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In-Game Advertising

The new frontier of digital advertising

In-Game Advertising

In-game advertising is a form of advertising that is integrated into electronic games. This form of advertising is different from Gamification advertising, which refers to advertising game units that are custom built specifically to promote and advertise a product, brand or service.


The earliest form of in-game advertising was in the 1978 text adventure video game Adventureland which was created by Scott Adams for the microcomputer. The first in-game advertisement was in the form of self-promotion for the next game in the adventure line-up called Pirate adventure.


Why in-game advertising works

Today, in-game advertising has evolved into a billion-dollar industry that is fueled by advertisers looking to connect with the vast and diverse audience of gamers. Modern in-game advertising is done either through a display in the background, such as a billboard, or a commercial during the pause created in-between game loads, level changes and even lobby waiting rooms. Another form of modern in-game advertising is in the form of a mini-game that is integrated into the overall game environment, this makes the advertised product necessary to engage with to complete part of the game.


The advantage to in-game advertising over any other type of modern digital advertising is that gaming requires 100% of the user’s attention. This makes it less likely to multi-task with other media while playing a game, and all its elements, including the in-game ad units.

Mobile gamer spending time playing
Graphic showing mobile gaming
Mobile gaming in Canada

People in Canada who game on mobile


of the entire video game market in Canada is mobile

Today, marketers are faced with the problem of running out of ad-space in the places where audiences are spending time. Traditionally TV was the best place to advertise on, but a recent shift in consumer habits has led to an increase in subscriptions to ad-free entertainment platforms. Because of this Marketers have looked to new ad-supported marketing channels with a large user base. The search led to ad-supported free-to-play gaming environments.

These environments are 100% brand safe and because of the gaming environment that they are served on, capture 100% of the audience attention. The ads are served in-game seamlessly and create no interruption to the overall experience which help to boost recall and lift in purchase consideration. 

How in-game advertising works

Modern marketing is about being present where your audience is, which is why many are turning to in-game advertising to reach key demographics and hard to reach elusive audiences like Gen-Z.  

Together with an ad publisher that has exclusive access to refined first and third-party user data and exclusive rights to premium gaming inventory, brands can successfully launch ad campaigns and achieve marketing goals in the world of online gaming and the metaverse.

Ads are published on games in-app on mobile, on free-to-play titles on console or desktop, and live streeam networks such as Twitch, Youtube gaming, and Facebook gaming. 

In-game ad-types include, dynamic in-game real estate opportunities, in-game audio advertising, live stream endorsements and brand integration,  value exchange video advertising, playable interactive ad units, in-game sponsorship and takeovers.

With in-game advertising brands can also directly sell products and services in-game.

In-game advertising is 100% brand safety and provides 100% visibility.

Learn more about how brands achieve these benefits by watching our In-Game Advertising Webinar here

Using in-game advertising in your strategy

In-game advertising provides brands with a unique method of reaching audiences that transcend age, gender and background across multiple platforms. These platforms include gaming consoles, mobile devices, and desktop computers.


This form of advertising can help to achieve the end goal of any marketing strategy such as driving foot traffic into real-world brick and mortar locations, creating awareness, lead capture, ecommerce, ticket and event sales, and even help launch products by creating virtual brand experiences in the metaverse.

The APEX difference

Our focus is to connect brands with gamers using bespoke advertising that
cannot be ignored and ads to the overall gaming experience.


We do this by being present across all gaming channels that gamers of all ages and backgrounds
across Canada prefer. Our success in today’s highly competitive attention economy is thanks to our
philosophy that no two gamers are the same.


Learn more about how we publish advertising in-game using our APEX Gaming Network.

APEX Mobile Media logo in black and green
APEX Gaming Network in black and green

Learn more about in-app mobile advertising by industry

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