There are three main reasons why we choose to play games – competency (the feeling that we are good at something), autonomy (the feeling that we are in control of the situation), and relatedness (the feeling that we matter to other humans). However, the visual component of a mobile game is another feature that can charm and fascinate gamers.
What trends attract users the most in social media ads and campaigns? Let’s figure that out.
8 Visual Trends that Engage & Attract Gamers
One of the most popular directions in game development at the moment is ‘feeling-first’ design. Today, it’s not only about a beautiful picture. The designers and developers first focus on the emotions that they want the players to feel. Users crave true emotions and unique experiences and ‘feeling-first’ design aims to give them exactly that. From there, they design the mechanics, the gameplay, and the story. It’s a bit of a flip on the traditional approach to game creation. Funomena, for example, is one of the pioneers in this field.
Social Mechanics within Games
Socializing outdoors is not an option for many of us at the moment. Consequently, we have seen a rise in the popularity of social mechanics within mobile games. For example, to attract gamers, developers started creating more ‘lobby areas’. Those are special places where gamers can chat, play mini-games, and even watch concerts. Take a look at the Roblox x Lil Nas X concert experience and the Fortnite Travis Scott Astronomical event.
Scott Allen, the Head of Mobile Analytics at Electronic Arts (EA), is convinced that personalized games help the users get the most satisfying experience. EA, for example, uses the gamers’ data to categorize them into 5 groups and, later on, pair them with other players who will form the best fit. As a result, the whole gaming experience becomes better.
The same applies to video ads. If the clip is tailored to the target audience, you will be able to attract gamers that will like your app the most. Here is a step-by-step guide to unlocking thousands of interests in Facebook Ads Manager to take your targeting game to the next level.
The advertising equivalent of comfort food – nostalgia marketing. Such campaigns take us back to a familiar space in the past where we felt safe and comfortable. Nostalgia makes people gravitate towards such products as they promise an instant feeling of happiness. No wonder industries are trying to benefit from such a phenomenon. Pepsi and Nike started using their old brand logos and designs, movies and TV shows are returning back to the 80s and 90s. Just think about Motorola that reintroduced a new Razr (it features a folding touchscreen).
Or a Nintendo Switch ad that reminds you how cool it was to play video games back in the 90s.
To nail nostalgia, you have to understand how your audience was raised and what motivates them. We Are Blossom and Snickers chose the easy way and created a mobile campaign that featured a nostalgic pixel art style – something that brings back warm childhood memories and triggers positive emotions. That’s a great way to attract gamers.
Highlighting Diversity & Inclusion
Over 4.000 gamers across the UK and the States participated in a survey about diversity and inclusion in games. Every third respondent stated that he or she would prefer to play as a character who resembles themselves. So, developers and designers have to take into consideration female gamers, people with different skin colors and nationalities, users from the LGBTQ+ community, and the disabled. According to Quantilope, 76% of Gen Zers and 72% of millennials feel like inclusion and diversity should be addressed by brands. Such advertisements will attract gamers and will be successful with players representing the new generation.
Taking Advantage of User-Generated Content
Minecraft initiated a UGC boom way back in 2009 when gamers started creating unbelievable worlds. Today, there is even a separate gaming platform where users can build their own tools and mods for PC games. Basically, users can take part in the development of the game – and that’s pretty much the ‘peak’ of user-generated content.
If your game doesn’t have this type of UGC at the moment, you can still use the content created by gamers in your next ad campaign. Share fanart, for example. Or part of a gaming session recorded by one of the users that will make other gamers want to experience the same emotions.
The creative minds at Perfomante can help you make an awesome UGC-based video. Check out this clip for some inspiration.
Partnering with Gaming Personalities
Find the right influencer to promote your product. Gaming personalities usually already have a lot of loyal viewers that trust their opinion. So, partnering with them is an amazing way to introduce your game to a new audience and to induce an emotional response. The possibilities are endless. The influencer can simply play the game on camera. PewDiePie took the experience to another level and played Vainglory with his fans. While Lele Pons brought “The Walking Dead: No Man’s Land” mobile game to life.
Hyping Up Live Events
Gamers love checking out new content in real-time (Twitch, for example, has millions of views daily). With the help of your next social media campaign, create a sense of hype and build anticipation for the upcoming live stream, competition, or conference. However, the actual live event is not the only tool that marketers use. You can create exclusive characters and items to attract gamers and boost sales and installs or simply announce the release of a new game as the companies like to do during E3.
The Game Awards 2020 Nominees – 4 Mobile Games and Their Ads
Enough of the theory! Have a look at the video previews for a few of the mobile games that took the gaming world by storm in 2020.
Animal Crossing: Pocket Camp
The game has generated approximately $3.6 million in March 2020.
520,000 downloads in February 2020 turned into 1.3 million during the first three weeks of March 2020.
Animal Crossing became incredibly popular during a global pandemic. People wanted to find a happy place to forget about the rest of the world at least for a few hours per day.
The ad highlights that the cute characters are animals that will be liked by everyone, no matter age, gender, or nationality. The marketers also came up with new clips every few months to show off seasonal features and any new additions.
According to the data released by Apptopia, Among Us hit 264 million downloads globally, becoming the most downloaded mobile game in 2020. The game became so popular that, at one point, a U.S. congresswoman played Among Us to encourage voter registration.
Among Us is about teamwork and evoking the feeling of involvement in something important. The ad highlights that the game can become a great way to socialize in isolation. We also get to see the design of the game which is very simple and reminds us of pixel-art – a part of nostalgia marketing.
Genshin Impact downloads had hit over 17 million just 4 days after the game’s release in 2020.
The video ad highlights the main feature of Genshin Impact – the high quality of the design. The long video (which is rare for mobile game ads) takes us on a mesmerizing journey where we’ll be able to see the beautiful sceneries and the skills of the playable characters. Marketers also prepared different creatives for various regions. So, the ads were customized for each region.
Moreover, Genshin Impact has plenty of in-game events that are sometimes presented in the advertisement.
The game was nominated for the “Games for Impact Award” at the 2020 Game Awards. Some players claimed that the game would make them cry and that it takes them through a whirlwind of feelings.
This one is certainly about evoking all sorts of emotions. Starting from the ad, you get to dive into this ‘feeling-first’ design. It’s relatable and feels personal as you get to discover the chapters by erasing the details with your finger. The sketches also have a nostalgic vibe to them.
The visuals that you are using in a gaming ad should be able to trigger emotions. Whether you are using nostalgia marketing, UGC content, or a ‘feeling-first’ design – gamers want to feel something towards your creation before they even get to play it. Marketers should also not forget about global trends. Relevant video ads that reflect what is going on in the world at the moment will get a higher response rate. As well as clips that highlight diversity and inclusion – an important topic for today’s gamers.
Perfomante can help you create a video advertisement that highlights these features. The team can also make variations of the clip that consider localizations. And all that – in only 24 hours.Leave your details here and the specialists will contact you in no time.