Eskimi & Anzu Talk Programmatic In-Game Ads & Latest Privacy Regulations

April 14, 2023
6 minutes

Anzu and Eskimi recently took part in a joint webinar entitled "Unlocking the Potential of Programmatic In-Game Advertising" where we dove headfirst into how programmatic in-game advertising works. The reason why this channel has become so crucial to DSPs, and the difference between gaming and other supply channels. 

The response to the session was overwhelming, and a ton of questions for both teams followed. In response, Anzu’s Content Manager Nick Woodford caught up with Yaniv Rozencweig, Anzu’s Global Programmatic Director, and Eskimi’s DMP Product Manager, Gabriele Vileikytė, to put some of the most popular questions to them.

Nick Woodford: There have been several questions around programmatic in-game advertising and how it works. Can you explain what it is for us?

Gabriele Vileikytė: In a simple sense, programmatic advertising is an automated media buying technology. Advertisers can buy media with ease and effectively with the help of programmatic advertising from different publishers. Before programmatic advertising, the same advertiser would need to discuss the media buying individually with every publisher. With programmatic advertising, everything is done in milliseconds which saves time for both advertisers and publishers.

Yaniv Rozencweig: Anzu has taken programmatic advertising and applied it to gaming to produce a blended in-game advertising solution. The solution seamlessly integrates non-intrusive ads into the gameplay, allowing brands to reach previously undiscovered audience groups in a more immersive way. Unlike intrusive ads that interrupt gameplay and offer low brand visibility, blended in-game advertising brings realism to games through advanced product placement. These ads are just like DOOH but inside a game.

Our use of standard IAB formats and programmatic technology allows brands to launch campaigns at scale in seconds. Combined with a pioneering ad verification solution, we empower brands by providing them with a brand-safe environment where they only pay for viewable ads.

NW: What would you say makes a successful campaign nowadays? Have things changed in recent years? Or are they likely to change in the foreseeable future?

GV: The success of the campaign purely depends on the client's goals/KPIs. Eskimi is a brand awareness-driven platform, so success for us is seen in the uplifts of brand awareness and brand recall. 

A few years ago, clients only focused on brand awareness. However, with the new technologies and market complexity, we began seeing advertisers’ goals shift, and clients started to focus on other KPIs like conversion. This became the driving force of a successful campaign. 

Now we are seeing another shift. Clients are starting to move their focus from hard KPIs like conversion to customer loyalty and transparency. This is greatly influenced by several changes in user privacy, which will only grow as more companies implement different privacy regulations. All this will result in the success of a campaign being measured by metrics like privacy compliance, customer loyalty, and transparency.

NW: On the subject of data privacy, we've been witnessing data protection initiatives and regulations crop up worldwide. At the same time, Google is set to phase out the use of 3rd party cookies in the coming years. Whilst Apple's ATT rollout in iOS 14.5 had 96% of US iPhone users disable tracking completely. 

It is reasonable to assume that things are expected to change significantly. How are both Anzu and Eskimi prepared to respond to the changing landscape of the industry? Do you expect it to be a serious challenge or, on the contrary, an opportunity for growth? How about the digital advertising industry as a whole?

YR: The disappearance of cookies and IDFAs shows us that the world is prioritizing privacy over personalization, and this is why advertising companies should rely on contextual targeting, first-party data, and statistical location data to target the right audiences consistently across all platforms.

Performance-based advertising is focused on a call-to-action and conversions, which are achieved by showing a specific user that fits a behavioral profile the same ad in many different places until the user performs the desired action. In comparison, brand awareness and consideration campaigns are very different with various goals.

Anzu's blended in-game ads are ideal for brand awareness campaigns due to the high level of attention that video games have as interactive 3D media in comparison to any other static 2D media. They are also context-based, which makes them a perfect fit for the post-IDFA world.

When people play computer games, they are also 100% focused on the content. As in-game ads are part of the content, the level of attention is much higher, which is precisely what major brands that invest heavily in brand awareness/consideration campaigns are looking for.

GV: These privacy regulation changes did impact our business. The playing field might become walled garden focused due to privacy regulation changes. However, like with any other programmatic company, we are trying to level the playing field by implementing technologies that will help tackle new privacy regulations so clients won’t feel the need only to use walled gardens. 

When it comes to the challenges, it is clear that the market will get more privacy-focused. We have already seen that Android has decided to follow in Apple's footsteps, while more regulations like GDPR are emerging in other regions like Brazil and Asia. At some point, it will reach regions like Africa as well. With the depreciation of third-party cookies, we will face an even greater challenge where the market will have thousands of identifiers for one user, making it a lot more fragmented, bringing several major issues for the industry.

The best advice I could give is to follow the news closely, react fast, and act as a role model for other players in the industry.

NW: What will the partnership between Anzu and Eskimi bring to the table for advertisers? What are the biggest challenges it will be able to solve for brands?

YR: This live partnership through OpenRTB integration offers brands the opportunity to programmatically reach an incredibly diverse, engaged, and lucrative gaming audience via display and video ads across platforms.

The partnership essentially brings Anzu’s supply to even more locations, including Africa, Asia, CIS, Europe, and MENA regions. Now even more advertisers will be provided with the tools to programmatically serve ads in some of the globe's most popular games. Also, with Anzu now directly integrated with Eskimi, advertisers can seamlessly access its supply to run in-game campaigns across multiple devices, including PCs and consoles.

To hear more about the partnership, how programmatic in-game advertising works, and how you can take advantage of it, check out the ‘Unlocking the Potential of Programmatic In-Game Advertising webinar on-demand here.

Philip is the CMO of Eskimi. When he’s not busy growing the Eskimi brand, he spends his time with family and playing ping pong.
Philip is the CMO of Eskimi. When he’s not busy growing the Eskimi brand, he spends his time with family and playing ping pong.
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