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Guest Post: Getting in the game at Cannes

Fernando Machado, CMO and Pelle Sjoenell, chief creative officer at Activision Blizzard took the stage to share exciting insights about gaming and why it has become such a powerful way for brands to connect with audiences. 


For starters, Machado and Sjoenell set the record straight on the mass reach that is now attainable through gaming. Gamers represent 40 percent of people on the planet but the co-presenters preferred referring to them as “players”. Delving into the reasons why players are so enamoured with playing video games, six factors were outlined:

  1. Winning – players experience winning moments at a higher frequency in-game than in real life.
  2. Identity – the ability to choose your avatar and develop its online character is appealing.
  3. Collaboration – most games are played within a community setting and each player has a role to play.
  4. Progression – tangible evidence of progression is hard to come by in real life, video games excel at this.
  5. Exploration – the endless possibilities to create new worlds for players represent rewarding experiences.
  6. Blurring the lines – technology that allows in-game environments to replicate places and scenarios that are so familiar to the player adds depth and enhances the experience.

One of the most compelling aspects of in-game advertising is the many opportunities to seamlessly integrate with not only the game but the gaming culture as well.

A Gut São Paulo campaign for Heinz was presented as a great case study that checked all the boxes. Based on the core insight that players have an incredibly hard time eating while playing video games (if they want to avoid dying), Heinz developed “Hidden Spots” mapping out safe places within games to hide out and eat without the risk of being fired at. 

Given the excitement around NFTs and in-game purchases, the discussion this afternoon at Cannes was another rallying cry for marketers to get in the game.

Sonia Carreno is the president of The Interactive Advertising Bureau of Canada, the only trade association dedicated to the responsible growth of the digital advertising industry in Canada. With a career spanning almost 25 years, Sonia is a true digital veteran who has deep industry experience covering virtually every angle of the digital marketing sector.

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