Exploring Brands in Games with Marc Sutter from Voodoo

Apr 30, 2024
By: Abigail BenMeir

Together with an expert in programmatic advertising, Marc Sutter, VP at Voodoo, we explore the past, present, and future dynamics between brand advertisers and game developers. Beyond mere trends, Marc unveils a significant transformation in how brands engage with their audiences.

The Past

How has mobile user behavior evolved? What is the impact it has had on mobile game engagement?

The evolution of mobile devices has sparked a significant surge in user dependence and engagement.’s State of Mobile 2024 report shows that users in the top 10 markets spent over 5 hours on mobile devices daily in 2023. That’s a notable 6% increase from the previous year.

This uptick in mobile usage reflects an ongoing shift in consumer behavior. Smartphones have become increasingly integral to daily activities, contributing to the overall growth of mobile engagement, including mobile games. Mobile gamers in the U.S. spend an average of 28 minutes playing daily, according to eMarketer.

During this shift, Voodoo’s users have embraced the value exchange between advertising and free game access. Our players expect and willingly interact with ads in exchange for accessing the content and progress in a game without paying anything. According to GWI, 50% of mobile gamers would prefer to watch an ad to get in-game rewards than pay for them. Ads are a native and vital part of mobile games, with users eager to engage for a better experience.

The Present

From your perspective, do you see a growing interest in mobile gaming ads from brand advertisers?

Without a doubt. I’ve frequently heard agency and brand advertisers express eagerness to tap into the vast potential of gaming audiences. And some are not just dipping their toes but diving headfirst into gaming, seeking fresh avenues within their channel mix. Mobile games appeal to many advertisers because it is at an exciting cross-section of three previously distinct buckets: video, mobile, and gaming.

This can also be challenging for investment teams who allocate budgets from these buckets. But here’s the exciting part: as advertisers evolve strategies to captivate audiences, I foresee a shift in media mix modeling where investments flow seamlessly between channels to maximize audience reach and easily deploy creative assets.

How do you anticipate the relationship between brand advertisers and mobile games evolving in 2024? Will publishers become more knowledgeable about their audience data and brand advertisers break through the misconceptions about mobile game audiences?

Most brand advertisers have already broken down these misconceptions about mobile gaming audiences. They know that casual mobile gaming is very different from hardcore PC gaming and that the audiences are also very different. As all brands see that mobile gaming audiences are widely diversified and closer to traditional media channels, they will invest more in mobile gaming.

“I see brand advertising in mobile games becoming a standard allocation in the media plan.”

The Future

When thinking about the future of brand advertising in mobile games, what should be the key priorities for game developers to enable brand campaigns to run and scale on their inventory?

“Safety, suitability, and scale.”

Advertising with large global game publishers such as Voodoo and its 150 million MAU globally is a safeguard for brands to reach their targets. It allows them to achieve massive scale while being 100% brand-safe, viewable, and measurable.

In one sentence, tell us how you feel about the future of brands in games.

Brands are realizing what games can bring that no other media can deliver: authentic engagement and interactions directly within the media experience.

Reach out to our team to unlock unique brand demand for your games through DT Exchange!

By Abigail BenMeir
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