Advertisements in mobile games exist as a point of frustration for both gamers and developers. Sure, its getting better, with users confirming that rewarded video is preferable to other forms of in-game advertising. The situation, however, still isn’t perfect.
When gamers interact with rewarded videos, they do so because they love winning coins or in-game currency. They are playing the game, after all, and are desperate to get that next power-up or piece of equipment. Unfortunately, most rewarded videos are actually ads for other video games. Yes, rewarded video is acceptable by the gamer — but if the advertisement is successful, it also means that you have just lost a user to the competition.
But what other option is there? It isn’t easy to make a video that can be inserted into a game — unless you are a video game company. For example, I couldn’t go down to my local pizza place and ask them if they want to make a video to put in front of gamers on your platform.
What if there was a way to integrate rewarded advertising with vendors who are not in the same industry? Amazing options start to appear. For example, we could tie user redemption with in game rewards. Think users will buy it? We tested it in our local market, and saw a 45% 7th day x user retention rate. Users loved it.
But what about IP? Developers loathe to ruin their game with advertisements from the ‘real world’. Banners and video are bad enough — it’s almost worse to try to put it in the actual gameplay. If we could only integrate the advertising experience into the meta of the game world, we could make a seamless transition for the user between what is real, and what is virtual. If successful, we could potentially unlock synergistic effects that cause user retention to sky rocket, as we have seen already.
What if there were a branded story-line that provided context to a user’s experience of being advertised to inside the game world? What if that story line came in the form of a cute virtual avatar that users love? Well, at Joy Monster, we have done just that.
Introducing the Joy Monster.
The Joy Monster is a virtual monster with the ability to transcend intradimensional limitations imposed on mere mortals. He is a being from the virtual world with the ability to enter both our physical reality and the reality of any virtual world or game. He is our brand, our story, and the meta that we wrap around the virtual gift box that gets inserted into a developer’s game as a form of Advertising.
While the gift box is the only aspect the user sees during gameplay, it represents a game-within-a-game concept. The gift box completely removes the invasiveness associated with advertisements while preserving total immersion in the game. At the same time, because the box is consistently branded across multiple game platforms, the user instantly knows what the box is.
We strive to make our gift boxes fun. Think Santa Claus mixed with Wreck-it-Ralph. What kid doesn’t love opening up their presents on Christmas day? And what adult doesn’t remember that crushing moment when they found out Santa wasn’t real?
The Joy Monster is our digital Santa, and simultaneously carries a meta with him that explains how he is able to move through different game worlds via a central terminal. He also enters the physical world and visits local retailers. In our meta, it is not salespeople who get advertisers on board — instead the Joy Monster literally shows up to their doorstep, asks for coupons, eats them, and then leaves, all while the business owner stands there astonished, mouth wide.
This is our brand concept. We strive to preserve immersion by removing the invasiveness associated with advertising and create a fun, compelling game-like meta for users to enjoy along side any game experience. At the same time, they earn in-game rewards by opening their box in the wallet screen. We have a meta for that as well — the Joy monster needs the users help in order to replenish his supply of coupons, and is willing to compensate users who help him with digital rewards.
Are you a Game Developer? We would love to hear your thoughts on our gap-bridging Virtual Meta. Comment below, or send us your thoughts at firstname.lastname@example.org.