By Rumbi Pfende: Head of Advertising Europe - GameHouse

In 2012, GameHouse, the UK’s leading social gaming sales house, commissioned NewZoo (one of Europe’s leading independent research houses) to analyse how the UK is consuming media as a whole, and most interestingly, examine the relationship between Gaming as an advertising medium compared to the “Holy Trinity” of TV, Radio and Print. Surveying over 17,000 UK residents, the results bring to light some of the most interesting facts about British media consumption to date.

Over the next 3 weeks, we will examine how Gaming stands up against TV, Radio and Press and in doing so, try to answer that age old question; “Just how effective are conventional advertising models in 2013?”

It’s no secret that TV has dominated the media schedules of most major clients. Indeed, an ad campaign on TV is the Holy Grail for many aspiring brands. It’s the Premier league, the big time and the ultimate benchmark of success…right? There’s no disputing the fact that, on paper, TV attracts big numbers, but just how effective is TV advertising in today’s modern world?

The NewZoo Survey highlights the fact that thanks to technological advances and the introduction of digital TV, the way we now consume TV has changed dramatically; which in turn has a major impact on the effectiveness of TV advertising. Thanks to Mr Branson & Murdoch installing their boxes in almost every home, we the viewer, are now in control of what we watch and more importantly when we watch it. We can pause live TV, we can record multiple shows at the same time while watching another or indeed, watch our favourite programmes on “catch up TV”. Most importantly of all we can - wait for it - fast forward through the ad break or, if we don’t fancy it, skip it altogether! All joking aside, surely the potency and power of TV advertising must now be called into question? The captive audience of yesteryear is no longer there. Time has moved on and surely the methods of how we reach an audience must move on as well?

The engagement levels in an online game are unprecedented: the advertiser usually has 100% share of voice so there is no competition while the game loads, and the dwell times are unparalleled at 18mins a session compared to 60 seconds on TV. The player is highly involved and anticipatory and this mindset would be challenging to replicate elsewhere.

This is further reinforced by the research, which states that more than half of those questioned (56%) admitted to regularly skipping advertisements when watching TV, while nearly three quarters of those questioned (a massive 72%) record programmes to watch at a later date.

Interestingly, when it comes to gaming, almost a fifth of those questioned (19%) pay more attention to adverts whilst gaming than watching adverts on TV. While over a half over those questioned (51%) believe that gaming is a much more stimulating medium than TV.

Of course I’m not suggesting for one second that all planner/buyers should desert TV in favour of Gaming, but with healthy and consistent year on year growth, (33, 600, 000 UK Gamers in 2012. Source: NewZoo), the ability to really interact with the customer, as well as the significant “like for like” savings on ad budgets, maybe it’s time that they start looking at gaming as a credible advertising medium. Yes, we may be smaller than TV (for now), but let’s not forget, Goliath himself was once a boy….

Published on: 10:50AM on 14th February 2013