Casual Gaming: a missed opportunity for ad agencies

Casual gaming – video games targeted at a mass market audience via mobiles – is booming. Yet the ads within the games are largely uninspiring and boring. Here, Huge ECD EMEA Wayne Deakin explains why ad agencies are missing a trick

Not so long ago you may have spotted that the people around you on your commute were glued to their phones and many of them were tapping into ‘casual games’. Through a lockdown and subsequent changes due to the pandemic, more people are working from home or looking for work from home and the game time of the regular commute has not stopped, it’s just changed location and the number of players has jumped. This is a huge opportunity that advertising agencies need to grasp now, because those habits are likely to stick.

Hyper casual gaming has increased during the pandemic and although the number of players on consoles and dedicated hand-held devices has also grown, people are also turning to their familiar mobile devices for distraction and fun.

According to research by AppAnnie in August, the casual gaming category grew by 45% in H1. This means that even though some players have a nice console with enormous games to explore, the convenience and breadth of options on mobiles is still drawing consumers. Turning that vision around, casual games can also turn non-gamers into gamers due to the low barrier to entry. According to the report, mobile game spending is set to lead desktop and console gaming. So the question remains – why is adland not there with all these gamers, meeting them where they increasingly are?