Hot Wheels wins the race with 90% in-game ad viewability

Finding new ways to engage with the audience and using innovative advertising solutions to adapt to changing consumer behavior
A non-disruptive in-game advertising campaign using Eskimi's self-service platform
Avg. sec to impressions
In-view rate
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Ben Baker, Vice President of Global Sourcing

Hot Wheels wins the race with 90% in-game ad viewability

Finding new ways to engage with the audience and using innovative advertising solutions to adapt to changing consumer behavior
A non-disruptive in-game advertising campaign using Eskimi's self-service platform

The possibility of matching the fun of the product and the positive energy of the advertising channel does not come too often. Unless you’re the Hot Wheels team ready to launch an in-game campaign with Eskimi.

Mattel, together with Mediabrands, represented by UM and Initiative in Slovakia, decided to expand Hot Wheels’ audience and overall reach by taking a creative approach – placing banner ads in the mobile gaming environment.

Hot Wheels banner ads

“Gaming advertising inventory has been on the rise for the past few years, and we know that Mattel's consumers – children and their parents – not only play mobile games but also take interest and shop for Mattel products,” said Martina Ivaničová, the programmatic specialist at Mediabrands SK. 

“We were looking for a trustworthy partner who would cover our expectations and be flexible with helping us manage our campaigns in this environment. That's why we chose Eskimi.”

Using Eskimi’s self-service option, Mediabrands SK could independently run a campaign for Mattel, benefit from non-standard in-game ad placements, and achieve 90% viewability for Hot Wheels’ ads.

The display ads featuring the products ran within Anzu’s non-intrusive in-game ad placements, built into some of the best-known gaming titles in places where you would expect to find ads in the real world, like alongside racetracks and around sports stadiums.

About Mattel

Mattel HQ

Mattel is a leading global toy manufacturing and entertainment company and the owner of one of the world's strongest children’s and family entertainment franchises. Some of Mattel's most iconic brands besides Hot Wheels include Barbie, Fisher-Price, American Girl, UNO, Thomas & Friends, MEGA, and many more.

In terms of revenue, Mattel is the world’s second-largest toy maker, right after The Lego Group.

Hot Wheels is a brand originally introduced by Mattel in 1968 and aimed at revolutionizing toy vehicles by looking cooler and performing better than the competition.

Hot Wheels

Fast forward to today, Hot Wheels is the number one toy seller in the US and has evolved into an iconic brand recognized worldwide.

Due to changing consumer behavior, Mattel Slovakia felt the need to adopt innovative advertising solutions. Stepping into in-game advertising was an excellent way for Mattel to promote its products in a non-disruptive manner and better appeal to its target audience.

Hot Wheels ad in game environnment

“When playing games, people are looking for positive feelings and, most importantly, fun,” said Martina Ivaničová. “Hot Wheels products deliver the same feeling, and we wanted to be a part of these happy moments people experience.”

Moreover, this particular Hot Wheels campaign aimed to introduce the gaming set to the toy manufacturer’s target audience in a user-friendly environment, ensuring the highest possible viewability marks.

Getting the most out of in-game advertising

To run Hot Wheels brand awareness campaign in-game, Mediabrands SK used Eskimi’s self-service platform. The company prepared different-sized static banners that naturally blended into the wide variety of games available in Anzu's inventory.

Mattel's products' consumers are young children and their parents, so advertising in games was very suitable for Hot Wheels and its audience.

“We cover the marketing funnel communication strategy for Hot Wheels, and in each stage, we were looking for touchpoints reflecting how the target group consumes internet media which is in hand with our KPIs,” said Viliam Papšo, Digital Media Planner at Mediabrands SK. 

“We decided to test new advertising possibilities, and Eskimi offers solutions that stand out, which is something distinctive that hasn't been used before."

With Eskimi, we could show ads inside the gaming environment while people were playing. During our previous campaigns, we could only use a much more disruptive format that forced players to stop the game and watch the ad.”

Hot Wheels in-game ad

Martina Ivaničová added:

“This provided us with a unique way to get inside the app, inside the actual game, and to become a part of the experience instead of letting our ads disrupt it. Besides allowing us to stand from the competition and break through advertising clutter, this kind of in-game ads are also a nice way to engage with people.”

The flexibility of a self-service platform

With Eskimi, brands can choose how they want to run their advertising campaigns – using managed services or self-service. However, the latter doesn’t mean you’ll have to rely entirely on yourself since you can still get all the support needed, which was the case for the Hot Wheels campaign.

“In our agency, we are proud to have a skilled, professional, and innovative team with many years of industry experience. We are constantly looking for new challenges and opportunities to grow our know-how,” said Martina Ivaničová.

“Self-served approach is one of our key success factors to maintain high client satisfaction and long-term partnerships, as it increases our proficiency and deep technological understanding of a dynamically evolving environment."

"Eskimi team has done a great job with onboarding our team into the Eskimi DSP and also took time and effort to ensure we understand the platform.”
In-game ad example – Hot Wheels banner


Launching an in-game campaign with Eskimi helped Mattel reach its target audience and become a part of the happy moments that the players experience.

After nearly a month that the Hot Wheels campaign was live, it achieved 90% viewability which was a highly satisfactory result for Mattel and Mediabrands SK.

Hot Wheels campaign resultswith Eskimi
  • The average seconds to impressions for this campaign was above 7.
  • In-view rate (MOAT) reached 99.58% – over 1,5 times more than the industry standard (60.40%).
  • The fully on-screen rate (MOAT) hit 95.98%, which is more than 41% higher than the benchmark for in-game ads (54.50%).
I am a huge fan of OOH because it allows advertisers to catch attention and engage with consumers in fun and out-of-the-box ways, which have huge impacts on brand building and campaign awareness. In-game ads allowed us to bring all the advantages that come with OOH to the gaming world with the added benefit of all the reporting, targeting, and measurement features that come with digital advertising.
Marek Somol
Senior Associate Digital Marketing

Viliam Papšo shared his experience with the Hot Wheels campaign:

“With this in-game campaign, our key goal was to introduce Mattel’s product in a fun and friendly environment, and achieve as high viewability as possible. We reached our KPIs and are satisfied with the results.”

“In-game ads proved to be an efficient part of the campaign, which supported the synergy of the whole communication mix. 

Each advertising solution works with different consumer behavior habits and has some limitations in terms of the full customer journey, from building awareness to pushing sales. The point was to reach our targeted audience at the right time with the right message, which worked perfectly.

We are keen to continue using Eskimi in-game solutions as well as other creative solutions that the platform might offer.”

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