Mobile Champions: Vizeum & Fox Studios

The Value of Rewarded Ads for Entertainment Brands: Q&A with Vizeum’s Izzy Hedges

The rewarded advertising model holds tremendous benefits for just about any type of advertiser, whether consumer packaged good companies or B2B enterprises. But for entertainment brands in particular, rewarded advertising and the mobile gaming environment offers an almost perfect fit.

Tapjoy’s VP of National Brand Sales, Meghan McAdams, recently sat down with Izzy Hedges, EVP International Media of Vizeum who represents one of the most iconic entertainment brands of all time: FOX Theatrical International. Here’s the key highlights from their chat:

MM: Tell us what you like most about rewarded advertising in the mobile gaming space?

IH: “It is a combination of things. Gaming is great for us because we are selling an entertainment product, and what better way for us to reach our audience than when they are looking to be entertained? Because the format is opt-in, we know that people who choose to watch are doing so of their own volition. If they then choose to not see the ad through to completion it’s a double win for us: we’re not annoying someone who has subsequently decided this isn’t the content for them (perhaps at that time) and, as we only pay on completion, we are not charged for their partial view. This last point is particularly valuable to us as we are primarily running long form content, so if a viewer only watches the first minute of our trailer (which may satisfactorily convey the feel of the movie) we don’t pay for that. It’s a built in added value. Our average video completion rates on Tapjoy are over 85%. For long form content, that’s outstanding.”

MM: How does rewarded advertising help you overcome the typical issues that we hear about in the ad space, especially these days? Let’s start with viewability. How are Vizeum and FOX approaching viewability in the ad world?

IH: “The great thing about Tapjoy’s mobile product is that it’s all in view. So we know each one of our dollars is giving us an honest return. You’ve taken away that worry for us.”

MM: What about measuring across all of your partners?

IH: “We have a demanding regimen of measurement requirements and often challenge vendors to create new reporting metrics to handle our analytics needs. We believe that the more information you have, the more empowered you are to make effective decisions. I am happy to say that Tapjoy has been a brilliant partner in this field; ever accommodating and vigilant in ensuring we have what we need.”

MM: What about transparency? How have you been dealing with these transparency issues, and how does the rewarded model make you feel about transparency?

IH: “Transparency is a huge issue right now. The rewarded model is superior to what other platforms can offer because we know exactly what we’re getting. It’s a known quantity. The control that you have is better than most other platforms.”

MM: In years past there may have been a stigma around rewarded advertising because some advertisers considered them “incentivized.” What’s your take on that perception, and what would you say to advertisers who still avoid rewarded ads for that reason?

IH: “Having worked with multiple movie studios over the last 13 years, I’m surprised that there isn’t more investment in this sector. Rewarded gaming enables studios to hit an already-engaged audience with content we know they want to engage with. You only pay once you’ve achieved a full view — and for long form content advertisers particularly that’s a huge win. It’s difficult to understand why people aren’t investing in this more significantly.”

MM: Let’s switch gears and discuss all things creative. You recently leveraged Tapjoy’s first ever Interactive End Card campaign for War for Planet of the Apes. What is it about the ad creative that makes it a good fit for the film and entertainment brands in general?

IH: War for The Planet of the Apes is a premium, high calibre franchise for 20th Century Fox, so it was crucial that our ad campaigns were of an equally high calibre, in both format and placement. Tapjoy’s new interactive ends cards enabled us to present a trailer first, followed by a branded experience that really brought the movie’s characters to life. The format is new, exciting and premium, and it complements our studio-quality advertising.”

MM: Lastly, rewarded ads are based on a pay-for-performance or cost per completed view model. How has that pricing benefited your business?

IH: “Tapjoy gives us great results. Our experience isn’t that people just ‘put up’ with ads to receive a reward. We see high post-view engagement numbers, which may be surprising to hear. Put another way, people prioritize seeing more of our ad content over playing the game they went to enjoy.”

MM: And your average video completion rates with Tapjoy are over 85%!

IH: That’s a phenomenal figure. And how often do you see those kinds of figures in advertising? You don’t! When you talk about the video completion rates being so high, it is irrelevant to us, as we are only paying on completion rates and yet despite that fact, you are still delivering much higher than average completion rates and that is impressive. No beating around the bush, it is impressive.”

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