Why TV Ads are No Match for Game-Based Marketing


A recent study by YouGov found that over 61% of people dislike advertising.

I know, big surprise right?

But what is surprising is that likeable, funny ads often aren’t effective.  

A study by Advertising Benchmark Index found that ad likeability doesn’t correlate to brand linkage or messaging. And a study by Ace Matrix found that making TV ads funny didn’t increase their effectiveness or persuasiveness.

In plain English, just because people like your ad doesn’t mean they are going to buy more of your stuff.

So how do you improve brand engagement and drive more sales?

Game-based Marketing.

Right Time, Right Message

We’ve written before about how consumers just aren’t shopping the same way anymore. People are actively carving their own shopping journeys and they expect relevant content, delivered exactly when they want it.  

How does this affect marketing? Since people are carving their own shopping journeys, they don’t want to watch ads while they’re trying to relax. Instead, they seek that information out when they’re ready to shop.

This is already evident with TV ads. One study found that 86% of people skip TV commercials and another study reported that 60% of people download or record shows so they can skip ads.  

And for those of you on YouTube’s side of the great TV debate -- bad news, it’s not just TV ads. 94% of YouTube users skip pre-roll ads after just 5 seconds (when the “skip ad” button becomes available).

Game-based marketing is different because they make consumers come to you, not the other way around. Consumers choose when and how long they interact with your brand.

And that’s a more positive experience than having brand messaging shoved down your throat when you just want to watch a video of a kitten bowling.

 You're welcome.

You're welcome.

Better Engagement Rates

Do you remember the last time you actually paid attention during a commercial break on TV? One study found that 71% of people use a second screen (like a laptop or cellphone) during TV commercials. That’s bad news for marketers considering consumers who use a cellphone/tablet while watching TV only recall 1.6 out of every 3 brands mentioned in commercials compared to 2.43 out of 3 when they’re solely focussed on the TV.

Game-based marketing is different. It turns consumers from passive recipients into active explorers of your brand’s content. And it forces engagement — you can’t use your phone to check Facebook while you’re playing a game or you’ll lose!

Plus game-based marketing makes engaging with brand content fun. We’ve had consumers continue to play games for years after the promotions have ended!

Target Specific Results

Most TV ad proponents talk about how great TV is for long term goals. And that might be true. But why would you settle for just long term goals when you can achieve short term and long term success with gamified promotions?

Game-based marketing lets you actively drive the results you want by incorporating your goals into the game. You can prompt social sharing, loyalty program and email list opt-ins by making them rewardable actions within the game -- all of which sets you up for long term success. Plus you can drive sales by incorporating purchase codes within the game to give you that short term boost in sales.

Not to mention you can collect vast amounts of personal data when you run a gamified promotion. Information like names, emails, birthdays, favoured products, shopping histories — pretty much whatever you need to make your personalization efforts more effective.

Let’s see a TV ad do that.

Measurable ROI

Part of the problem with TV ads is it’s hard to measure the ROI. There’s no clicks to count, no open rates to analyze. There’s not an easy way to prove that your (expensive) TV ad was why someone purchased your product.

On the flip side, game-based marketing makes tracking your ROI easy. Consumers have to interact with your promotion, and complete actions to earn prizes — which means those actions (like joining your email list or making a purchase) are tracked.  Calculating ROI is as simple as pulling a report from the promotions analytics suite.

The Bottom Line

With increasing pressure to prove marketing efficiency, it doesn't make sense to keep spending large chunks of your budget on channels you can't measure. 

Game-based marketing campaigns & promotions make it easy to target specific results and measure your ROI. There's no more guessing; you can know for sure how effective   a specific campaign was — and that's sure to make your boss (and their boss) happy.