SHANGHAI – OMD China has launched the fourth edition of its ongoing research series, Rhythm, with the latest report entitled Gamers. The study provides marketers with an in-depth understanding of online gamers in the People’s Republic of China, as well as examines the effectiveness of in-game advertising.
In recent years, online games have become a mainstream form of entertainment across all ages, especially those played on mobile phones. Research reveals that there are 626 million online gamers in China, resulting in an increasing number of brands exploring the potential of this medium. While most brand promotion is currently either through in-game advertising or content sponsorships, there is still much to uncover about gamer behaviours and the effectiveness of advertising to this audience.
In order to demystify the stereotypes and lack of understanding surrounding gamers and provide marketers with a clearer understanding of this audience and the impact of advertising to them, OMD China conducted a proprietary research study in partnership with Millward Brown. Here are some of the key findings from Rhythm: Gamers:
- Gaming is not limited to “young males” only. Research shows that the myth of gamers being mostly “young males” is false. The average age of a Chinese gamer is 31 years of age, and 41% are female.
- Gaming is a balanced part of a gamer’s life. Only 38% of gamers consider gaming a primary choice of entertainment. The average daily time spent on gaming is similar to that of watching online videos. As gamers are constantly on the lookout for new games, the average interest for a game lasts approximately 5.8 months. This audience group is also prudent when spending, investing only a 2% of their monthly income on games.
- Gaming has a larger impact on a gamer’s life than just providing “fun”. The motivation for gaming is not limited to only “having fun”. Games help broaden gamers’ social networks and provide a sense of achievement and accomplishment. Furthermore, gamers state that gaming offers them experiences unavailable in the real world.
- Gamers are accepting of brand association and cooperation. Among in-gaming advertising formats, TVCs featuring online game characters are proven to be the most effective, followed by offline store and packaging cooperation.
“Demand on cooperating with popular online games is only increasing because brands are looking to target younger audiences,” says Elena Hu, Associate Director of Marketing Sciences, OMD China. “However, there are still many misconceptions on both games and gamers. It is important for marketers to have clarity on their consumers’ behaviours and preferences before we recommend this channel. This study provides our clients the opportunity to apply valuable insights into their media strategies.”
Bhasker Jaiswal, Managing Partner at OMD, added: “There was a lot of talk about gaming last year, but not many research studies that deep-dived into gamers and their behaviours. With China being the largest gaming market in the world, it is essential that we know as much as we can about this growing audience. Rhythm: Gamer helps OMD better serve our clients by understanding gamers and evaluating the effectiveness of various in-game advertising formats, which in turn provides a solid framework as to how brands should be involving gamification into their media plans.”
View the full Rhythm: Gamers report here.
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