Activision Taps Massive to Handle Ads in Key Game Franchises

  |  November 14, 2007   |  Comments

"Guitar Hero III" and "Tony Hawk's Proving Ground" both hit retail shelves in recent weeks.

Consumers aren't the only ones rushing to buy "Guitar Hero III: Legends of Rock" and skate park title "Tony Hawk's Proving Ground." Advertisers also want a piece of Activision's longstanding franchises. Both recent video game releases were added to Massive's in-game advertising network to run dynamic ads.

The two titles, both released in the past few weeks, join Massive's network of between 50 and 60 game titles, which also includes Activision's "Transformers: The Game."

"Guitar Hero III" ad placements will be contextual to the settings, with ad units aiming to replicate each venue's existing ad units or style. When the game takes place in a concert hall like Madison Square Garden, any digital signage and billboards will be replicated and sold as inventory. Likewise, if a game session takes place in a baseball field or basketball arena, Massive will offer ad units resembling the banners that line the stadium, and a JumboTron may light up the atmosphere.

"We replicate as much as possible the venue of what's there, and use those elements to serve dynamic ads," Cory Van Arsdale, CEO of Massive, told ClickZ News.

In addition to dynamic placements, "Guitar Hero III" has a number of static product integrations coded into the game.

"Tony Hawk's Proving Ground" offers non-conventional opportunities. "'Tony Hawk's' is a great example," said Van Arsdale. "There is stuff painted on walls, billboards, park benches or bus stops [and ads in the] natural cityscape. Those are all dynamic� advertising elements."

Massive declined to name initial advertisers, saying campaigns are still being rolled out. Van Arsdale believes approximately 300 advertisers are well suited to the core male 18- to 34-year-old gaming demographic, and claims Massive has worked with roughly 100 of those. Many continue with repeat buys. "If you look at the list of advertisers [on the Massive Web site], you can pretty much guarantee many of them buy across the network," he said.

While the saturation of ad placements is higher in some games, such as racing and sports titles, Massive typically keeps the mix at about five minutes of advertising for every 60 minutes of game play. "We look at around five minutes as a combination of a great immersive experience and great advertising exposure," said Van Arsdale.

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