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Gaming Fans More Welcoming to Ads? Activision Blizzard’s Recent Research Says So


Activision Blizzard Media, one of the most expensive and decorated game developing companies in the world, has recently pulled through a research in which they inspected the influence of the ever-growing advertising field on eSports viewers or gamers, and compared it with that of the viewers of traditional sports action. Activision Blizzard conducted the research in association with Alter Agents and Immersion, the market researching consultancy organization and the revolutionary neuroscience organization, respectively. 

The extensive eSports study revealed that the continuous flow of attention and also the vivid emotional response of many of the viewers were sustained in the case of eSports, way more than other sports. The full version of the study has not been published yet.

Activision Blizzard’s definitive study was built on a particular survey that was conducted in the latter part of last year. It concentrated on both the eSports and mainstream sports audiences, ranging from the age of 16 to 40. A big chain of questions and interviews were formed and conducted in order to gain more knowledge and develop a pure understanding of the subject. Immersion’s very own neuroscience department and its technology were used in order to initiate the emotional response periods to measure and unveil the impact of advertising on eSports viewers, and that too at a physiological level.

Advertising has become an unremovable part of the eSports echo-system

The findings of the research have been plenty and really interesting as well. They have found out that eSports has a far better rate of holding audience attention while the sponsorship ads are on, which results in a higher level of performance on the ethically approved “Critical Brand Metrics”. That only translates into one thing, that is that eSports watchers are far more responsive and welcoming towards brand advertisements than the mainstream or traditional sports viewers. The research also revealed that the eSports experience demands more brand acceptance and brand perception levels, compared to other sports.

It wasn’t disclosed whether gender was also under consideration as a variable to determine the responsiveness towards eSports advertising. 

The intuition game is strongly at play here. Gaming or eSports advertisers are way more adept to hold viewers’ attention and concentration for longer periods than that of traditional sports do. It is credited to the fact that the audience in question here are fans and followers of no less than two different things — gaming and tech — which is a huge factor that leads to larger and better ad responsiveness, as well as engagement in them. 

When it comes to the traditional sports viewers, marketers or advertisers apprehend quite well that the viewers love that particular sport and don’t really care about too much else. That leads to difficulties during ad creation and presentation.

The advertisement of the major chocolate brand “Snickers” can be seen on the stage of an eSports event

Activision Blizzard Media’s Vice President of Global Business Marketing, Measurement and Insights, Jonathan Stringfield, stated in a press release:

“Savvy marketers are learning that esports is a substantial conduit to a young, affluent and valuable audience. To match this savvy, esports platforms need to recognise that the onus is on us to empirically demonstrate the power of this platform and these audiences. The findings from our immersive biometric study with Alter Agents and Immersion show that ads during esports keep viewer attention, perform higher and boost positive brand perception.”

One thing that the published part of the research does not clarify is whether or not the results of the study reflects only the relationship between viewers and advertisers. It can also be said that these findings can also be the result of different age-sensibilities, gender-sensibilities, and also the varying ad-specificities, among other aspects. 

Although, it’s very easy to bash the full research on that ground only, the findings are quite impressive in itself. It’s true that to draw solid conclusions from the study is not fully recommended, especially because of the ambiguous nature of its variables. But the endeavour and the effort of Activision Blizzard Media must be praised. Such research programs will help equate the ever-growing effect of gaming on viewers of various ages. The advertising discipline could also benefit from this kind of initiative.

Advertising remains a vital box for any sport to tick, in order to achieve continuous successful financial ventures. The fact that eSports is spreading so fast throughout the world, has to be credited to its ads-friendliness, even if to a certain degree.