Game On - understanding a nation of gamers

The Technoanalysis session that this research was part of has now been nominated for the Best Overall Contribution to Conference Award at MRS Impact 2016. 
The winner will be announced at the MRS Excellence Awards lunch at The Langham on 10 June. Stay tuned! 

Your attention please!

Game Pad

It’s hard to grab attention and even harder to keep it. Yet attention is something we all crave and as marketers it is something we need to deliver. It was this thinking that led us to gaming, a medium unique in its ability to hold attention as well as drive interaction. So, what is it about gaming that makes it so engaging? Does it really hold potential for brands as an advertising medium?

To answer these questions the team at Kantar Media conducted a unique research project to dive deeper into the world of the gamer. The consumer research used innovative hybrid approaches, including qualitative, quantitative and biometric observations.

We selected these three biometric techniques for the combined insights they could deliver:

Eye Tracking  Galvanic skin  Facial Expression 
Eye-tracking, allows us to understand exactly where on screen our gamers are focusing their attention Galvanic Skin Response, measures the level of cognitive arousal our gamer is experiencing, so how much attention is being taken up Facial coding, in this instance was focused on smile moments to understand which elements of the gaming experience increased happiness

Our quantitative research was quite broad in scope, looking across platforms at different types of gamer. By contrast, our qualitative approach was case study led, focussing on players of Grand Theft Auto V and FIFA 15. We also explored different gaming environments – home screen, solus play, multiplayer and social media channels. We were seeking to understand two things across these scenarios – ‘What is the experience for the gamer?’ and ‘Is this a valuable place for a brand to be?’

A taste of what we found:

  1. Attention - Attention is a commodity we cannot underestimate as marketers and our implicit research tools highlighted specific optimum moments in gaming sessions for brands to integrate themselves 
  2. Pragmatism - Gamers are often quite  pragmatic, if they can see a value trade-off and you DON’T interrupt the play or immersion they are not as closed to brands as we might expect
  3. Realism -  The more a game attempts to replicate the real world around us, the more open it is for brand integration 
  4. Ownership - The more private a space the more intrusive a brand will feel and this runs right the way through the gaming experience, from home screen, single or multi play gaming, through to social channels like Youtube and Twitch
  5. Enhance - Within the game play itself embedding is  great as you add to the immersion but if you can enhance the game that could be even better for brands, e.g. sponsoring new or bonus elements 
  6. Kudos - This idea of enhancing leads us to Kudos, in the multiplayer world gamers want to show off and brands could help with this, e.g. a new sponsor on your teams kit could be unlocked if you reach a certain level in FIFA making the new brand aspirational in the eyes of players 

If you’d like to know more about what we have been doing and finding out we’d love for you to get in touch!

To find out more for the Technoanalysis session you can click here.

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James Burke

Call me 0207 160 5875