Brands can offer rewards to mobile gamers with the Kiip platform. Less intrusive for players but integrated into gameplay, these ads may prove more effective than banners or pop-ups.

Mobile games are gaining market share from traditional console-based gaming, and brands have become interested in accessing the revenue stream that is a mobile game presence. In response to this brand interest, developers have begun supporting new types of player rewards that attract customers by rewarding them with in-game incentives. Mobile gaming rewards platform Kiip (pronounced “keep”) makes it easier for game developers to connect with brands by integrating ad-based rewards in a more player-friendly format. Instead of obtrusive notifications or banners, ads built within the Kiip platform appear once the player completes a level. According to Kiip founder, Brian Wong, the ad “offers the user a reward for their gaming success: a free bottle of Propel, for instance...”

Mobile gaming growth provides valuable channel for brands

The value of brand presence within mobile games is growing quickly - 44 percent of adults in the US play at least once a month, up from 29 percent in 2011, according to MediaPost. PopCap’s Giordano Contestabile goes as far as to say that in a year, the term “gaming” will refer to mobile gaming, and “everything else will be niche.” Whether this is true or not, the growth of smartphones and tablets is a clear driver of this type of gameplay. Lower prices and free games are a big part of attracting new players to casual games. Cost and access are defining factors, and social integration will likely be a driver in the future.

Timing and integration could help build a customer-trusted ad platform

With Kiip, brands are effectively using the marketing mechanics currently referred to as gamification in a game. While that is a head-spinning potential trend, it simply shows the underutilized potential that engaging games have for optimizing brand interest. Kiip ads don’t interrupt or detract from gameplay - the content only appears outside of action, so players may come to trust apps that display the Kiip logo as ones that will not abuse their screen space. If this is the case, mobile users in general may see fewer banner ads or other, more intrusive ad content.