Case study

A Leading US Retail Grocer

Why a Leading US Retail Grocer Decided It Was Time to Enter Gaming

In 2023, Bidstack collaborated with a leading US retail grocer to launch its first-ever in-game advertising campaign.

The campaign tapped into a new audience, which constituted 60% of the brand’s target market as the primary food buyers for their households. Despite having no prior experience in reaching out to gamers, the grocer recognised the potential of this channel and sought Bidstack’s expertise to test the waters.

With close to 3,000 stores spread across the US, the grocer aimed to gain insights into how engaging their target audience through gaming would impact their shopping behaviours while also building awareness in a new channel. To ensure the gaming experience remained uninterrupted, Bidstack targeted players aged over 18 with a household income of over $50k with in-game ads that formed a natural part of the playing experience.

The groundbreaking campaign ran across Bidstack’s portfolio of games for a span of two months, with ads delivered across 47 carefully selected titles that aligned with the brand – reaching millions of gamers in the process. The campaign succeeded in delivering a significant boost to brand awareness and created positive brand perceptions for the grocer.

Campaign Objectives

The primary objective of the campaign was to increase brand awareness with a new audience as the retail grocer introduced their brand into gaming environments.

They had already identified that 33% of US gamers shopped at their stores, and to successfully engage this audience, they focused on capturing user attention in an effort to increase brand awareness, recall and consideration.

Their impactful in-game creatives were designed to fit in seamlessly with gameplay, complementing the end-user experience and strengthening both the brand’s perception and favourability amongst gamers and grocery shoppers with the aim of achieving further market penetration.
Campaign ROI was measured through independent research from attention experts Lumen, who  provided a scientific and unbiased analysis of how audiences engaged with content across various gaming environments. This research offered deeper insights into the impact of the campaign on audience attention, benchmarking campaign performance against other ad formats.

Secondary campaign objectives focused on brand outcomes in terms of brand suitability for gaming environments and purchase intent following exposure to the in-game creatives. 

Campaign Strategy

60% of gamers in the US are the main food shoppers in their household, and 33% already frequently shopped with the retail grocer that ran this campaign. While 33% of main household food shoppers in the US identify gaming as one of their favourite hobbies, and 30% play on a games console for at least 1 hour a day.

Statistics like these highlight why the leading retail grocer approached Bidstack to extend their brand reach beyond their traditional ad channels and into the virtual worlds of video games. To achieve their campaign objectives, they ran a geo-targeted campaign across the US, which saw their branding feature across 47 games in the Bidstack network – this included titles from some of the world’s most respected gaming studios, including EA, Nordeus, Miniclip, Fingersoft and Sports Interactive.

The preferred format for the campaign was intrinsic in-game ad placements which allowed the brand to blend in seamlessly with gameplay without disrupting the player experience. The plan was to deliver these intrinsic in-game ads across Bidstack’s network – including in a renowned sporting title which is hugely popular in the US. This additional activation would give the retail grocer a 100% share of voice in a highly respected game and ensure player engagement.

The campaign aligned with other marketing activities from the grocer, and they worked with Bidstack to optimise their in-game creatives to deliver the best possible brand outcomes. Bidstack also worked strategically with the brand to ensure that the in-game creatives were delivered into brand-safe environments that aligned with the retail grocer’s company values.

Campaign Highlights

The retail grocer was hugely successful in increasing brand awareness in a new channel and engaging their target audience. The campaign ran across 47 different games in brand-safe environments, delivering both brand awareness and tangible performance metrics.


Key campaign highlights include (study findings from Lumen Research):


  • The grocer’s ads delivered more than 77.8m impressions to more than 8.7m unique players across the 2-month campaign 
  • More than 12.4m unique sessions featured the retail grocer’s brand in the popular US sporting title, meaning that an average daily user spent around 7 minutes per day with their ads
  • 97% of the ads measured in Lumen’s study were physically seen by the audience, almost double the standard mobile benchmark
  • The ads were viewed on average for 16.4 seconds, 12.6x the mobile norm
  • For every 1000 impressions, the in-game ad would generate an average of 15,908 attentive seconds, almost 21x the mobile norm
  • 93% of the audience exposed to the retail grocer’s in-game advertising would consider purchasing from them in the future
  • 92% of the audience found the ads to be easy to read, and 89% perceived the retail grocer to be high quality

“This campaign really stands out to me as a great example of how a brand can successfully and authentically get in the game. The retail grocer had successfully identified that they could be reaching their target audience in-game when they got in touch with Bidstack, but they were unsure of how to approach their first foray into a new channel. We were delighted to work alongside them to craft this innovative campaign which allowed them to meet their target audience in brand-safe environments, at scale, and crucially in a way that didn’t intrude on their gaming experience. The intrinsic in-game activations we ran as part of this campaign were hugely successful in driving brand awareness, increasing purchase intent and captivating audience attention, which ultimately delivered excellent ROI for the client.”

Britany Scott

VP of Brand Sales, East & Central at Bidstack