One Brand’s Adventures in Advergaming

By Jonathan Baker
(Contributor: Michael Perpero, Growth and New Business Intern at EGC)

Combine “advertising” with “video gaming” and you get not only a unique compound word—“advergaming”—but a novel way to attract customers via connected television (CTV). And one iconic brand is capitalizing on this brave new world of advergaming. (Hint: “It all started with a mouse.”)

Disney adds advergaming to its mix

It’s fitting that the Walt Disney Company—which revolutionized animation nearly 100 years ago—should apply the modern innovation of advergaming to its marketing strategy, aided by these partnerships:

  • BrightLine: An enterprise promoted as “the standard” for advanced CTV ad experiences.
  • KERV Interactive: An artificial intelligence (AI)-powered video collective technology company.

With BrightLine and KERV Interactive, Disney is producing and displaying expanded formats that feature first-to-market advergaming and shoppable CTV ads. Despite this powerful joining of forces, this adventure in advergaming may be a challenge.

Experimental advergaming

An article in Marketing Dive pointed out that advergaming is still “experimental territory.” With Disney’s plan, two games are served to viewers:

  • “Quiz Show”: A multi-question trivia game that will be played during ad breaks.
  • “Beat the Clock”: The familiar contest where tasks are to be completed within a limited time frame. (This game lists high-tech golf brand, Topgolf, as its charter advertiser.)

Whatever the challenges, let the advergaming begin!

Watching content and playing games

Disney’s goal is to improve and increase opportunities for interactive brand messaging. Viewers use their remotes to play these games as they unfold on screen, which are presented on Hulu and ESPN. These games will hopefully be an entrée into other types of content that users will find both entertaining and engaging. (The emphasis on “engaging” through interactivity is especially important.)

Interactive engagement through advergaming

Very simply, people want more interactivity, whether on social media or, in this case, television. (Consider, for example, Instagram’s implementation of polls earlier this year that enabled users to leave feedback in posts.) Now, by serving highly interactive content on CTV—in the form of “Quiz Show” and “Beat the Clock”—Disney hopes to keep viewers engaged and remain tuned in for longer periods of time. This increases the likelihood of these same viewers going offsite and purchasing from brands that are being advertised. Thanks to digital innovations like QR codes, this move from game playing to purchasing is quick and efficient—something else that viewers (now in “consumer mode”) love.

New, unique advertising experiences

Jamie Power, SVP, Addressable Sales at Disney, summarizes the purpose of what advergaming is all about:

“Brands come to Disney with the intent of delivering new, unique advertising experiences for consumers that both drive engagement and provide a seamless viewing experience. Offering expanded shoppable ads and advergaming formats to marketers will allow them to connect with audiences in a more differentiated and dynamic way.”

The tagline for both Disneyland and Disney World is “The Happiest Place on Earth.” Who knows? If Disney’s foray into advergaming proves successful, it may also become “The Happiest Place on Connected Television.”

From social media to video production—among all other kinds of advertising—the EGC Group stays up to date on the latest trends that maximize a brand’s visibility and messaging. Can our full suite of marketing services be of service to you? Let’s connect.