It’s no secret that gaming audiences have been and are a massive opportunity for brands, in terms of sheer size (over 3 billion global gamers!) and audience diversity—a recent study on Frameplay’s audience network in partnership with TransUnion, showed the wide swath of players in our gaming audience. As marketers realize the true potential of gaming as an advertising channel, the questions that follow are “How do I know if my ad was seen?” and “How long was my ad viewed by game players?”
The answer ultimately comes down to three things: Viewability, Intrinsic Time-in-View (a proprietary measurement developed by Frameplay), and Attention. It’s important for every marketer to familiarize themselves with these concepts, and what it means in relation to in-game ad measurement, because gaming isn’t going anywhere
According to the IAB’s Intrinsic In Game (IIG) Measurement Guidelines, viewable impressions are not counted unless these two criteria are met:
- Pixel Requirement: Greater than or equal to 50% of the pixels in the advertisement were visible from the game player's perspective or on the game player’s screen on a fully downloaded (where necessary for gameplay), opened, initialized application or software, on the viewable space of the device, and
- Time Requirement: The time the pixel requirement is met was greater than or equal to one continuous second, post ad render (impression measurement).
In layman’s terms: the game needs to be running, the ad must be at least 50% visible (or more), and the ad needs to be seen for more than one continuous second under the aforementioned conditions. Viewability doesn’t count if the gamer isn’t actively moving in the environment or playing the game, ensuring brands and developers are fairly compensated for a clean view.
Frameplay’s Viewability algorithm ensures an ad is indeed viewable during live gameplay at scale across multiple geographies, devices, and environments across the following factors as calculated by the location of the camera (position telemetry):
- Time on Screen: how long was the ad visible?
- Ad Space Percentage: how much of the ad is on screen?
- Screen Percentage: how much of the screen space is taken up by the ad?
- Ratio Skew: how skewed does the Ad Space appear on screen compared to its original format?
- Rotation: how is the Ad Space oriented in relation to the player’s camera?
- Occlusion measurement: not a requirement, but can factor into the viewability understanding.
Frameplay’s first-to-market industry-leading attention metric, Intrinsic Time-in-View (ITiV), is an industry leading calculation that proves a brand’s in-game ad placement is being seen. Viewability is calculated very differently within the intrinsic in-game advertising space. The spatial difference between the perspective of the person playing and moving around inside the game requires different calculations like skew, lighting, ad ratio, and obstruction. Intrinsic Time-in-View accounts for all of this. Simply put, ITiV measures the length of time an ad impression is viewable during game play by assessing and summarizing these variables from the perspective of the game player. iTiV is a viewability duration calculation.
ITiV was analyzed and validated by two first-to-market studies conducted by Lumen and eye square. Both companies, using unique and differing methodologies and technologies, validated with confidence that Frameplay’s Intrinsic Time-in-View measurement is a viable measure of attention. Eye square was quoted, saying “[we see] great potential in Frameplay’s innovative ad framework technology to satisfy the changing commercial and cultural needs of advertisers, companies and gamers” Lumen had this to say: [Our] composite metric of attentive seconds per ‘000 impressions was used to assess inventory quality across media formats and channels including Frameplay’s in-game intrinsic advertising. The results indicated that Frameplay’s Intrinsic In-Game Advertising performed similarly to social in-feed video norms and outperformed every other social, web, and mobile formats, including social in-feed image.
So we have guidelines that tell us what it means for an ad to be viewed in-game, great! How can we ensure gaming audiences are paying attention to ads while immersed in the game? While the industry is still debating how to define attention, we have clear evidence on some of the contributing factors to attention within the intrinsic in-game advertising space.
Video games have incredible power over a player's time and attention. Gaming is an engaged, lean-in activity. When someone is playing a game, they’re actively controlling the narrative and plot; it requires most, if not all, of the player’s attention.
If someone is streaming a movie or TV show, or listening to a podcast, they could be scrolling through a social feed, folding laundry, or talking over it with friends and loved ones. That doesn’t happen when someone is playing a game. Gaming requires full focus from the player. That said, your brand’s intrinsic in-game ad placement can reap the benefits of this directed, uninterrupted attention by naturally meshing in the gaming environment: our intrinsic in-game advertising report showed gaming audiences preferred intrinsic over any other in-game ad type, and it was the most likely to make them take action.
We’ve had the pleasure of working with prominent brands across many different marketing verticals, and we’ve seen huge successes that tell us gaming communities are not just paying attention, they appreciate the brand’s thoughtful presence in the game. A brand lift survey conducted after Johnsonville’s first intrinsic in-game ad campaign with us gamers were 35% more likely to the brand after seeing them in-game; an in-game campaign run for a Oh Henry! saw 21,870,161 delivered impressions, with a 6.9 point lift in likeliness to purchase the candy after seeing the ad.
There you have it. Here’s a quick refresher on how intrinsic in-game advertising campaigns deliver value and efficacy:
- Industry standards for what constitutes viewability
- Proven results that show gamers are paying attention to intrinsic in-game ads
- Intrinsic Time-in-View, a validated metric to measure that attention
Frameplay has been, and continues to push the in-game advertising industry with impactful ads that help brands connect with gaming audiences, and is also a guiding force in the industry. We’re measuring Viewability, Intrinsic-Time-in-View and Attention, and sharing insights into the mindsets of gaming audiences. We can’t wait to show you what our exciting new analyses and research brings later this year.