How Brands Are Using Games for Marketing

2023-05-09 13:58:004 min. Read time0 Comments

With the growth of video games, it's not surprising that brands have started to incorporate them into their marketing strategies. Video games are a great way to engage with consumers, as they offer an immersive and interactive experience. In this blog post, we will explore the role of video games in advertising and how brands are using games for marketing.

In-Game Advertising

Product placement in video games is a popular marketing strategy that involves placing branded products in video games. For example, a racing game may feature branded cars, or a sports game may feature branded sports equipment. This form of advertising is popular as it allows brands to reach consumers in a non-intrusive way. Players may not even realize they are being advertised to when they see a branded product in a game.

For example Cup Noodles in Final Fantasy XV:

Cup Noodles is a popular instant noodle brand that's known all over the world. In the game Final Fantasy XV, Cup Noodles is a game element that can be consumed to boost the stats of the players.

Branded Games

Branded games are games that are developed specifically for a brand's marketing campaign. These games are often created to promote a new product or service. Branded games can be a great way for brands to engage with their audience in a fun and interactive way.

For example the Heineken Shuffleboard Campaign:

Heineken used a bottle slider game to promote its brand. The campaign ran as a multi-screen online display game. The bottles and target were shown on the primary screen, while players needed to use their smartphone to open up a separate webpage with the paddle. At the end of the game, players could watch a branded video.

Social Media Integration in video games

Social media integration is another way that brands are using video games for marketing. Many games now feature social media integration, which allows players to share their progress and achievements on social media. Brands can use this feature to increase their social media reach and engagement.

For example Facebook friends on Xbox Live

Users could use “Xbox Live Friend Finder” to see which Facebook friends used Xbox Live. Also it allows players to engage Facebook friends in several multiplayer games.

Gamification of Marketing Campaigns

Gamification involves incorporating game-like elements into non-game contexts. This approach has become increasingly popular in marketing, with brands using gamification to make their campaigns more engaging and interactive. Such as, a brand may create a game-like quiz to promote a new product or service.

For example the Starbucks Rewards app

The Starbucks Rewards app gives customers the ability to earn “stars” for every purchase which can be redeemed for drinks or food. With enough “stars” you can pay the next purchase over your phone and the “stars” will be subtracted.

Pop-up ads in video games

Pop-up ads are a common form of advertising in many video games, particularly mobile games. These ads appear suddenly on the screen and interrupt gameplay, often leading to frustration for the player. While they may generate revenue for the game developer, they can also negatively impact the user experience and even drive players away from the game. As a result, many game developers are exploring alternative forms of advertising.

For example Pop-up ads in Playerunknown's Battlegrounds (PUBG)

After starting the menu of PUBG, ads are shown and it's impossible to click on anything other than the ads themselves. To fix the problem you can install an Adblocker on your computer.


One of the most promising methods of advertising has been through the use of video games. The integration of advertising in games has allowed companies to reach a wider audience and connect with them in a more immersive way. While pop-up ads within games have been controversial, other forms of in-game advertising such as product placement and sponsored content have shown promising results. However, it's important for brands to balance their marketing efforts with the overall user experience and be mindful their advertising doesn't distract from the enjoyment of the game too much.

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