The article discusses a study conducted by Taiwanese scholars aiming at investigating the effectiveness of gaming apps advertisements. In the course of two experiments included in the study, researchers were attempting to assess what type of happiness promised in the advertisement would lead to better response rates among the targeted audience; which type of happiness promoted by the game offers the most favorable context for embedded advertisements of gaming apps; the effect of happiness congruity between the played game and the advertised through pop-up window game on advertisement’s effectiveness; the effect of utilized colors on advertisement’s effectiveness.

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Study consists of two laboratory-based experiments. Participants were Taiwanese college students who make up a numerous group of consumers of gaming apps. Within the first experiment 12 groups of participants were asked to play one of two tablet games, one of which promoted the excited-happiness, while the other generated calm-happiness. During the game play some groups witnessed advertisements of games promising excited-happiness while others witnessed advertisements promising calm-happiness. Additionally, for some groups the displayed advertisements utilized warm red colors, while for others – cold blue colors. The second experiment had the same design and stimuli but included an additional promotional incentive to some advertisements and was performed on a different group of participants.

The study yields several conclusions that might prove beneficial for mobile games developers and advertisers. For one, advertising excited-happiness game apps leads to better advertisement attention, attitudes, and overall effects. However, advertisements embedded in calm-happiness gaming apps yield higher intention to play the advertised game in the future. Contrary to researchers’ expectations, happiness incongruity (the difference in happiness types generated by the played and advertised games) triggers higher intention to play the advertised game which may be attributed to the fact that excited-happiness games prove not as effective to advertising games as calm-happiness games. Lastly, red background leads to better attitudinal responses and click intention than gray and blue backgrounds while gray background leads to higher intention to play than red and blue backgrounds.

Overall, the study offers valuable suggestions for both game developers and advertisers which are in line with and supplement previous research done in this fields. One weakness of the study, however, lies in the group of participants the study was conducted on. With all the the participants being Taiwanese students there is a risk that the observed reactions may be attributed, among other factors, to cultural background and peculiarities that cannot necessarily be extrapolated to representatives of other cultures. Thus, the study has to be replicated with participants from various cultures before assuming the universality of its results.

  • Chou, Hsuan-Yi, Wang, Shaojung Sharon. “The effects of happiness types and happiness congruity on game app advertising and environments.” Electronic Commerce Research and Applications, 20, 2016, 1-14.