A Look at the Best of In-Play

Samuel Huber
7 min readApr 4, 2022

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It’s no secret that a range of games nowadays — whether they’re created by large or small developers — need in-game advertising to survive. According to a survey conducted by Omdia, gaming companies brought in over $42 billion in 2019 from just in-game ads alone. This is a true testament to the fact that as a medium, games are ripe territory for monetization through strategically-placed ads and high levels of engagement.

As advertising technologies have evolved, however, monetization strategies have also needed to change. Data shows that traditional, interstitial-style ads that have been featured in a range of mobile games are no longer effective. Studies have estimated that 82% of Generation Z users — the audience that represents the largest opportunity for advertisers — are known to skip over intrusive ads. This data is coupled with the fact that around 81% of Generation Z are gamers and that there is an estimated total of 3 billion gamers worldwide.

In-Play, as pioneered by Admix, offers a solution to disruptive ads — allowing developers to programmatically place ads inside the game environment and for brands to reach audiences during the most effective time: while they’re engaged in gameplay. With In-Play, ads can take the form of billboards, posters, or other types of engaging presentations.

Since the launch of In-Play, Admix has teamed up with a roster of leading brands and developers — offering them a non-intrusive monetization solution that has allowed them to put the player experience first. Let’s take a look at some examples of how In-Play has helped both game developers and brands see increases in their average revenue and overall engagement levels.

Game Developers

Sir Studios — Ultimate Car Driving Simulator

Last year, Sir Studios partnered with Admix to programmatically place In-Play ads onto buildings, billboards, and other properties inside their best-selling game, Ultimate Car Driving Simulator. As one of the most popular simulator games in the mobile market, Ultimate Car Driving Simulator marries a realistic driving experience with custom arcade controls. It also comes packed with surplus of options for users to customize their in-game rides.

Thanks to In-Play ads, Sir Studios saw a 33% increase in average revenue per daily active user.

On the success of In-Play in Ultimate Car Driving Simulator’s gameplay, Caglar Bozkurt, Head of Marketing at Sir Studios, commented: “I believe that in several years, not only will the majority of games that incorporate ads start using In-Play ads too — but some of them will make the move to only use In-Play ads for monetization. It’s a really big field that has huge potential.”

Dodreams — Drive Ahead

When building their gladiatorial arena-style racing game Drive Ahead, development studio Dodreams felt that in-game mock ads were the perfect approach to making their game feel more realistic and engaging. With a uniquely single-layered 2D design, their gameplay served as the ideal layout for eye-catching ad placements.

After teaming up with Admix, they were able to successfully insert in-game ads into the arena’s sidelines — seeing up to 50 million ad views and zero impact on retention.

Erik Pontiskoski, CEO of Dodreams, claims that with the format of In-Play, their “interests are aligned with the advertiser.” Moreover, he claims that the company “basically get(s) paid for players staying in the game.”

Gismart — Pencil Rush 3D

Gismart, a leading developer and publisher of mobile games and entertainment-focused apps, focuses on producing hypercasual and casual games. Last year, Gismart joined forces with Admix to find the most non-intrusive approach to advertising inside of one of their most popular games, Pencil Rush 3D. This plan would ensure that users wouldn’t have their gameplay interrupted by interstitial-style ads that would detract from their overall experience.

In-Play’s technology allowed Gismart to integrate two dynamic placements inside the gameplay of Pencil Rush 3D at a rapid pace. Within a year, they saw an increase in ARPU by 5%.

Olga Romanovich, Gismart’s Lead Ads Monetization Manager, commented on the success of In-Play in Pencil Rush 3D: “The stable performance of the In-Play ads in Pencil Rush 3D gave us confidence in Admix, and that’s why we’ve decided to further expand our partnership.”

Gameloft — Gangstar Vegas

Gameloft, a leading worldwide game development studio with a 20-year history of delivering games to mobile devices, recently teamed up with Admix to bring In-Play to one of their biggest open-world titles: Gangstar Vegas. The game features an exciting range of action-packed and engaging experiences, including MMA fights, in-game casinos, city driving, and more.

What’s even more important is that Gangstar Vegas offers the ideal landscape and dynamic to bring out the best of In-Play — such as in-game billboards, street signs, and other properties that feel native to the experience.

With 5 million monthly active users and 2 million daily users, Gameloft has brought In-Play to one of its biggest audiences to date.

You can find out much more about all of these games in our latest guide where we showcase The State of the Art when it comes to In-Play development: Read now!

Brands

Movember

Movember is an annual event that advocates for men’s health awareness — primarily the area of prostate cancer, testicular cancer, mental health, and suicide prevention. In 2021, the Movember Foundation teamed up with Admix to launch a series of In-Play ads (featuring the signature ‘mustache’ branding) within various mobile games — including Ultimate Car Driving Simulator, Traffic Tour, and Drive Ahead.

While targeting a specific audience of males aged 20 to 39, this approach ensured that in-game ads were non-intrusively inserted into the gameplay and viewed by young male audiences at the most ideal time: while they were engaged in gameplay and more easily reachable. Overall, it was the perfect way to deliver both powerful messages and brand uplift to boost engagement.

Calvin Klein

From July to August of 2021, Calvin Klein partnered with Admix to help drive awareness of their new fragrance, Defy. By channeling their brand messaging through In-Play ads placed within a wide portfolio of mobile games, they were able to target a predominantly male audience and achieve high levels of viewability and gazetime. One of the ways they were able to achieve this was with an eye-catching creative featuring actor Richard Madden (of Game of Thrones fame).

In total, Calvin Klein saw a total of 850,000 impressions served, 3.45 seconds of average gazetime, and a viewability score of 96%.

Disney+

As a new provider of Marvel media, Disney+ collaborated with Admix to steer greater awareness towards some of their biggest shows (including those in the Spider-Man series). They were able to achieve this by targeting an engaged audience of mobile gamers with In-Play ads. Through a campaign that ran in Sweden, Denmark, Finland, and Norway, they successfully gained a large number of impressions and achieved a high average gaze time.

In all, Disney+ saw a total of 2.2 million impressions served, 4.9 hours of total gazetime, and an almost perfect viewability score of 99%.

Learn more in our downloadable ebook

With In-Play, Admix has helped identify a key strength for brands and developers — which is the ability to monetize without compromise. Our data has proven that In-Play technology helps developers show more ads without harming their business model, all while also helping brands earn more revenue through higher engagement channels and preventing players from seeing their experience disrupted.

As we look back at our success with In-Play, we’re excited to keep building our core stack and continue to help brands and developers achieve the perfect balance between monetization and retention.

Want to learn more about the best-of-the-best when it comes to In-Play? Check out our showcase of top-use cases and best practices when it comes to In-Play advertising — all in this free downloadable ebook! Here, you can learn from the best game developers and see how they’ve increased their revenue, find out how brands can reach their target audience, and see real-world examples with real-world results. Read now!

Originally published at https://blog.admixplay.com on April 4, 2022.

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