Adverty, an adtech company that offers in-game ad formats such as virtual billboards, is laying the groundwork for more involved ways for brands to appear in games with the launch of an interactive in-game ad format.
Launched at the IAB UK Gaming Upfronts this week, the format is first available in Magic Finger 3D, an iOS and Android game from Netherlands-based Lucky Kat. It allows advertisers to feature a logo on the wooden crates that appear in the game, which can be picked up using the player’s giant magic hand and thrown at enemies.
The format has gone through a testing period and is now available to any advertiser. The first to use it will be a men’s shaving brand, starting on Monday.
Speaking to Campaign, Adverty's director, sales Alex Ginn said the initial offer was “just a 1.0”, and the company was working on upgrades—the first of which could be fully wrapping 3D objects in a brand design to look like, for example, a McDonald’s Happy Meal box.
The demand for new formats was coming from advertisers and games publishers alike, Ginn noted.
“Almost every party involved will help steer innovation in this space,” he said. “I think we've been in the proof of concept stage for the last two or three years now with in-game [advertising], and now that the publishers have started to really open their minds to it, and brands are definitely diving into it with less risk of association, I feel like it's only going to escalate quicker.
“Some of the publishers that we're working with and some of the partners that we're signing up at the moment [are] coming to us saying: ‘If we were able to do this, would you be able to sell it?’ So even without [us] having to present ideas, they're coming to us with their ideas.”
On top of this, It was partly “down to the fact that brands that have tried the in-play side of things and have enjoyed it, then go on to say, ‘what else is there that we can do to get closer to the user?’.”
He added, however, that advertisers should be cautious to make sure they are using formats that suit their own brand.
“I might personally turn around [to a potential advertiser] and say, 'I don't think your brand belongs on that box, and I will tell you why', and I will make recommendations or other suggestions of other games that will see your brand better or a different ad unit,” Ginn said.
“We want to make sure that it's successful, and they get what they want from the campaign. If you're just going to stick a logo on a box, and I don't think your brand's big enough or well recognised enough for that, I'm not going to suggest that sort of offering.”