Technology Featured Southeast Asia

Entravision MediaDonuts, Anzu to bring in-game ad platform to SEA

Singapore – Digital marketing performance and branding solutions platform Entravision MediaDonuts has partnered with in-game ad solution Anzu to bring its in-game advertising platform in Southeast Asia.

Through the partnership, Entravision MediaDonuts will now represent Anzu in Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam, enabling advertisers in these markets to tap into the power of real-world ads inside gaming platforms. 

The partnership will also provide brands with a sophisticated channel where they could run campaigns in some of the most popular titles by Ubisoft, Saber Interactive, Amanotes, and other leading game developers. These video and banner ads via blended but highly viewable IAB-compliant formats can appear as stadium banners, billboards, buildings, or other 3D renditions.

Pieter-Jan de Kroon, CEO at Entravision MediaDonuts, said, “Gaming in our region has seen incredible growth over the last two years. We’re thrilled to partner with Anzu to bring its groundbreaking, nondisruptive in-game advertising solutions to 8 countries in APAC.”

He added, “Asia will remain a mobile-first gaming region, but we also see growth in console gaming so advertisers can now connect with consumers across all gaming platforms, leveraging Anzu’s full suite of advertising solutions.”

Meanwhile, Stephanie Lublinski, head of partnerships of emerging markets at Anzu, commented, “Southeast Asia has seen phenomenal growth in gaming in recent years, home to over half of all the world’s gamers. Our partnership with MediaDonuts means advertisers in SEA can now reach this massive, rapidly growing audience with in-game advertising that preserves the gameplay experience.” 

She added, “Thanks to our patented, adaptive technology, first-to-market in-game ad viewability measurement with Oracle Moat, and full suite of third party integrations with adtech vendors, advertisers will be able to achieve this huge reach in a measurable, cost-effective way.”

Technology Featured Global

IAS, Anzu team up to provide media measurement for in-game advertising

New York, USA – Integral Ad Science (IAS) and Anzu have recently announced a partnership to enable global brands and agencies to effectively monitor the quality of their in-game media investments in mobile gaming environments.

Through this collaboration, IAS provides advertisers with Invalid Traffic (IVT) measurement and reports on Viewability through the IAS Signal platform.

This strategic collaboration further delivers ad transparency into mobile gaming environments, continuing IAS’s progress related to in-game brand safety, suitability, IVT, and viewability measurement everywhere in the digital advertising ecosystem. 

Tom Sharma, chief product officer at IAS, said, “Gaming continues to emerge as a medium with broad appeal and growing reach. By partnering with Anzu, we now deliver in-game measurement and transparency for advertisers within gaming environments. This integration sets the platform for quality standards within ad-supported gaming and allows advertisers to better understand and control the quality of their media on Anzu.”

Meanwhile, Itamar Benedy, co-founder and CEO of Anzu, commented, “Anzu’s new partnership with IAS is the next step in standardising in-game viewability and performance in the mobile gaming industry, which is projected to reach $136 billion worldwide this year. This new partnership means advertisers can now get enhanced visibility into the effectiveness of their campaigns. This further strengthens the already robust metrics and reporting advertisers benefit from when running in-game ad campaigns with Anzu.”

Lastly, Joe Cady, EVP of advanced advertising and partnerships at NBCUniversal, commented, “This important measurement advancement will help accelerate advertisers’ ability to scale their in-game media investments by further demonstrating the high performance of the Anzu platform. We are excited to see Anzu and IAS partner to expand insights and streamline measurement operations for marketers as they evaluate their in-game media effectiveness.”

Technology Featured Global

Anzu closes US$20m in funding, targets continued dev’t of in-game ad platform

Tel Aviv, Israel – In-game advertising platform Anzu has announced that it has raised US$20m in funding, bringing its total capitalization to US$37m since 2017. The funding will be used to continue its work as a global in-game advertising platform.

The funding round was led by two global brands namely entertainment company NBCUniversal and technology company HTC. It should be recalled that Anzu and NBCUniversal entered into a partnership to allow the brand’s marketing partners to run non-intrusive, in-game ads across Anzu’s cross-platform gaming inventory, which spans mobile, PC and consoles.

Itamar Benedy, CEO and co-founder at Anzu, said, “Everyone is talking about the impending metaverse, and we are starting to see it emerge from several different angles. However, if you want to see it in action right now, you just need to look to today’s most popular gaming platforms, which are hosting virtual concerts and film screenings. This funding will further expand our in-game advertising solution, helping even more advertisers understand where their brand fits in, and how they navigate these immersive, digitally-connected spaces.”

Other investors include WPP, Sony Innovation Fund, BITKRAFT Ventures, HBSE Ventures, Alumni Ventures Group, the iconic baseball team The Chicago Cubs, Goal Ventures, and a prominent angel investor Marc Merrill, the co-founder, co-chairman, and president of games at Riot Games. As with the previous round, all investors will act as strategic partners, while Anzu will remain an independent company.

Benedy added, “I am proud to have iconic investors who share in Anzu’s vision and enable us to bring in-game advertising and our best-class tech to more gaming platforms and global brands. Our last investment round helped us achieve some monumental milestones, including bringing in-game advertising to Roblox, becoming the first advertising platform to be verified by Unity, extending our partnership with Ubisoft, and launching new partnerships with leading games studios, including Saber Interactive for its AAA game Dakar Desert Rally.”

Technology Featured APAC

Livewire expands partnership with Anzu to bring exclusive game inventory to APAC advertisers

Sydney, Australia – Gametech and gaming marketing company Livewire has expanded its exclusive partnership with in-game advertising platform Anzu to help more APAC advertisers reach players within some of the most popular AAA console titles via non-disruptive in-game ads.

The partnership between Livewire and Anzu first began in January when the two companies partnered to help APAC advertisers reach players in Roblox.

Anzu is the sole official licensed provider for Xbox and their offering includes AAA console titles from leading game studios, including Ubisoft and Saber Interactive, who recently announced a partnership with Anzu to bring in-game ads into their highly anticipated AAA racer Dakar Desert Rally at launch.

Many more AAA titles are also on the way, which adds to Livewire’s growing suite of gaming solutions including the recent launch of a social gaming offering and the Livewire Creative Studios.

Furthermore, advertisers working with Anzu and Livewire benefit from advanced gaming marketing and gametech solutions, including research, gaming strategies, brand lift measurement, audience verification, data enrichment, and fraud detection in partnership with industry leaders such as Moat, Comscore, Kantar, and Nielsen.

Livewire co-founders Indy Khabra and Brad Manuel, said, “Launching in-game ads within premium AAA console titles is a significant milestone for gametech. Console games boast large durational play time, high attention rates, and are often played on large screens. Brands and agencies can now reach players within this premium environment via in-game ads that add to the gaming experience.” 

Meanwhile, Itamar Benedy, co-founder and CEO at Anzu, commented, “We are very excited to bring our premium AAA console inventory to more advertisers in APAC through this extended partnership with Livewire. We have already seen huge success working together with Roblox. I’m looking forward to extending this partnership and success to the console space, which is becoming an increasingly important media channel for advertisers looking to connect with their audience in an authentic and engaging way.” 

The expanded partnership taps on the 1.4b gamers in APAC, which is expected to grow to 1.8b by 2024, where advertisers running their campaigns in premium titles have a unique opportunity to place themselves in front of this large and diverse audience. With the APAC games market also estimated to grow by over 10% annually with a total market cap of $708.3 billion by 2026, this lucrative region has plenty of demand up for grabs.

Platforms Featured Global

Anzu tapped as in-game adtech provider for Saber Interactive’s ‘Dakar Desert Rally’

Tel Aviv, Israel – In-game advertising company Anzu has secured rights from game developer Saber Interactive to be its in-game adtech provider for its racer game title ‘Dakar Desert Rally’. The secured rights comes after the two companies partnered up in November 2021 to bring blended in-game advertising to Saber Interactive’s upcoming game titles.

Anzu is helping the team replicate that; advertisers will be able to run their banner and video ads within Anzu’s in-game ad placements, which will take the form of 3D objects like roadside billboards and banners. They will also be able to take advantage of a variety of custom integration options, including custom vehicles that can be painted with brand colours, logos, and even have the driver wear a custom uniform. 

In addition, there are also options for roadside flags that can be branded with a product logo and different colours, and garage takeovers, where brands can add custom wall banners and items to decorate the building.

Alex Yerukhimovich, VP for games at Anzu, said, “We’ve been working closely with Saber Interactive to ensure our ad placements are perfectly positioned to enhance both the player and advertising experience. This is a great opportunity for advertisers to showcase their campaigns in a visually stunning AAA title, and for players to experience races with real ads that are relevant to the setting alongside the track. Just like they would expect to see if they were watching a real race, making the experience all the more authentic.”

He added, “More and more advertisers are making in-game advertising a larger part of their digital ad strategies. As the anticipation continues to grow around this title, we’re looking forward to bringing many into the Dakar experience to reach its millions of diverse and dedicated fans who stretch across the entire globe.”

Meanwhile, Todd Hollenshead, head of publishing at Saber Interactive, commented, “Our goal is to bring Dakar to life in a realistic and fun way, and it’s been great to see that passion mirrored by the talented team at Anzu through their industry-leading technology and expertise. We’re working closely together to ensure these ads are implemented in a way that is immersive and serve to help faithfully recreate the real-life rally experience.”

Platforms Featured Global

Anzu, Saber Interactive sign deal to bring blended in-game advertising to upcoming game title

Tel Aviv, Israel – Global in-game advertising platform Anzu and game developer Saber Interactive has just signed a three-year deal enabling Anzu to bring blended in-game ads to a highly anticipated upcoming Saber game this year.

The move will mean Anzu’s placements will be implemented within the game from day one, giving advertisers an opportunity to reach players at launch via ads that are built into 3D objects that sit within the game’s environment. 

As part of its commitment to providing the best user experience possible, Anzu ensures its ad placements are not entirely dependent on an internet connection or ad servers. The platform displays a fallback image if the connection drops to ensure the user experience remains intact. 

“We’re thrilled to partner with Saber Interactive. Over the years, they’ve released some extremely impressive and successful AAA games, so it’s great to be working with a team that has such a wealth of expertise and knowledge. We’re excited to collaborate with them on their promising upcoming project,” said Alex Yerukhimovich, vice president for games at Anzu.

Anzu’s software development kit (SDK) ensures high-quality direct traffic, complete control of ad placements, and precise audience targeting based on first-party data. The company’s blended in-game ads, which sit in the background of games mimicking placements you’d expect to find in the real world, are already being used by many of the world’s leading games companies, including Ubisoft.

“We’re excited to be working with Anzu to incorporate their in-game ad formats into our upcoming game. We are working closely to ensure the ad placements are only implemented into the gameplay where it feels natural, adds value, and does not detract from the user experience in any way. We’re looking forward to sharing more about the game, and this collaboration, soon,” said Todd Hollenshead, head of publishing at Saber Interactive.

Anzu has worked with some of the globe’s biggest advertisers, including Vodafone, Samsung, PepsiCo, McDonald’s, and American Eagle.

Meanwhile, Saber Interactive is known for game titles such as ‘World War Z’, ‘NBA Playgrounds’ and ‘Snowrunner’.

Marketing Featured APAC

In-game ad Anzu launches offering for top gaming platform Roblox

Israel – Global in-game ad solution has unveiled its new Roblox offering, where Anzu’s viewable impressions, brand safety, and detailed campaign reporting will be available to advertisers running in-game campaigns within Roblox.

Roblox is a global metaverse where millions of players gather to create, share, and play games in immersive worlds. Anzu finds that majority of Roblox’s users are under 16 of age and believes the partnership presents advertisers with a unique opportunity to connect with this elusive cohort.

“The game-changing move brings Anzu’s tech to Gen Z’s most popular platform, opening its 202 million monthly active users to brands and agencies globally via scalable in-game ads,” said the company in a press statement.

According to Anzu, in Q3 of 2020, Roblox racked up over 8.71 billion hours of engagement with users spending more time on the platform than on Tiktok, YouTube and Instagram combined.

Anzu, which already works with leading games companies, including Ubisoft, Amanotes, and Lion Castle Entertainment, to run in-game ads said that it aims to bring its learnings and success to the Roblox platform.

Michael Sligh, the creator of one of Roblox’s biggest games of all time ‘Work at a Pizza Place’, said, “We look forward to seeing real-world brand ads appear within our games as players will be able to experience them just like they do in the real world, adding a sense of realism to our gameplay. They will also provide us with an additional revenue stream without taking anything away from how players experience games, allowing us to spend more time improving them and building out new ones that the Roblox community can fall in love with.”

Itamar Benedy, CEO and co-founder of Anzu, said, “Today marks an important milestone on our road to building the cross-platform advertising solution that reaches players no matter where they are or what they are playing on.”

Benedy adds, “We are thrilled by the interest and uptake we have already seen from both Roblox’s developers and some of the world’s leading brands and agencies which are excited to be part of Roblox’s vision of becoming a true Metaverse, representing the future of how people learn, play, work, consume entertainment, try on and shop fashion, and interact with brands. This aligns with our belief that gaming is becoming a one-stop-shop where people are increasingly spending much of their digital lives — cementing the fact that gaming is a crucial channel that advertisers can no longer afford to ignore.”

Anzu believes that its dedication to child safety is a huge pull for advertisers. The Roblox platform is fully GDPR compliant and a member of the kidSAFE Seal Program, which has been approved by the Federal Trade Commission as an authorized safe harbor under COPPA.

Anzu has already signed partnerships with many popular Roblox creators, bringing in-game advertising to games, including Work at a Pizza Place, Speed Run 4, Wacky Wizards, and Fashion Famous. Anzu also shared that is in talks with a growing number of developers who are excited at the idea of having real-world brands appear within their games on the platform.