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Guest Author — Anna Gurevich: NLP Making its Way into In-Game Advertising

NLP is a set of techniques which dates back to the 70s, and is defined as the practice of understanding how people organize their thinking, feeling, language and behavior to produce desired results
handshake (handshake image via Shutterstock)
handshake (handshake image via Shutterstock)

Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP), which has been used as a marketing tool for years, is now making inroads into the world of in-game advertising.

For those unfamiliar with NLP, it is a set of techniques which dates back to the 70s, and  is defined as the practice of understanding how people organize their thinking, feeling, language and behavior to produce desired results, by understanding and leveraging the fundamental dynamics between mind and language. In other words, NLP is a strategy used to influence humans’ decisions.

The technique has been leveraged for years by marketers, mostly in face to face interactions. Here are some examples of NLP techniques that are used every day to elicit emotions in order to boost sales:

  • Words such as “easily, naturally, scientifically proven, guaranteed, leading, success, powerful, truth” create feelings in customers that induce them to buy.
  • Deals are often closed by saying something like: “To be honest, we only have three of these in stock, and I wouldn’t want you to regret missing out on an amazing deal.”
  • Targeting a sales pitch by paying close attention to a customer’s visual and auditory cues as well as their body language.
  • Overcoming objections by subtly moving a customer’s pattern of thinking to a related subject. For instance, if they balk at the cost, a salesperson mentions the value-added benefits.
  • Providing examples of or quotes from well-known people who use the product or service, to instill confidence.

According to a recent Forbes article, NLP can also be used in other areas of marketing, such as advertisements that target a mass of different types of people at once. Because of its focus on how people process information subconsciously, NLP has much in common with the developing field of neuromarketing − the study of how our brains respond to marketing and how it impacts our behavior.

NLP has now entered the in-game advertising industry, where it has a much stronger impact in creating effective brand messaging by generating a pleasant and positive connection with a product or service. ‘Gaming’, although considered ‘entertainment’, is not merely a pass-time activity. Looking at the famous Octalysis1 theory, all good game mechanics essentially play into eight core human desires: a sense of meaning; accomplishment; creativity; ownership; social influence; the need of some scarcity and unpredictability; and a means of facing loss.

With capabilities such as big-data based targeting, predictive analysis tools, and behavioral and emotional recognition, in-game advertising can provide brand advertisers with both huge scale and high quality audiences, from which they can carefully target and cherry pick the highest value users for their ad.

Taking the next step, a well-targeted ad leveraging NLP that rewards users during gameplay creates an affinity with the brand and a great, lasting impression. For brands, this means a good game can touch upon users’ deepest desires, achievements and fears, fulfill and nourish them. It is an incredible opportunity to not only access their feelings but to create a truly lasting impression, tapping into meaningful moments and connecting on a personal basis.

NLP, in the in-game advertising sphere, is very similar to Woobi’s DMA (Dynamic Mindset Advertising), that integrates smart ad formats directly into the game-loops to identify if and when a user is in a receptive mindset to engage with an ad before displaying it. When a player is about to lose a race, and your brand offers a boost; when he or she is intimidated by an opponent in a battle and you grant a better weapon; when they have won that level they’ve been struggling with for so long, and you are there to bestow a congratulatory bonus – you leverage the player’s in-game mindset to engage with your brand in an optimal manner.

In-game advertising campaigns that incorporate NLP techniques work particularly well because they are tailored to access the player’s psyche. This is great news for savvy marketers who can use it to their advantage to increase buying, enhance customer loyalty and decrease attrition.



About the Author
Naama serves as VP Marketing at Woobi, a cross screen in-game advertising company, which specialises in creating dynamic engagement experiences. Prior to joining Woobi she co-founded and served as CEO at NRP, a company specializing in the Importation, in-licensing & Marketing of American brands. Previously she served as VP Marketing at BMBY SW Systems, and as VP Marketing at Be’eri Digital Group. Naama brings to Woobi over 14 years of experience in International Marketing Management, in both publicly traded (London and Israel) and private companies, and holds a BSc in Social Science from Bar Ilan University.
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