Shifting Screens: Big Fish Games

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Online gaming sounds like all fun and… well, games, but us advertisers know how much work gets put into advertising this massive industry. In fact, 40% of all gaming sales included apps and mobile games, resulting in mobile gaming revenue in the U.S. growing to over $2.2 billion.

Big Fish Games is a huge player in the mobile gaming industry. Like most online games that have been around a while they started as a desktop site, but as the user-base shifted to mobile, so did they.

From a mobile site to a variety of engaging apps, they know what the modern gamer is looking for and how to cater to it. They now have a large presence in both desktop and mobile – with unique and customized strategies developed for each.

Here we’ll compare Big Fish’s desktop ads with the ads they run for their Mobile Site to see how they maximize their ad potential on each specific medium…

Big Fish uses desktop ads in two dominant ways. First, they really take advantage of the animated capabilities, and relaxed user behaviours of desktop. They know that their desktop user likely isn’t as rushed as their mobile user, so they use the technology to tell more of a branded story through this channel.

This use of animation allows them to give their ads a more in-depth look and feel that relates to the game they’re advertising (ie. spooky for their Mystery Case Files, or epic and adventurous for their Amazon Expedition game). Through these animations, the user will already feel like they’re immersed in the game, so the jump to playing it for them will be easy.

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The second way Big Fish uses the features of desktop to its advantage is through their ads which just highlight their brand. The desktop user is more likely than the mobile user to sit down and invest the time to research which gaming sites to use for the future. Big Fish takes advantage of this by announcing new promotions and product info predominantly through their desktop advertising. They commonly place these ads on game reviewing sites and other free online gaming sites.

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How do Big Fish Games’ mobile ads differ from their desktop ads?

Essentially all of their mobile advertising is dedicated to highlighting specific games. They keep the ads branded to each game individually – sometimes not even showing their own logo. They use intriguing, fantasy-based graphics, with characters staring right at the viewer to entice them to click on the ad and play the game.

The mobile user is generally on-the-go and likely uses mobile gaming to kill time while waiting to do something else. Everything they need in a game or app is immediate. Because of this, they’re going to click on the ad that appeals to their interests right at that moment – the ad that shows a game that will immediately pass the time for them.

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Making the Shift…

As long as there is online gaming (which isn’t going anywhere, anytime soon!), advertisers in the gaming industry will need to keep up with how users are plugging in.

Understanding the user’s mindset when they are looking for games – be it on desktop or mobile – is crucial for winning over gamers.

Big Fish Games has done this successfully as detailed above, through differentiating messaging in their two different channels of marketing. Just remember, with a constant stream of new devices and technologies for people to play games on, gaming advertisers need to understand how to shift screens.

That’s it for this edition of ‘Shifting Screens’. Which company do you think has successfully made the shift? Let us know in the comments or tweet us @WhatRunsWhere.

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