Mobile game advertising startup Tap.Me has brought on DVD rental service Redbox as the initial advertiser for its in-game ad platform. Launched earlier this year, Tap.Me's system allows marketers to offer sponsored rewards within games played on iOS-based devices, such as the iPhone and iPad.
Redbox's partnership with Tap.Me is tied to its June 17 launch of video game rentals at more than 21,000 kiosks nationwide. "Adding a mobile gaming component via the Tap.Me platform is a natural extension of our marketing strategy," said Gary Cohen, senior vice president of marketing and customer experience at Redbox, a unit of Coinstar. "It allows us to generate brand awareness with gamers where they're already playing, without interrupting their experience."
The Chicago-based company last week announced it had received $1.4 million in first-round funding from investors, including Rockfish Brand Ventures. Neither Tap.Me or Redbox offered details of the Redbox integration, but the effort would involve the company sponsoring "power up" offers in mobile games.
The idea is that a player might use an in-game branded item to gain an extra life in the game and a real-world reward like a free DVD rental. Players who earn rewards can also share their "branded achievements" with friends via Facebook and Twitter.
Tap.Me's network of games includes popular titles such as "Kitten Cannon," "Retro Revolution 2" and "Charmed." The company hopes to benefit from a growing share of the video-game market shifting away from console games and PCs to smartphones and tablets. Some 25.7% of U.S. mobile users 13 and older played games on their devices in March, up from about 23% in December, according to recent data from comScore.
Tap.Me says it is also working with other advertisers in addition to Redbox, but declined to name any upcoming sponsors.