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Online video ads are getting three times more clicks on average than other digital ad formats, including mobile, display, and rich media ads, said Business Insider, which explains why global spending on in-game video advertising is growing significantly faster than most other formats and mediums.

In-game video advertising is growing fast, with gaming pretty much being the only medium today (other than the Super Bowl) in which users are not only welcoming toward reward-based ads but are also seeking to engage with them. Leading brand advertisers and agencies are reporting major budget shifts from traditional and other digital formats toward gaming — and trying to figure out how to best address this diverse, highly engaged target audience.

What does it take to launch a successful in-game video ad campaign?

Set clear KPI goals

The first step for any campaign is to set its objectives loud and clear. What do you wish to achieve? Brand awareness? A viral effect? Clickthroughs? Installs? User engagement? Registrations?


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Set your objectives clearly, and make sure your campaign’s KPIs (key performance indicators) fit them like a glove. This, combined with real-time monitoring and optimization tools, will enable you to measure and dictate desired results at any given moment in your campaign’s life cycle.

Less can be more

Our fast-paced world does not have much tolerance for long content regardless of how interesting it may be. This is even more so in the field of video advertising, and especially in games. Strong, short creatives can tell a fantastic story and deliver outstanding results. (See “Gap — Spring is Coming” ad series for example).


“Viewability” is quite the buzzword these days, and rightfully so, as advertisers are concerned that their ads are never actually seen (in fact, Google released a study proving some 56.1 percent of all the impressions served on the Google display platforms could never have been actually seen). Increasingly, and rightly so, marketers and advertising agencies are insisting they should pay only for ads that actually appear on users’ screens.

This concept does, indeed, make perfect sense, except that the industry can’t agree on cross media acceptable “viewability standards” (for example, the MRC–IAB Standards state a video ad should only be deemed viewable if 50 percent of it is visible on a user’s screen for at least 2 consecutive seconds, and 1 second for display ads. Facebook set its own standards for in-stream ads and considers an ad is viewable the instant any part of it appears on a user’s screen).

How can you increase your ad’s viewability?

In-game audiences are considered the one that concentrates on the screen the most and allow for fewer external distractions. These apply even more so when it comes to value-exchange ad-based rewards enhancing their gameplay experience – so your starting point is already significantly better than any other medium. Moreover, leading in-game video advertising platforms enable you, as an advertiser, to improve your cost-effective viewability through:

  • Proper views measurement – i.e, count a view only when the user watches 90 percent of the ad, so that you know your message was delivered.
  • Auto-pause ads if the user switches to a new window and only start playing again when they go back to the video player – decreasing distraction options and increasing viewability.
  • Click-to-play: User-initiated video ads are proven to increase viewability (as opposed to auto-play).

Real-time fraud detection and prevention

Fraud has been an issue since the inception of online performance marketing. As an advertiser you wish to ensure your ad is displayed in a suitable context to complement your brand, viewed by real people (rather than bots), and to the most relevant audiences – maximizing brand safety. Overall, you are seeking to create a positive advertising experience, so here are a few things you need to be sure to implement:

  • Engage with ad serving platforms that have developed dedicated fraud detection/prevention mechanisms for each platform (web/social/mobile).
  • Don’t settle for vague quality promises – insist on real-time location checks, analysis of user profile, and history to ensure quality engagements.
  • Having direct integrations with game publishers strongly supports quality ad engagements, in a brand-safe environment.

Targeting, targeting, targeting …

One of the most amazing tools enabled by the more innovative in-game ad serving technologies is meticulous targeting. Recently developed tools allow you to not only implement targeting capabilities like never before, including the obvious Geo’s and User Demographics, but also based on deeper analysis and user profiling to include device, OS, user preferences, interests, consumption habits, game traits, and more. Implementing such tools will ensure your campaign reaches the relevant audience and is engaged with by those with true potential consumer value, creating an uncluttered and cost effective approach.

Strike when hot — or not at all

How well do you know your target audience?

Take “targeting” one step further and get to know users on a personal basis. Learn their likes and dislikes when it comes to receiving ad content, when they are keen to engage with your brand, and when you might be interrupting the users’ experience rather than benefiting them (which may lead to a negative impact on your brand)

Recent technologies enable advertisers with outstanding ad-engagement results, focusing not only on targeting relevant users with the relevant brands but also on displaying the right content to the right user while in the right mindset, helping to determine when (and when not) to display the ad, and to which user.

  • From the user’s point of view -– a video ad of a brand relevant to their interests is offered to them when they are at their most receptive mindset, they choose to engage with it, and are rewarded for doing so. Positive experience every step of the way!
  • From the advertiser’s point of view – improved conversion rates, highest levels of brand safety, and outstanding ROI.


Advertisers Can’t Afford to Ignore Gaming” heralds a IAB Report 2014, and that is even more noticeable when it comes to in-game video advertising.

With the variety of campaign KPIs, anywhere between completed views, conversions, installs and deep engagement, brand lift, purchase intent, and overall brand rating – in-game video advertising, delivers results greater than most other mediums, proven to increase brand awareness, purchase intent, brand recommendation and overall positive brand sentiment.

Sam serves as Video Team Leader at Woobi, a cross-screen in-game advertising company that specializes in creating dynamic engagement experiences.


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