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Putting Experience & People Before Clicks: designing for virtual worlds


Ad Tech Gaming
Ad Tech Gaming

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Cary Tilds, Chief Strategy Operations Officer at Frameplay, explores the significance of an uninterrupted (non-clickable!) gaming experience and puts her self in the shoes of a gamer, game developer, and advertiser

A gamer’s perspective on CTR

I sit down on my couch exhausted from my day of running around with my kids, working, and fixing something in my house. I open my phone, quickly scan my social channels and my texts. Nothing urgent calls my attention. I sink further into my chair and open my favourite video game app. Currently, I love playing sports games. It might be because the Olympics are on and I am inspired. Also, it might be because it’s easy, and I don’t have to invest too much. The games take me from my day-to-day and allow me to escape and just play for a while. 

While I play my games, I don’t want to be distracted by anything else. I want to just enjoy my content. I am mesmerised by the graphics. I enjoy the simplicity while at the same time the cinematography of it all.  

The games I play are free. I don’t want to pay for them. I sometimes see ads before or after I play the game, but while I am playing the game I do not want to be bothered by ads that require me to “x” out of them. I have no intention of clicking on the ads while I am playing my game! If there are ads, I want them to make the design of the game look real.  

A game developer’s perspective on CTR

I sit down at my computer and login to check on how my game is resonating with our gamers. I look at the metrics to see if the gamer session time is holding steady, growing or decreasing. I check to see how much revenue my advertising is making.  

I don’t like putting too many ads around the gameplay as I know gamers don’t like to be disrupted with advertising. Ads that are next to or around my game have the ability to be clicked on. I don’t like that. This takes gamers away from my game.  

The feedback from our gamers is that they like playing our sports games and hope we add more levels soon. In order to do that, we need to grow our monetisation efforts.  I struggle with this because I don’t want to put too many ads around or next to the game because gamers don’t like their game disrupted.  

Since gamers shouldn’t click on ads while they are playing our game, I decide to use intrinsic in-game ads as a way to monetise my game. I have to ensure I protect my gamers’ experience. The intrinsic in-game ads from Frameplay make my game look more realistic. Plus, intrinsic in-game ads can’t be clicked on. This keeps gamers immersed in the game. Everyone wins.     

An advertiser’s perspective on CTR

The data is so resounding that the demographics of a gamer has changed significantly over time. I was surprised to learn the average gamer is 34 years old - men and women alike. This is exactly the audience I need to reach for my brand. The scale of gaming is immense too! There are 2.7 billion gamers, playing on average over eight hours a week in the US, for example. This means gaming is a significant audience I need to reach. 

I’ve learned that my current digital planning and creative strategies shouldn’t be used “as is” to connect to gamers while they are playing their games. Much of my other digital plans surround buying commercial time or commercial breaks, usually in the form of video. The big “ah-ha” for me is to learn that when gamers are immersed within their gameplay, they don’t want commercial breaks or calls to actions asking them to stop their play and “click for more information!” They want to keep playing their games.  

Recently, I’ve learned about intrinsic in-game advertising with Frameplay. Frameplay has earned the trust of significant gaming studios that make the most fantastic cinematic and engaging games. I love the idea that intrinsic in-game ads are similar to the idea of branded content where our brand can be placed seamlessly inside of the game itself without disrupting the performance or the experience of the game. Plus, gamers expect relevance to the game and prefer to see real-life brands over ‘fake’ ones!

I don’t need to use clicks to measure the value of my ad placements. Clicks would disrupt the gameplay. This would negatively affect our brand.  Instead, I can use existing brand lift and attribution to conversion measurement techniques I already use to value the return on investment.  Everyone wins when we approach the gaming channel right!

Frameplay’s perspective on CTR

When we put the gamer experience first while they are actively playing their games, everyone can win. When we try to apply antiquated digital measurement techniques to advanced, virtual experiences like the world of gaming, we lose. We support the IAB UK initiative to “don’t be a clickhead” as it supports getting intrinsic in-game advertising right for the gamer experience. 

By Cary Tilds, Chief Strategy Operations Officer


Frameplay is a global in-game advertising leader headquartered in San Francisco, California with worldwide offices and teams supporting NA, EMEA, LATAM, and APAC. Frameplay enables game developers to easily place impactful advertising intrinsically within video game environments without disrupting the gameplay performance or experience. The result is amplified brand exposure for advertisers, additional revenue for developers, and an enjoyable, uninterrupted experience for gamers. For more information, visit

Posted on: Tuesday 8 February 2022