A maturing in-game ad market is helping attract more brands

Mariam Cheik-Hussein
By Mariam Cheik-Hussein | 17 May 2021

New developments are making it easier for brands to integrate, track, and measure in-game advertising and AdColony AUNZ country manager Lance Traore says it’s helping the sector secure more ad dollars.

The mobile video ad business recently partnered with Anzu to offer Anzu’s in-game advertising solutions across display and video to brands and agencies.

Speaking to AdNews, Traore says the new technology allows brands to launch campaigns virtually as they do digitally, with dynamic ad insertions and the ability to measure impressions and viewability. The technology means that if an object in a game, such as a van, is blocking a billboard ad then that is detected and not counted.

“We're seeing there's quite a lot of brands interested in this space,” Traore tells AdNews.

“The capabilities now make it easier to buy, but also easier to measure success because previously with in-game ads you had to hard code the ad into the game which takes time and is quite expensive and hard to measure. If you’re Coca-Cola you can drop millions to have Grand Theft Auto insert Coke vending machines in the game, but if you're just a brand that wants to run tactical campaigns that makes it a lot more complex. So that’s absolutely been a factor.

“We’ve had a few brands that are quite surprising, for example brands around insurance and banks which want to run in-game ads and they’re thinking a lot about how to reach first time bankers.”

Klarna and 7-Eleven joined AdColony as launch partners for the new Anzu technology.

According to AdColony, Klarna ads' viewability was at 95% compared to the 64% average. Video completion rate (VCR) was 81.2% compared to the 56% average.

For 7-Eleven, a football attribution campaign saw a 173.8% visit lift among the exposed group, with viewability at 95% and VCR at 80.7%.

“With people spending so much time on games the difference between what's real and not real is quite blurred,” Traore says.

“So for omnipresent type brands, such as Cokes and McDonald’s, if you don't have a presence in-game then your perception from the heavier type of gaming audiences is that you're not an everywhere type brand and it’s going to be as important to have a virtual out-of-home presence as it is to have a real world presence.

“What we’re seeing from brands is the reason why they want to be in games is really to connect with that audience because they're seeing that it's tougher to reach that audience elsewhere because if you're gaming you're not really reading or watching BVOD or traditional TV, so it's very much about reaching that hard-to-reach audience.”

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