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MediaSpike has figured out a way to embed branded ads inside apps, much like product placements in movies. It started by injecting ads for Pepsi onto the walls of social games on Facebook, and now it is announcing that it has been able to place movie ads inside popular mobile app PicCollage.

Call it clever, context-friendly advertising. PicCollage can be used to create and share collages of photos. MediaSpike has made it possible to create native ads, or those that appear to be built into an app, that are much more engaging for consumers. To drive awareness of Oct. 24 release of Universal Pictures’ spooky movie Ouija, MediaSpike has created ads that are a core part of the PicCollage user experience.

This kind of native ad has helped MediaSpike grow quickly in the past year. A year ago, MediaSpike had 20 million monthly users for its product placements in social-mobile games. Now it has more than 200 million monthly users, a tenfold increase.

With PicCollage, MediaSpike has enabled the design and dynamic deployment of a sponsored Ouija-themed sticker pack. There’s also a featured “apparitions” collage competition related to the supernatural thriller movie, directed by Stiles White.

“Universal Pictures, once again, is proving itself to be one of the most innovative marketers in the entertainment industry,” said John McCrea, chief marketing officer of MediaSpike, in a statement. “We are honored to work with the studio and its agency partner Maxus Global on this native, mobile integration, which delivers a more effective way to reach consumers than traditional ads.”

The Ouija campaign in PicCollage runs through Oct. 31. PicColllage is a popular mobile photo app with more than 70 million downloads and a community of fans who create and share collages.

MediaSpike has raised $5.2 million in funding from CMEA Capital, 500 Startups, Google Ventures, Raptor Capital, Andreessen Horowitz, Inspovation Ventures, and some prominent Silicon Valley angel investors. Blake Commagere, creator of the original Vampires app on Facebook, founded MediaSpike in 2011.


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