January 5, 2011

AdWeek

WildTangent Offers New Social Game Ad Integration Solution

Inserts virtual images or replications of products within games

Brands are increasingly interested in getting their products into social games—given their soaring popularity on social media hubs like Facebook. The trouble is game integration can be time consuming and costly.

The online game publisher/distribution company WildTangent believes it has a more scalable brand-integration solution. The company has recently rolled out a new offering in which advertisers have the opportunity to insert virtual images or replications of their products within social games—rather than having to be baked into a game during its development stages.

That means advertisers can run campaigns within social games (that feature product placement) whenever and however long they’d prefer—much like any other online ad campaign. WildTangent has kicked off its first dynamic custom execution with Clorox, which is providing users with a free Scoop Away litter box within the popular Facebook game Happy Pets (published by the fast-growing CrowdStar).

Unlike with some social ad campaigns, players don’t need to spend virtual currency to attain a litter box, as Clorox is giving them away for free as part of WildTangent’s BrandBoost platform—which enables advertisers to underwrite virtual goods in exchange for a user engaging with an ad. In this case, users watch a Scoop Away video.
 
According to Clorox associate marketing manager Scott Iason, Scoop Away was attracted to testing Dynamic Custom Items given its relatively low out-of-pocket cost (brands pay on a cost-per-engagement basis) and ease of execution. “I want to be where our customers are and they are playing social games in big numbers,” he said. “Games like [Zynga’s] FarmVille are huge games, but they are extremely expensive and they take a considerable amount of resources, creative and financial.” Iason added: “This allows us to be integrated in games in an organic fashion, and it’s not obtrusive to the consumer experience. Rather, it gets people engaged on a deeper level than display ads.”