Last year, WPP participated in an investment round of funding for Anzu.io, an Israel-based adtech startup specializing in integrating advertising into video games.
Now the companies have announced a deal whereby WPP and its agencies will utilize Anzu’s in-game programmatic ad technology to reach gamers across all gaming platforms.
These platforms include mobile, PC and console, and the Anzu technology will integrate advertising cross-platform without affecting game play. The partnership also encompasses an in-game advertising solution for esports tournaments, reaching gamers outside the home.
Gaming activity has increased dramatically during the pandemic, sparking greater advertiser and agency interest in the sector. Last week, for example, Omnicom’s DDB Worldwide said it is launching DDB FTW (as in “for the win”) a specialized esports and gaming network agency.
It’s estimated there are 3 billion gamers worldwide.
According to WPP, marketers are frustrated at the lack of universal standards for in-game advertising for metrics such as ad viewability, brand lift measurement as well as for fraud detection and user privacy protection.
It’s hoped the deal with Anzu will help usher in commonly accepted advertising standards to the esports and gaming space.
WPP says utilizing the Anzu platform will enable advertisers to track, report and audit viewable impressions in real-time. Other adtech vendors will also be integrated in-game.
WPP CEO Mark Read stated: “The pandemic has accelerated many trends, including the demand for in-game advertising. Delivering these new standards is a big step in bringing gaming and esports to the forefront of mainstream digital media channels. It also supports the wider gaming ecosystem by increasing monetization opportunities for developers and enabling more games to be made.”
Added Itamar Benedy, cofounder-CEO of Anzu: “This partnership builds confidence in the value of in-game media, as marketers will be able to engage with an audience of over 3 billion gamers worldwide. Anzu in-game campaigns are scalable, measurable, and demonstrate the kind of multi-touchpoint campaigns brands are looking to launch.”