Capital One Runs Ads on Three Zynga Games

capital-one-buildingCapital One will begin appearing tomorrow in Zynga games CityVille, FarmVille, and The Pioneer Trail. According to a prepared statement from the companies, it’s the first time a brand has advertised in all three Facebook-based games at once.

CityVille players can add a Capital One bank location (image, left) to their cities, while Farmville and Pioneer Trail players can interact with a depiction of the goat from the brand’s TV spots. In each case, the in-game promotions reward players with points while directing them to Capital One’s Facebook page, where it has nearly 1.6 million likes. The initiative runs for one week.

It’s not the first time Capital One has tested Zynga ads. For a week in June, FarmVille players could get a complimentary branded Visigoth statue that delivered extra points for crops and trees planted.

Meanwhile Zynga, which filed for a $1 billion IPO in July, claims to have 60 million daily active users and 232 million monthly uniques in 166 countries. In terms of its platform for marketers, Zynga ad types include:

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 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.

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