Massive Launches Interactive In-Game Ads

Posted by jgaudiosi :: Advertising in Video Games

Anarchy Microsoft-owned Massive has introduced interactive in-game advertising to its suite of offerings. The game company has struck a deal with Toyota to promote its 2007 Yaris sedan in a number of games on its network, including Funcom's massively multiplayer online game, "Anarchy Online." Additional games and advertisers will be joining the program in the coming months, as there's a general migration from static in-game ads to more interactive ads and even usable product placement through 3D objects.

In "Anarchy Online," the new interactive ad units can be used in a number of ways to encourage gamer interaction with the advertising and to provide a more engaging brand experience. For the Toyota Yaris campaign, gamers are encouraged to engage with the ads to unveil an image of the new Yaris. The campaign is running in multiple games on the Massive Network and utilizes Massive’s dynamic 2-D elements and full-motion video and audio ads, in addition to the new interactive units, to reach the coveted gaming audience. The new in-video game ads were developed in collaboration with Toyota’s advertising agency of record, Saatchi & Saatchi in LA.

“Leveraging this new interactive ad element from Massive allows gamers to interact with our brand in an environment they’re passionate about,” said Kim McCullough, Corporate Manager, Marketing Communications from Toyota.

Just as with all the ad executions that Massive has been serving in its network of top video game titles, the interactive ads only appear in locations selected and approved by the game’s creative developers and do not interfere with gameplay, functionality or bandwidth. Game experience is paramount to the success of the new technology, and the ad units are only used to enhance the game experience for players who choose to interact with the ads

"Our business has been built by constantly expanding our technological capabilities and by driving innovation in video game advertising,” said Nicholas Longano, president of New Media at Massive. “This new ad unit allows gamers to interact with the game environment in new ways and provides our advertisers with a powerful means of delivering a compelling brand experience to the gaming audience.”

With 37 game publishers and more than 100 titles, the Massive Network offers advertisers the ability to reach an aggregated gaming audience in real time across multiple platforms. Over 60 blue-chip advertisers have run campaigns across the Massive Network throughout North America and Europe. Publishers in the Massive Network generate the highest yield per title from dynamic in-game advertising, enabling them to leverage the value of their content while preserving and enhancing the game experience. Massive’s technology allows for all forms of downloadable media and advertising content to be contextually integrated into the game environment, including image, audio, video and game object formats.

With the advent of Xbox 360 and Xbox Live, and the upcoming PlayStation 3 and PlayStation Network Platform, dynamic ads are going to jump from the niche PC gaming audience to the mass market console audience over the next generation console cycle. In-game ads are beginning to migrate from videos and billboards to interactive objects. In the near future, a car company like Toyota will be able to insert a Yaris into a game environment for gamers to test drive the vehicle, possibly before it is in dealerships.

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