SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – Could video games be a Trojan Horse to ad success?
Christa Carone thinks so.
Game ads rising
Infillion-acquired true[X] pioneered the creation of interactive ads that can reward viewer engagement with lower ad load. Next-up is games, Carone says.
“(We have) some really exciting new partnerships that are getting off the ground in the gaming industry with the likes of Unity, with the likes of PlayWorks,” she says.
“And watch this space, because we definitely have a strong hold with digital currency and digital wallets and see a lot of opportunity in gaming.
“(We) talked so much about CTV, but that’ll probably be a big topic next year, I bet.”
PlayWorks is a publisher of game- and youth-oriented video channels to CTV platforms.
Unity’s software powers the graphical engine of many games.
It’s in the game
Amongst the forecasts, Research Dive expects global in-game advertising spend to grow from $6 billion in 2020 to almost $14 billion by 2028.
Formats like pop-up messages, on-screen advertisements, cut-scenes, billboards and background displays. Some ad agency holding groups are tooling-up with dedicated in-game ad divisions.
Unity’s graphics engine also supports publishing to Samsung Smart TV.
Samsung recently put games front and center of its smart TV user interface.
On connected TV (CTV), games could be a highly engaging interactive ad format.
And gaming companies are increasingly keen to deliver directly to CTV sets.
Roadmap to engagement
Infillion company was recently formed out of a merger of Gimbal and true[X].
true[X] was previously acquired by Fox and then sat with Disney through its acquisition of 21st Century Fox.
Lighten the load
For Carone, the mission remains the same.
“CTV has the potential of starting to be a bombardment of advertising that the consumer is not necessarily seeking,” she says.
“Our whole approach is trying to make that advertising experience much more tolerable to the consumer.”
Infillion technology is used by publishing partners like A&E, Fox, Hulu, Crackle, PlayWorks, Funimation and Chegg to vary ad load to audiences who engage directly with ad creative.
The company has partnered with Innovid to take Infillion’s ad formats into Innovid’s ad serving technology.
Cost of integration
Carone said Infillion also connects with external data partners including on location data and verification services.
But, in all those partnership data negotiations, Carone has become mindful not to over-burden publishers.
“One issue that I think a lot of people probably in this room, especially on the publishing side, are dealing with is tech exhaustion,” she explained.
“All of these ad tech players, we’re all coming and asking something of our publishers, some point of integration, something that’s going to require your engineering resources. So we need to make that worth your while.
“We understand that there’s a cost to your business, and we understand that there could be energy that we’re requiring from you.”
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