Ari Brandt is CEO and Co-founder of MediaBrix, a company that powers the industry’s leading advertising platform for social and mobile games. The Makegood recently spoke with Ari about social and mobile games and breakthrough moments.
The Makegood: Ari, what inspired you to found MediaBrix and to focus on social and mobile games?
We launched MediaBrix because digital advertising is broken. The industry has been so focused on efficiency and programmatic buying that the ultimate goal of advertising for a brand to make meaningful connections with their consumers has been forgotten. The programmatic world is plagued with banner blindness, annoyance, click fraud and viewability issues. The ultimate result is a lose-lose situation: the brand loses and the consumer loses.
We saw a massive opportunity to help brands make emotional connections with users in the world of social and mobile gaming. It’s the only digital medium that stimulates a range of emotions among hundreds of millions of highly engaged users. MediaBrix built a full end-to-end platform and an industry-first suite of products and analytics that allow brands to participate in users’ Breakthrough Moments (BTMs).
The Makegood: Last week, you announced that you will align with breakthrough moments in social and mobiles games. Can you give us an example of your new ‘Rewards’ product?
Rewards is an engagement-based ad product that rewards users during moments of highest achievement within gameplay. This is precise, scarce inventory that is tied to high positive emotions. Brands become part of the overall user experience during BTMs, such as when a user achieves a new high score, and reward them with a virtual gift.
Rewards produces powerful emotional connections between a brand and people playing games, all the while creating a lasting impression for the brand.
The Makegood: In your ‘Social and Mobile Gaming Report’, you recapped impressive social media numbers. Can you provide us with the most impressive findings and tell us how marketers can use these insights to be successful in in-game advertising?
The MediaBrix Social and Mobile Gaming Report includes a comparison of social and mobile gaming advertising average click-through rates (CTRs), engagement rates and video ad completion rates to “standard” online advertising benchmarks. The report revealed that in-game advertising results are 30-100 times better than results seen in standard online advertising campaigns, according to data supplied by eMarketer.
- The key findings on CTR include:
- Social and mobile gaming video advertising see an average CTR of 3%, 30x higher than the CTR of standard banner advertising
- Social and mobile gaming value exchange ads—where the users receive a reward for viewing the full ad—see an average CTR of 11%, over 100x higher than the CTR of standard banner advertising
- The key finding on ad engagement rates is that the average social and mobile gaming engagement rates are around 20%, the highest of the reported ad formats.
- The key finding on video ad completion rates is that the average social and mobile gaming value exchange video ad completion rate is 91%. In comparison, according to data supplied by eMarketer, the average video ad completion rate for ad networks is 68%.
Marketers can use these insights in a couple of ways. First, if you’re not already running campaigns in social and mobile gaming – start now, it works like nothing else. Second, not all clicks, video views and engagements are created equally…work with firms that care about user experience and making brands additive to the game experience.
The Makegood: In 2015, 159 million people will actively play games on mobile devices. Do they feel interrupted by in-game advertising and how do you prevent negative associations with a brand?
All of MediaBrix’s products were built to be additive to gameplay – they are the exact opposite of being interrupted. Our technology has bi-directional communication with the game developer so we understand what’s happening with the user and make sure we provide the right product, the right message at the right time. The right time is during BTMs in gaming, which are natural breaks that occur at critical points in a game where people are most receptive to advertising. Advertising that occurs during these moments provide the best user experience and help brands use advertising in an additive manner that enhances gameplay and is embraced by users.
With this approach, people actually appreciate the brand’s participation and make a connection to the brand and that experience, ultimately resulting in higher brand affinity.
The Makegood: What will we see coming from MediaBrix in the next years?
In the last year, the marketplace has responded extremely well to our suite of products and we made huge strides taking a leadership position by educating the market about the power of social and mobile gaming.
Going forward, MediaBrix will push the industry by continuing to innovate ways for brands to make meaningful connections with their prospects within social and mobile gaming. In addition, we will build upon the proprietary data set we’ve gathered from our platform so that brand marketers can gain more visibility into their campaigns and optimize cross-platform. By unveiling new metrics, we expect to paint the picture of effective in-game advertising and impact the digital advertising industry as a whole.
This market has a tremendous amount of white space and we’re extremely excited about filling it.
The Makegood: Thanks, Ari.