New study shows esports fans tend to pay increased attention to advertisements

Activsion Blizzard is one of the companies that was involved in a new study on advertising.

Activsion Blizzard is one of the companies that was involved in a new study on advertising.

Here’s the funny thing about advertising in 2021: more than ever, there’s no guarantee that the target is going to be paying attention. Think, for a second, about how PVRs have changed the way you consume television. The second that a block of commercials comes up, you hit the fast forward button while checking your Instagram feed.

And the second you see an ad you might be interested in on Instagram you’re back focussed on the TV. And that’s assuming you have traditional TV instead of pirating Monday Night Football, Hockey Night in Canada, and Turkish Oil Wrestling matches off the web.

But here’s some good news for advertisers and advertising executives: a new study shows that esports fans are more likely to pay attention to an ad than traditional sports fans.

The study was coordinated in 2020 by Activision Blizzard Media, market researchers Alter Agents, and neuroscience-focussed software company Immersion.

Results indicated that immersion (the attention paid to an ad, and the response to it) was higher for esports fans than regular fans. That’s an interesting fact about advertising in 2021.

The three organizations surveyed both esports and regular sports viewers in 2020, focussing on those in the 16-40 age range.

Among the conclusions were that brand awareness was higher among esports fans, that esports fans paid greater attention to ad spots than traditional sports fans, and that esports ads did a better job at catching the attention of their target audience.

Savvy marketers are learning

Activision Blizzard spokesman Jonathan Stringfield said this: “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 recognize 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.”

Games under the Blizzard umbrella include Overwatch. Those looking for an update on what the company has been up to can tune into Blizzonline on February 19-20 at BlizzCon.com. The show will commemorate 30 years of gaming, as well as what the future holds, with the best part being that it is free.

Mike Usinger once took the better part of two years to finish Grand Theft Auto. Over the course of his career he has written about everything from eSports to music to movies to travel.

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