Complex Made Simple

For this company, advertising is not a game

AMEinfo conducted an exclusive interview with Gameloft about their mobile ad technology.

1. People usually know Gameloft only for creating mobile games – so tell us what can you do in terms of advertising? What are the different formats?

Gameloft has actually been ranked world’s number 1 mobile game developer in downloads by App Annie for the second year in a row. In 2016 alone, more than 1 billion Gameloft games were downloaded around the world. Such reach enables us to address a very large audience globally, for a good amount of time, daily (about 39 minutes per day) throughout the day (in average close to 6 sessions per day, per user).

This is why we decided to develop our own proprietary ad network and our own ad tech, from ad server to programmatic SSP, campaign optimization tool, creative QA, but also build our own internal creative agency, composed of talented game design experts, focused on delivering next gen mobile ad units.

As a result, we are able to offer advertisers a one stop shop, from high impact rich media formats, to native integrations and traditional display units.

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2. As consumer behavior is shifting toward mobile, so are brands? How are you seeing this shift happening? Is it reflecting in the spend towards mobile advertising?

Brands’ shift to mobile is definitely accelerating. However we also notice that advertisers often still have a limited understanding of the mobile in-app environment and what it can do for them. We still see a tendency to try and replicate what worked on desktop to the mobile environment: this is not the right way to be approaching the mobile in-app environment which is a different beast altogether, with its own rules.

The same applies to creative design: it is pointless to run a 2mn-long video ad inside a mobile app, when users tend to spend only few minutes per session engaging with that app. The brands that are the most successful in their mobile ads strategy are the ones that are recognizing and embracing the fact that consumers interact differently with their mobile devices and expect a different experience to the one they are served on traditional media and on desktop.

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3. What kind of user behavior are you seeing in your network of apps?

Our core audience is made of millennials and digital natives. These are excitement and interaction-hungry consumers! This is the reason they enjoy our games. They have the same expectations when it comes to brand advertising. They look for innovation and are keen to engage brands.

4. How do you ensure your ads are not intrusive?

Mobile gaming is essentially driven by the free to play model nowadays. This means consumers can as easily download apps as they can delete those that are not relevant or those which simply bombard them with irrelevant and/or intrusive ads. Running ad campaigns inside our own apps gives us a clear edge over traditional ad networks: because the audience we address is our own, we have a vested interest in ensuring the ads they get exposed to are as relevant to them as possible, and delivered as contextually as possible.

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5. Can ads be served programmatically?

Yes! Advertisers can run display and video campaigns on our network through a number of programmatic platforms globally, such as Rubicon, SpotX, Smartstream, etc.

More recently, as part of our full ad stack development, we created our own SSP which we are progressively connecting to major DSPs.

6. There has been a lot of talk recently about brand safety. What are the measures you take to ensure that ads are served in a safe environment?

From the very inception of our ad network, we had one clear goal: provide brands with the safest and most transparent environment possible to deliver their message to our audience. We are able to achieve that goal for the following 3 reasons:

Each and every game in which we run brand activations is developed & published by Gameloft.

– We provide advertisers with very detailed campaign performance reports, which enable them to know exactly in which their brand is being displayed and when.

– Last but not least, Gameloft was the first mobile app developer to become certified by MOAT on viewability measurement and brand safety metric

– The combination of these elements ensures full transparency and peace of mind to advertisers, so no black box syndrome with us!

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7. What is the degree up to which you can target audiences?

We gather a significant amount of first party data, with the consent of our users. This enables us to offer quite a fine level of targeting

We also run regular in-game surveys which allow us to consolidate our knowledge of our user base, in order to serve them relevant advertising.