The Gaming Industry and the OOH Advertising

Today’s gaming industry has proven to be one of the most innovative sectors in technology. The term “entertainment” is not only reserved for the music and film industries, it also includes  gaming, which has spread to all corners of the globe and has provided immeasurable entertainment for millions. Nobody thought that simple video games from the 70s and 80s likePac-Man and Arcade would become the basis of today’s 200-billion-dollar gaming industry – an industry that’s constantly pushing the limits of technology and entertainment.

Out-of-Home (OOH) Advertising plays a very vital role in gaming inspiration. ExterionMedia, the UK’s award-winning consumer panel, found half of the UK’s urban audience plays games on their smartphones at least once a week; this rises to 61% for those aged 16-34. Furthermore, more than 22% and 35% of urbanites use gaming gadgets every week. The amount of time people spend playing games is very high, which has increased at an excessive rate due to the Pandemic. 

Covid-19 has had a negative cultural impact on everyone around the globe. There has been a dramatic shift in technology and innovation. Disconnecting socially was one of the most important precautions to take during the Pandemic to reduce the effects of the virus. However, the gaming industry kept the essence of socializing alive through virtual world games. Gaming became an important form of entertainment during the lockdown with people connecting with each other by playing video games at home. Also, significant growth in sales and playing time has been observed during the Pandemic. With gaming industries experiencing exponential growth, experimenting with various kinds of marketing strategies is becoming more important. Let’s see some impressive examples of gaming billboard designs.

Red Dead Redemption 2

We know that Outdoor Advertising is known to be one of the best marketing strategies to increase awareness among consumers. Due to their positive aesthetics, giant billboards are highly impactful, making them extremely popular with audiences everywhere. Taking these factors into consideration, Red Dead Redemption 2, one of the most famous video games of all time, was seen in New York City advertising with huge billboards for people to get excited about the game’s release. The following pictures were shared via Twitter and Instagram of these amazing ad campaigns. The billboards conveyed the release dates as well as their slogan, “Outlaws For Life”.

Moreover, on the westbound and eastbound sides of the Andaz Hotel along the Sunset Strip, these giant-sized billboards were spotted from October 15 to October 20, and a smaller version of the billboard was spotted along San Vicente Boulevard on October 27, 2018. These huge outdoor billboards made a big impact in Southern California with sales exceeding 17 million.

Call of Duty WWII

Another creative example is the war game, Call of Duty World War II. First seen along the Sunset Strip in West Hollywood on April 27, the gigantic Call of Duty WWII billboard returned to the same location in October 2017.

Other smaller billboards, including landscape ads, were captured along 3rd Street, Sunset Boulevard, La Brea Avenue, and Santa Monica Boulevard in the same year.

These gigantic ad campaigns have clearly been profitable for these companies since these incredible, creative ideas were taken into consideration. 

FIFA 2021

During the launch of the best selling sports video game, FIFA 2021, the video game electronic arts publisher for the game wished to promote the FIFA brand beyond the game boundaries and scattered large monumental campaigns throughout local communities across the UK. The local OOH campaign featured five murals across England, designed by Graphic Designer and Illustrator Scott MacRoy, featuring players from local clubs. 

EA wanted to inspire people to play by driving awareness, excitement, and innovation among them. Their key performance indicators consisted of Mass Awareness, Local Awareness, and Contextual Awareness, and they knew they could only create that effect through Outdoor Advertisements. EA presented an OOH creative 101, showcasing best-in-class campaigns, innovative projects from gaming clients, and maximizing OOH creative strategies.

These beautiful murals attracted considerable popularity from consumers and were active in sharing pictures on social media to promote next-generation FIFA 2021 for the Playstation 5.

Pokemon Go

After the launch of its mobile game, Pokemon Go, in the United States, the game’s users began to spend an average of 33 minutes per day during the first week of the launch compared to other social media high-tech firms. The growth led to Nintendo’s share increase of 10 billion dollars.

The Pokemarketing strategy developed by Service King, a collision repair service, launched the campaign, “#Don’tCatchAndDrive,” as part of their branding. It consists of 100 billboards all over the nation with a message of safe driving.

PlayStation 5

For the PlayStation 5 console launch, Sony designed a giant billboard and an augmented reality (AR) filter in Mong Kok, Hong Kong, to engage the PS-lovers and provided an immersive experience for them. The billboard contained four AR effects, each representative of a different video game. To activate the augmented reality experience, the viewer had to open their Instagram and point their camera against the billboards.

Sony’s billboard illustrates how, “Play has no limits,” which is part of PlayStation’s branding approach. According to their statement, the AR itself is “breaking barriers between the digital world and reality, enhancing reality with the digital layer on top of it, and adding creativity to the reality.” More than 2,000 people visited the billboard in Mong Kok, as it is situated in one of the busiest locations in the city.

XBOX ONE

With the launch of the Xbox One console, Microsoft started an Outdoor advertising campaign that involved painting the side of buildings with tablet figures as a way to promote the product.

These outdoor ads made their way through major US cities with their various slogans and catchphrases. It was like gathering trading cards. The idea behind these massive billboards, with limited text, was to attract the targeted audience, and with the minimum text written on the ads, people would hopefully not miss the content while driving.

Microsoft Xbox One ‘Survival of the Grittiest’ Campaign

The year 2016 was another year of incredible ad campaigns conducted by two advertising agencies. McCann London and Momentum Worldwide created a campaign called the Microsoft Xbox One Survival Billboard. Event Awards also recognized the stunt for Outstanding Marketing Campaign and Outstanding Creative Idea.

Xbox had to recruit eight players for a reality show-style contest to launch its latest game, Tomb Raider. These gamers posed in the middle of the billboard as part of the ‘Survival of the Grittiest’ headline. During the event, 22,000 people voted, 56,000 hours of content was streamed, and 3.5 million viewers viewed the video in one day. The winner, who lasted 22 hours, was awarded a trip to one of the destinations presented in the game.

These artistic, unique, and beautiful billboard designs exemplify the creative yet innovative execution that had a profound effect on audiences and increased talkability about the marketed products.

Wrap up

Growing innovation in technology is about increasing the number of creative marketing ideas. Although billboard advertising has been the most traditional way of communicating, its effect is still strong and many of the big companies are turning to those traditional mediums instead of streaming content online – for one simple reason! Outdoor billboard advertisements are so huge that the designs come out brilliantly. The text is merely minimal, but the effect is great and these huge posters can be seen from quite a distance. 

Billboard ad campaigns also help advertisers to determine the number of times the advertisement has been viewed and the brand has been remembered using these marketing strategies.

In terms of gamer audience, gaming’s reach is comparable to that of social media, with an audience of 2.6 billion to social’s 3.5 billion and during the lockdown, the numbers have increased further. According to Adjust, video-game downloads increased 75% year-over-year in Q1 2020 and installs that same week posted a 132% jump s. Furthermore, gamers  spent 47% more time playing games.

The gaming industry is continuously evolving and is now a leading form of entertainment. OOH campaigns can reach target audiences efficiently and leave a lasting impact by making good use of the media mix, but also by promoting themselves purely on their own. Be it the Playstation’s, “Play has no limits” approach or the Xbox’s, ‘Survival of the Grittiest’ campaign, OOH marketing is highly creative and is a good way to build customer trust.

The OOH industry has evolved and is also exploring the use of mobile data and that of Artificial Intelligence to record impressions of campaigns. This improvement will be a great opportunity for the OOH industry to use the combined technology and physical means to boost  advertising campaigns. It can also assist OOH in the creative content side of things.

OOH has always embraced emerging industries and strived to benefit  brand marketers worldwide.

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