Stop Wasting Our Time!

by | Dec 15, 2021 | Brands, Gaming Commerce, In-Game Ads, Mobile Games, Publishers

Losing stuff sucks. Like, just this morning I couldn’t find my favorite bottle of perfume, and the only reason I can think of for it not being in my bag is that it must have fallen out on my cab ride to work. My favourite, expensive, bottle of perfume (L’Interdit Rouge by Givenchy, for those wondering). But luckily, most things we lose are easily replaced. I’ll buy it again come next paycheck, no biggie.

And that’s pretty much how it goes with most things we lose, isn’t it? It sucks, but it’s not life or death. Lost some money in Vegas? You’ll earn it back at some point. Lost your phone? Airpods? Wedding ring? All stuff you can re-purchase (with the appropriate modicum of guilt). Lost weight over the summer? You’ll probably gain that back too at some point (sorry).

But there’s one thing you’re losing constantly that you’ll never get back, and it’s your most precious commodity in this life: Time.
It’s the only thing you can’t rewind, get back, or put in the bank. The one thing we try to control as much as possible, making every minute of it count and using it in as efficient a manner as possible. So, why the heck are we wasting so much of it on mobile ads?

“Who’s watching mobile ads?”, you’re thinking to yourself. The answer is: You are. We all are. Whether we want to or not. Now you’re probably thinking, “Big deal, what are you gonna do with those extra 15 or 30 seconds of ad-time?”. But many of us (myself included) game for hours a day (don’t be a hater, it’s part of my job). Which means I’m wasting hours a week on freakin’ interstitial ads, rolling my eyes, cursing, and dying to press that ever-elusive X just to get back in my game and move on with my life. And that ad I keep seeing… you know the one with the finger beckoning me to click the treasure chest… all that ad is doing by popping up every few minutes, is boosting negative brand association in my mind. Because I hate them now. Great job, ad agency!

“Well, that’s the price of free content”, you say, and “We don’t hear you bitching about TV ads!”
That’s true, and I’ll tell you why I’m less bothered by TV ads. Because those aren’t tossed at me sporadically, one at a time, at the end of every sentence a character speaks. They come in regularly-scheduled serving-size packages. The editing in the show I’m watching is specifically designed for breaks in the programming, to allow for a commercial break. During that break, I can do stuff. Whether it’s a bathroom run, a snack-grab, or finishing my grocery order, it’s a solid few minutes I can actually use for something constructive. 

Not so with interstitial ads that come at me every level or two, and just cut off my gameplay with nothing to do but get progressively angrier. 

“Just pay for the game, then!” – you’re getting peeved with me, I can feel it. But guess what, I don’t really feel like spending my hard-earned money (hey, I don’t JUST play games all day!!) on games that are offered for free. Would you? Of course not. In fact, the entire mobile AdTech industry is literally built on the complete assuredness that we would all rather be subjected to ads rather than pay a few bucks for the premium (no ads) version of mobile apps. But the real question that nobody is asking is this: Why has it become acceptable behavior for us to be regularly subjected to sadistic punishment for playing games we love? 

“Then what the heck do you want??”, you shout in frustration! – which is hurtful; geeks have feelings too, you know! – I want to enjoy games again. I want ALL mobile developers and advertisers to wake the heck up and integrate native in-game ads, so I can enjoy their game more and not delete it after 3 minutes because of an interminable onslaught of ads. 

Let’s try this, instead: Put your nice ad in the game, let it do its thing in the background, or as part of the scenery – ahhh.. can you hear the rainbows & unicorns jangling in the background? And although I’ll be playing the game (probably shooting at things with progressively larger weapons, so maybe scratch the rainbows & unicorns), I will still see your ad, I promise. Just like I noticed the can of Mountain Dew on the cop’s desk in that show last night. It was there, I saw it, the characters kept talking, the camera panned away to the angry mafia guy and we all lived happily ever after. I still remember the Mountain Dew, and I’ll remember your product if it speaks to me.

In fact, as of today, I won’t have to. Because with the creation of gComm I can buy it right inside my game. The fact that Sayollo created a gaming commerce platform that lets me buy the products I see advertised inside one of my mobile games, means I pay even less attention to ads – because at some point in the game, I will be presented with the opportunity to buy the products without ever leaving my game.  And just like that, I’m Ari:

Effectively, in-game ads are kinda like product placement – a non-intrusive way to peddle your wares in a native way that feels completely natural. It’s just that this way, I won’t develop a seething hatred for your brand because it won’t be taking me out of my game all the time.
Which is probably not what your ad-dollars were intended for in the first place. Amiright?