Players like seeing real-world brands in digital games


New insights from the Data & Marketing Association (DMA) and dotdigital reveal that more than one in three (39%) gamers like seeing real-world brands in the games they play.

This figure increases to 59% for younger consumers too – those aged 25-34 years old.

Real-world brands

In addition, a third (37%) of gamers said they would like to see more of their favourite brands in-game and a similar proportion (35%) would like to buy real versions of products they see within games.

Furthermore, nearly half of gamers (47%) would like to test out products in games that haven’t been released yet from their favourite brands. For consumers aged between 25-34 years old, this figure rises even further to 62%.

“Given the significant amount of gamers’ time and attention paid to the virtual realm”, said Tim Bond, Head of Insight, DMA.

“This can be a real opportunity for brands to connect with groups of customers who may not typically engage with them.

“Many brands are already investing and creating virtual products that live inside these gaming worlds”.

“Therefore, if you are thinking about entering the world of gaming with your brand, it’s important to understand the gamer mindset and how they are willing to engage with brands in-game.”

real-world brands in games

E-sports Offers Fresh Opportunities

Nearly a quarter of UK adults (22%) have watched e-sports or would be keen to do so in the future. The interest in e-sports is also relatively balanced between men (25%) and women (19%).

The rise of e-sports viewership could be influenced by the fact that video games are becoming increasingly popular with a wider demographic. Games of all kinds are available online such as traditional games, competitive games, and more. Games enthusiasts might find something to match their interests irrespective. For example, those who are interested in the Nocturne champion in LOL may find a MOBA Champion guide or similar other resources helpful in learning how to make use of his unique abilities. Champions or characters in a specific game can also be one of the reasons why online gaming is becoming popular. Plus, with the availability of free GBA ROMs, old video games are becoming more popular in order to live through them again. Among the well-known games are mega man 64 which is an action-adventure shooter game released by Capcom.

Bond added: “With limited opportunities for social interaction due to lockdown, online gaming and e-sports have become an opportunity for people to interact with others.

“They also offer unique moments of inspiration for avid gamers while they watch the best in the world battle it out.”

real-world brands in games

Growing demographic becoming gamers

Research conducted in 2020 by Foresight Factory found that almost one in five Brits (19%) said they had been gaming more since the beginning of the pandemic – including women (16%).

It also found that 29% of UK adults played online with others through multiple devices on a weekly basis, rising to 36% among men and 56% for those aged between 16-24 years old. These online games include multiplayer games such as Halo, as well as always-online games such as Elder Scrolls Online. These games often feature “microtransactions” which may be a useful feature to use to promote real-world brands. In addition, many players of always-online games, especially new players, often look to guides like this ESO Mastery dragon knight builds for insight into playing the game. With the groth of new players, focussing advertising of real-world brands on game guides similar to the one linked may be an interesting way to target the market.

Furthermore, more than half of British adults (46%) said they played video games at least weekly, via any device, and over a quarter (22%) every day – especially among Gen Z (30%) and male respondents aged 16-34 (35%). This increase in gaming could present fresh opportunities for brands to associate themselves with a growing industry and a wider demographic than some might think.