WildTangent Gives Brands Ad Platform To Reward Gamers

WildTangent introduced an advertising platform Tuesday giving marketers a way to reward gamers for interacting with their brands. The items range from complimentary sessions in a game to virtual goods.

The tool, BrandBoost, has been tapped by Sony Online Entertainment's Free Realms, Outspark.com, and OMGPOP.com. WildTangent has also signed partnerships with game developers that will give the company a growing footprint on Facebook and MySpace, according to Dave Madden, executive vice president at WildTangent, a games media company.

"We needed to adapt our platform to work in the online space, as well as the downloadable space," Madden says. "Virtual goods and items that are typically tied back to micro-currency models or monthly subscription fees offer up a really interesting area for advertisers to step in."

Consumers are most likely to pay for movies, music and games, according to a report published by Nielsen earlier this month that analyzes the global perspective on paying for online content. The study suggests that about half the people surveyed are willing to accept more advertising to subsidize free content.



BrandBoost lets advertisers give the game player virtual goods or sessions in exchange for allowing the brand to step into the game to present a video. The sophisticated backend API provides advertisers with a simple way for third-party developers to drop the item into the payer's game inventory.

BrandBoost builds out WildTangent's Sponsored Sessions advertising model for downloadable games, making it easier for them to add social games, multiplayer games and virtual worlds.

Madden says Sponsored Sessions have seen double-digit click-through interaction rates -- 10% or more in aggregate -- with that ad unit, combined with the completion with the 30-second spot. The industry standard is less than one-half of 1%, Madden says.

During the last few years, WildTangent has run hundreds of millions of Sponsored Session campaigns across its service for brands, including Procter & Gamble, Unilever, Kraft, General Mills, Toyota, Honda, Ford, Disney, Sony, Nintendo, Electronic Arts and Activision.

"We work with large consumer product companies that see brand purchase intent increase, on extremely large-scale products, by double or triple the norm in term of purchase intent, as a result of these campaigns," Madden says.

BrandBoost was created to help marketers address the transition of online gaming audiences to social games, free-to-play, MMOs and virtual worlds. All rely on some form of a pay wall or micro currency model.


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