By now you’ve heard of games, and they’re big – really big.

Some estimates say more than music and movies combined. For context, the immensely talented actor Andy Serkis sums it up: “Every era has its own form of storytelling, and video games are a huge part of our culture. People enjoy video games in the same way that other people enjoy movies or the theater.”

Games are becoming mainstream, and not just in entertainment – ​​right now you can even buy shares of Roblox, Activision and Global X on Easy Equities.

The thing about this channel, which isn’t so nascent, is that it already exists, it’s growing and pretty much most brands are catching up. According to Statista, South Africans spend around ten hours a week playing games, and Newzoo estimates that we have 24 million people playing video games of some kind.

The most interesting number, however, is the $314 million GWI estimates the industry generated last year. Now is the time to consider gaming in your brand’s communications arsenal if you haven’t already. Regardless of the final route you choose, any consideration of the future of your brand and consumer behavior should take gaming into account. Here are four things to consider to get your brand in the game:

Relevance is not uniform

Staying relevant is at the heart of what we do every day at Creative Systems. And we know that relevance is not something that can be widely applied or smoothly replicated. This means that there is no such thing as a “quintessential player” profile. There is no one size fits all.

It doesn’t complicate it, it simplifies it. We see it in the same way that there are no “music fans”, there are rock fans, amapiano fans, Spotify fans and Soundcloud rappers; games are no different.


A gamer is anyone who plays a video game. Any game, anywhere, anytime can make you a gamer. Whether it’s crushing candy, surviving in
a futuristic open world filled with machines or gigs in a Battle Royale tournament; there is something for everyone in the games. That means there’s something for every brand.

Being able to identify which audience and community your brand is most relevant to in the gaming world is paramount. Determine who your gamers are, what they want, and exactly where your brand plays a meaningful and value-adding role. So it’s a simple place in this complicated world.

Choose the right brand

Defining who your audience is and what is relevant to them is the starting point. But ultimately you have to choose which section of the gaming universe you want to occupy. In most cases, your audience will take you there and you just have to follow the pointers. But sometimes it’s not that simple. As more and more brands get on board, it really does feel like the wild west if you’re not careful (there’s a game for that, too, by the way).

Brand safety is the most important initial element to consider. This applies to everything from violence, children viewing your content, the suitability of streamers or influencers, and so on.

Setting up brand safety assessments, risk protocols, and conducting in-depth analysis of what you’re going to use puts you in control of your brand and how it’s displayed at all times.

Go beyond shopping

We’ve already defined who gamers are (everyone) and where they are (everywhere). In order to relate to them, we have to do what in creative systems we call “beyond buying.” It’s about considering the entire ecosystem our brands and audiences occupy and finding the best fit for them.

Gamers exist independently of their phones, PCs and consoles. They go to events (think ComicCon and not just ComicCon at the same time), they eat food (think Red Bull and Debonairs Pizza with local esports) and they are willing to transact online (think digital currencies).

Building a brand presence among gamers doesn’t mean rewriting your plans, but rather incorporating games, it’s complexity and community into what you already have. It’s basically another channel with a different audience. But that’s exactly why treating it with the respect, creativity and positivity it deserves will bring the best returns for your brand.

Have fun! (But not on your terms)

Anyone can spot when brands are trying too hard to be cool. People can say that something is an advertisement, a sales pitch, or a waste of time. Many times brands come to new channels and act like brands there. No one invited them, no one wants them, and everyone is embarrassed. Don’t be that brand.

Be the brand that gets fun based on what your community thinks is fun. Do not interrupt. Add. Don’t make it difficult – they have a boss fight for that. Being a brand that easily fits into their gaming experience and doesn’t always put your brand at the forefront makes it feel more natural.

The opportunities and possibilities in gaming are immense. Brands willing to understand, be led and see the bigger picture can drive relevance and accelerate growth. Ultimately doing the same thing gamers want is to reach a higher level.

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