Massive Brings Full-motion Video Ads to Games

Panasonic and Britain’s Channel 4 are the first advertisers to take advantage of the latest ad format in video games: full-motion video on Massive’s video game network.

“The market is ready, gamers are accepting, and developers are ready, so we’re turning on the full-motion video capabilities,” said Nicholas Longano, Massive’s CMO. Panasonic is running a branding campaign, and Channel 4 is using the buy to promote the debut of ABC’s “Lost” TV series in the UK.

The video and audio ads start playing on billboards, plasma screens or other appropriate locations when gamers enter select areas or zones within Funcom’s “Anarchy Online,” a massively multiplayer online role-playing games (MMORPG). Funcom is one of over 20 publishers in Massive’s network, which serves ads from more than 35 advertisers into various video game titles.

“Communicating with an audience that has a sophisticated appreciation for video and graphics really requires that we push the envelope with creative that will appear in the middle of a game. With these video elements, Massive has opened a new world for video game advertising,” said Sean Black, senior VP at Beyond Entertainment, the youth and entertainment division of Beyond Interactive. In association with Grey Advertising, Beyond developed the advertising program for Panasonic; Renegade Marketing developed the ad creative.

The new ad elements accompany the dynamic billboard ads Funcom introduced earlier this spring. Like the prior ads, those opting for the entirely free version of “Anarchy Online” will see the videos within the city environments, while paying subscribers may opt-in to view the content.

Ads are generally placed in realistic appliations in areas where players are in transition between battles or other action scenes, as well as in social settings where ads would be expected to be seen in the real world. Video ads are shown on TV screens, or on large video billboards reminiscent of Times Square.

Like other Massive ad units, full sound and motion elements are measured as 15-second cumulative impressions. If a player laves the area of an ad before it’s done playing, it is picked up from that point the next time the player approaches an ad unit in the game.

Massive’s technology captures ad delivery activity on an aggregated basis. No individual information is gathered. To preserve players’ privacy, data are reported in an aggregated format, and Massive doesn’t store cookies or other persistent information on individuals’ computers.

The video and audio ads have two distinct applications. They can be used to dynamically deliver TV-like :15 spots into the game environment, or they can be used to integrate audio messaging from marketers, such as a record label, to promote new music. Advertisers are currently working on both types of applications for upcoming campaigns, Longano said.

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