may be tempting to save a few bucks upfront, it’ll cost you in the long run. There’s no cutting corners when it comes to developing creative for gamified campaigns. They’re resource-intensive with lots of moving parts. Everything can go wrong if you don’t have knowledgeable team members or vendors working with you.
Make sure your investment is maximized by selecting a digital production agency that’s experienced with developing rich media ad campaigns. If you’re not sure how to screen potential partners, we put together a helpful list of questions to ask before hiring a rich media specialist or digital production agency.
Now that you know how to build better gamification ads, you’re on your way to delivering more powerful campaigns for your brand or clients. And if you want to understand how to manage rich media campaigns more effectively, stay tuned. We’re about to release a free guide that details exactly how to do that!
Yoni Levy is the VP Managing Director of Digitaland. He has an extensive knowledge and global presence in managing digital campaigns worldwide, and he is a master in building and developing personal business relationships with key people in the market