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The advertising interludes during your free-to-play gaming sessions are about to get some audio-visual sizzle.

Heyzap, a mobile-gaming services platform, revealed today that it will begin rolling out HD video ads to games on smartphones and tablets this year. The company’s ad platform debuted in March, and with the introduction of video, it hopes to position itself as the premier platform for mobile marketing.

“We’ve thought about video ads for a while because of the obvious potential benefits and success on the web, but [we] wanted to really nail the user experience before introducing our version,” Heyzap chief executive Immad Akhund said. “The current iteration of video ads on the mobile market can be fairly interruptive [sic]. We spent a long time tweaking and refining the quality to where we think it should be.”

Heyzap has already tested out video ads for games like NaturalMotion’s (now a subsidiary of Zynga) CSR Racing. It provided a demonstration of how it works:


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The move to video is a major step in advertising on mobile because of the medium’s capability to engage viewers. Heyzap claims that the best video commercials performed up to 100 percent better than the best static ads.

To help publishers and marketers get the most out of their videos, Heyzap is providing a suite of tools and best practices. The company’s platform features a heatmap that shows when viewers clicked through the most often, and it also provides a number of tools to customize the experience.

To maximize conversion, Heyzap provides advertisers with the capability to reward viewers who watch the video. For example, in free-to-play games that have virtual currency, players might get 1,000 bonus coins if they watch a video ad. The commercial would play up this angle.

For Heyzap, the key to making video work in advertising on mobile is a seamless experience that doesn’t feel jarring, which is something many static ads still struggle with.

“We’re trying to deliver truly relevant content with as beautiful a presentation as possible,” said Akhund. “The ridiculously high click-through rates and [effective cost per 1,000 views] are just a nice side effect.”

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