Our resident trend watcher, Jake Galea, summarises the golden rules for brands looking to get into gaming:
- There’s no such thing as ‘Gamers’: The UK gaming audience is incredibly diverse and gaming is now a fully mainstream activity. 50% of the UK population play a game of some form every week, and the fastest audience growth is amongst 35-54s. The range of games available is now as diverse as TV, books or cinema. In the same way the audience of Countdown and Love Island is vastly different, there are big budget AAA games that cater to hardcore competitive gamers, but for every Fifa or Call of Duty, there is an independent title or a mobile game that caters to every audience segment. Banish those images of men on their own in the basement. Gaming is mainstream.
- Don’t Dump & Run: To succeed in the gaming community, brands must be authentic and add genuine value to the audience. Any brand jumping on the bandwagon, shoehorning their message or hijacking a game in a way that feels forced will be called out and shunned immediately by the community. Adding value takes time and being accepted doesn’t happen overnight; brands must align and build the trust of the gaming community to reap the substantial benefits. Barclay’s sponsor live football, so it makes sense for them to sponsor esports events. KFC get involved with gaming on social channels providing the compliment to gaming as their chicken does. Stay in your lane offline and online.
- Gaming doesn’t just mean in-game activation: For brands to win in the gaming space, it doesn’t have to be costly game activations or premium partnerships. The gaming community don’t just play games; they watch gaming, they read about gaming, they discuss gaming, they post about gaming. And brands can reach this passionate, loyal, attentive audience in a multitude of supporting media channels to build a presence, and benefit from the rewards.
- Dismiss gaming at your peril: The opportunity is now.