Mobile apps and games are still ripe for generating “brand love”

A quarter of the population are using smartphones and this is set to increase rapidly, meaning opportunities for brands to provide apps and games to users are also on the rise.

Over a breakfast briefing I attended recently, UM has revealed the insights of a survey of over 1,000 people and their relationships with their mobiles, and specific insights around the use of apps, and games in particular, could prove useful for brands which have yet to totally figure out its place in this space.

As the time people spend using mobile internet is increasing, opportunities for brands to engage via what has been termed the most intimate communications channel are growing exponentially – and as UM’s results reveal, these appear to be most obvious in the gaming sector.

UM revealed the most popular app downloads to be for games, with 55% of the sample saying they had downloaded a games app. (Results after this included 32% GPS, 32% social networking, 29% weather, 29% news, 27% music, 21% sport, 20% fun and 19% travel to name some). It is this frequency of usage that is making games a popular option for brands sponsoring a game-led app.

UM also claims that there is little demographic polarisation when it comes to mobile game downloads; but polarisation does occur across game genre. For example, action and character games appeal more to younger groups, while mental challenges appeal more to older groups.

And of course, more frequent mobile internet users are in general more likely to download games. UM has broken down the population into the following categories based on its research:

Innovators – 3.9 million, 86% use smartphones, using an average of 18 phone features
Early adopters – 8.1 million, 59% use smartphones, using an average of 17 features
Early majority – 12 million, 35% use smartphones, using an average of 14 features
Late majority – 15.9 million, 18% use smartphones, using an average of 9 features
Laggards – 8.1 million, 4% use smartphones, using an average of 6 features

When it comes to gaming, the following say they download games on a regular basis: 44% early majority, 62% early adopters, 75% innovators.

UM’s insights can help brands to develop the right sponsored game to encourage not only mass download but viral buzz: it’s “important to understand basic human relationships with technology to create the right game for right audience”; they said in the briefing this morning. Like any other campaign, producing a gaming app must have a purpose and goal, and be in line with the brand’s identity and objectives.

Gaming is just one area of the mobile world that brands can tap into to create “brand love”, as UM puts it, by tapping into people’s interests while also demonstrating brand values in a less overt, value adding way.

Latest from Marketing Week


Access Marketing Week’s wealth of insight, analysis and opinion that will help you do your job better.

Register and receive the best content from the only UK title 100% dedicated to serving marketers' needs.

We’ll ask you just a few questions about what you do and where you work. The more we know about our visitors, the better and more relevant content we can provide for them. And, yes, knowing our audience better helps us find commercial partners too. Don't worry, we won't share your information with other parties, unless you give us permission to do so.

Register now


Our award winning editorial team (PPA Digital Brand of the Year) ask the big questions about the biggest issues on everything from strategy through to execution to help you navigate the fast moving modern marketing landscape.


From the opportunities and challenges of emerging technology to the need for greater effectiveness, from the challenge of measurement to building a marketing team fit for the future, we are your guide.


Information, inspiration and advice from the marketing world and beyond that will help you develop as a marketer and as a leader.

Having problems?

Contact us on +44 (0)20 7292 3703 or email

If you are looking for our Jobs site, please click here