Publicis Groupe UK is today launching Publicis Play, a specialist gaming proposition, built from strategic and creative collaboration across the business.
Publicis Play will be staffed by a core team of 10 specialists drawn from Publicis•Poke, Publicis Sport & Entertainment and Spark Foundry, with the ability to flex and scale around new and existing client opportunities. James Anderson, business director at Publicis Sport & Entertainment, and Tom Hostler, head of brand experience for Publicis•Poke, and Simon Jones, managing partner in Spark Foundry, will take on central roles. They have combined experience leading successful gaming initiatives for KFC, EA SPORTS, EE, Heineken, Samsung and Google.
With more people staying at home in 2020, the gaming sector outperformed music, video, and film. As a result, UK gaming industry revenues are expected to have risen by 9.4% to £5.3bn and it is projected to continue to rise at a CAGR of 7.3% over the next five years. Today, the UK is ranked as the world’s fifth-largest gaming market. Italso has the biggest community of mobile game developers in Europe.
For brands, this presents a growing variety of rich and interactive content formats that can improve message comprehension, recall and response, from the top to the bottom of the purchase funnel. Building brand favourability and purchase intent is enhanced when players are highly engaged on achieving tasks in-game. While most gaming environments, particularly on mobile, have built in ‘click to purchase’ functionality, which effectively drive direct campaigns.
Annette King, CEO of Publicis Groupe UK said: “By bringing together the expertise and experience that exists across our agencies and teams, Publicis Play will provide brands with an end-to-end gaming solution spanning media, production, data, technology, commerce and creative. Drawing on this wide range of skills is the key to more success in this space for our clients.”
Nick Farnhill, CEO of Publicis•Poke, said: “Gaming is a part of everyday life for millions, and gaming is a very broad sector – using the phrase ‘gamers’ is about as useful as using the terms ‘TV-er’ or “movie-er”. There is a game for every player, and a game for every brand. Getting this right requires a broad set of expertise, it’s not just a creative opportunity, or a media opportunity or a production challenge, it’s often a blend of all three. With 5G and cloud-based gaming services closing the gap between mobile and traditional console gaming experiences, a raft of new creative opportunities are emerging for brands.”
The issue of brand safety remains a key concern for clients in entering the gaming space. Publicis Play will provide ongoing consultancy to clients on how to operate safely, effectively and authentically amongst gaming audiences, and will collaborate regularly with players, industry influencers, and gaming strategists.