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July 24, 2006

Microsoft’s Massive launches interactive in-game ads

Posted by David Hunter at 10:05 AM ET.

You may recall that back in May Microsoft acquired Massive Inc., a company with the obscure specialty of putting ads in videogames. This week, Jessica Ramirez reminds us at Newsweek that there’s golf in them thar hills and that Massive is a key player:

While Nielsen was focusing on metrics, a start-up called Massive Inc. devoted itself to creating a videogame network for serving dynamic ads. Through the technology of dynamic ads, Massive was able to insert and change ads in real time as long as the gamer was connected to the Internet via a PC or console. Only months after Massive went live in March 2005, it had big-name advertisers like Coca-Cola, T-Mobile, DaimlerChrysler and Honda pumping ads onto its network. “Their technology is amazing,” says Kelley. “They can tell you down to the nth degree how long your ad was looked at, from what angle and who was looking at it.” And in a TiVo world, advertisers say that’s not a bad deal.

More by following the link, but that brings us to today’s Microsoft press release, Massive Network Launches Groundbreaking Interactive In-Video-Game Advertising Unit; Toyota Is Debut Advertiser With Innovative Campaign for New 2007 Yaris Sedan:

Massive Inc., creator of the world’s leading video game network and wholly owned subsidiary of Microsoft Corp., today announced that it has launched interactive in-video-game ads, allowing advertisers to engage gamers in new and entertaining ways. The first advertiser to utilize the new interactive ad unit is Toyota Motor Sales (TMS), U.S.A., Inc., with a campaign for its new 2007 Yaris sedan in “Anarchy Online,” a top multiplayer online game published by Funcom.

The new interactive ad units can be used in a number of ways to encourage gamer interaction with the advertising and to provide a more engaging brand experience. For the Toyota Yaris campaign, gamers are encouraged to engage with the ads to unveil an image of the new Yaris. The campaign is running in multiple games on the Massive Network and utilizes Massive’s dynamic 2-D elements and full-motion video and audio ads, in addition to the new interactive units, to reach the coveted gaming audience.

Sounds promising, but I wonder about the risk that the ad is more entertaining than the game. The Massive Web site is here.

Filed under Advertising, General Business, Microsoft, PC Games

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