Departing RockYou, Julie Shumaker hired to grow sponsorship revenues.
Zynga, maker of FarmVille and other social games, appears serious about harvesting more ad sales. The San Francisco company has hired RockYou's Julie Shumaker to be VP of North American Sales, a newly created position.
At RockYou, which develops social games such as Gourmet Ranch, Shumaker worked on its advertising network, product innovation, and operations organization. The industry veteran will report to Zynga Chief Marketing and Revenue Officer Jeff Karp, who has vowed to ramp up ad sales for his brand.
According to a source close to the situation, Zynga plans to continue hiring ad salespeople while venturing into international markets. The public company recently reported $74.5 million in 2011 advertising sales, which was small compared to Zynga's overall revenues of $1.14 billion for the year.
In addition to FarmVille, Zynga's games include CityVille, CastleVille, Empires & Allies, Texas Hold 'Em Poker, Hanging With Friends, and Words With Friends. The games are played on Facebook, Orkut, MySpace, and Google+.
In an example of brand advertiser integration, Ford partnered with Zynga last fall to host what was dubbed the world's largest "Words With Friends" game to promote Ford's 2013 Escape model.
On Tuesday, Nov. 15, from 11 p.m. to midnight, Words With Friends fans competed against celebrity Jenny McCarthy, who was at an event in Los Angeles. As they played, a large photo of the 2013 Ford Escape was exposed on giant screens. The Escape debuted at the Los Angeles Auto Show the following day.
Other Zynga ad types:
Engagement Ads, in which players can answer questions about brand preferences and purchase behavior in exchange for in-game currency. For instance, a user might field questions about his or her American Express card.
Branded Virtual Goods, in which a brand ties advertising deeply into game play. Capital One's bank location in CityVille would fit this category, while perhaps the best-known examples have been FarmVille integrations involving brands like Farmer's Insurance, Bing, Coca-Cola, and McDonald's. Paramount recently launched a campaign in CityVille offering an in-game item to drive awareness of "Kung Fu Panda 2."
Mobile Ads, which are served into free versions of Zynga mobile games like Words with Friends and Hanging with Friends. Advertisers have included Amazon, eBay, and HBO; Zynga also has used the space to cross-promote other mobile games.
Want to learn more? Join us at ClickZ Live New York 2015
[ALERT] Super Saver Rates Expire January 30. With over 15 years of experience delivering industry leading events, ClickZ Live brings together over 50 expert speakers to deliver an action-packed, educationally-focused agenda covering all aspects of digital marketing. Quick! - Register today to secure your place at the best rate.
Christopher Heine was a senior writer for ClickZ through June 2012. He covered social media, sports/entertainment marketing, retail, and more. Heine's work has also appeared via Mashable, Brandweek, DM News, MarketingSherpa, and other tech- and ad-centric publications. USA Today, Bloomberg Radio, and The Los Angeles Times have cited him as an expert journalist.
Singapore, 5-6 March
Bangkok, 17-18 March
Hong Kong, April 2015
Google My Business Listings Demystified
To help brands control how they appear online, Google has developed a new offering: Google My Business Locations. This whitepaper helps marketers understand how to use this powerful new tool.
5 Ways to Personalize Beyond the Subject Line
82 percent of shoppers say they would buy more items from a brand if the emails they sent were more personalized. This white paper offer five tactics that will personalize your email beyond the subject line and drive real business growth.