Producing Narrative Advertisements

Narrative advertisements are lesser seen compared to gameplay-related video content, but they’re nonetheless an important tool in driving player engagement in your games. Where gameplay videos show how players interact with the game world and the actions they will be taking, narrative ads showcase the characters, story, and lore.

This video content tends to be more complex to produce for a multitude of reasons, but the rewards of a well-crafted narrative video can easily outweigh the challenges of creating them. Though gameplay videos are necessary and effective at conveying a game’s mechanics, more often than not, a game is far more than just its gameplay elements.

Player Investment

Narrative ads are an effective tool for engaging players with your game and its world. Gameplay video content is a proven way of showcasing gameplay mechanics and helping players understand the actions they take in your title. Narrative videos can enrich the experience by revealing the story, world, characters, and motivations.

These videos bring context to the gameplay experience. Though solid gameplay mechanics are enough to entice a large portion of gamers, some players seek compelling character and narrative elements for a game to resonate with them. Providing players with reasons to like a protagonist and despise a villain can lead to player investment and attract an audience that could otherwise be disinterested.

Gauging Player Interest

In our wealth of experience producing narrative advertisements, particularly the Igloo Gaming team, we’ve seen that they can deliver high levels of click-through rates. We consider this evidence that narrative ads drive player investment and desire to learn more about the advertised game. This makes it necessary to include a strong call to action in narrative ads. Without a call to action, we would have no way of understanding the positive effects narrative ads have on player interest.

Though narrative advertisements don’t tend to boast the highest conversion rates, in conjunction with gameplay video content as part of the same campaign, it’s possible to yield considerable results. Gameplay trailers have a proven ability to produce significant conversion rates. Using these with narrative ads can not only increase player interest but potentially earn new customers as well.

Challenges of Producing Narrative Ads

Narrative advertisements can present challenges to craft. Getting the right footage to show that isn’t too gameplay-focused requires a thorough approach. This can be even more challenging with some titles that don’t have stories. This commonly happens with casual and mobile games that are perhaps more simple in their scope and design, and use their game mechanics to drive player engagement. In these cases, narrative details need to be created from the ground up for advertisements.

Crafting original lore, character, and story content can seem daunting at first, but through careful collaboration, it can be achieved to fantastic results. Working with designers and artists to create character and world information that’s consistent with the design is crucial. We’ve seen that narrative ads can have the greatest impact on established games and brands, though that’s not to say they can’t be beneficial for newer titles and IPs.

It’s important to include some gameplay footage in narrative advertisements. It shouldn’t be the focus, but it should act as supplementary footage to the narrative details and ideas being showcased. Without gameplay, potential players might feel the narrative is disconnected from it and lose interest as a result. By including gameplay in narrative advertisements, the overall experience is enriched while making a clear connection between the story and gameplay.

Magic Media is proud to provide a wide range of services across gaming and entertainment, including animation, full-cycle game development, VFX, and more. We’d love the opportunity to be your one-stop solution for your projects, so get in contact with us today, and let’s create magic.


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