Zynga is in a pretty good position for companies looking to advertise, and they’ve already teamed up with State Farm and Microsoft for their products. To Zynga CEO Mark Pincus, there are multiple opportunities to advertise moving forward using Zynga’s resources.
âI think we’ll see a couple of trends continuing to play out in the next five years in social game advertising, which I think will be its own real business segment if it isn’t already,â said Pincus. âOne is the growth of the commodity ad business, getting more and more valuable, the display ads that are pay-per-click, I think just the sheer volume will continue to make that interesting, and I think game developers will always be some of the biggest buyers of those ads.â
âThe second is higher value ads for brand advertisers, what we think of as engagement advertising,â he added. âWe think that has enormous potential to deliver great value to brands in ways that they haven’t been able to unlock online before. The opportunity to let a brand like McDonald’s or Best Buy or American Express start to integrate with your games and integrate with the game experience and sponsor part of the game experience, and even gamify parts of that experience, in ways that are repeatable and scalable, where you now have currencies and you can play with those currencies.â
âAn example is putting a McDonald’s in your city; it has greater payout than a regular burger joint, it has cooler looking art, and we can even give it more dimensions than that. It could connect you to everyone else who has a McDonald’s in the game,â he gave an example. âIt could become a social object. There are so many things that you could put in there that are scalable and repeatable but give the brand advertiser a way to drive measurable engagement. Not just engagement with their brand, but something that’s actually measurable in a more meaningful way than just clicks, than just did I buy a search word and people clicked on ‘burger joint’ and McDonald’s, what does it mean They could actually get you to respond in more meaningful ways to their brand.â
âThe third way that I’m really excited about is actually gamification of the ads themselves. I think, especially on mobile, the opportunity to make the ads fun and interactive and the chance to win things – it’s just cool. From an end-user’s standpoint, the same way that Google made ads interesting, I think we can do that by gamifying ads. Think about what you could do in Draw Something; imagine a Pepsi Challenge in the entire game today where everyone is drawing some Pepsi bottle, and they’re going to announce winners, and we can take that Pepsi Draw Something Challenge across our whole network, not just Draw Something. So you could see a little Draw Something screen, and ‘Take the Pepsi Challenge today’ and draw a little bottle and it’s like a scratch-off, you can immediately win something and enter this bigger contest. Or imagine Scramble as an ad; a Scramble ad interstitial anywhere on mobile, sponsored by AmEx or somebody, and they say ‘Find these words.’ I’m more intrigued by all of the low-hanging fruit that hasn’t happened yet than what has happened,â he concluded.