20th Century Fox, the movie studio that’s being acquired by Disney as part of a $52 billion merger, boosted mobile viewership of trailers for the animated feature “Ferdinand” with interactive mini-games that followed in-app video ads. The average video completion rate for the three-part campaign was 97%, per a case study from mobile ad platform Tapjoy shared with Mobile Marketer.
The interactive games were delivered in customized versions of Tapjoy’s Interactive End Card and Playable Rich Media ad units that appeared at the end of the video trailer. A “Mix & Match” memory card game, “Bull in a China Shop” fall-and-catch game and an “Escape” maze game kept players engaged for an average of 30 more seconds.
The interactive ads were developed by Interplay Studio, Tapjoy’s newly launched in-house creative team and design studio that specializes in mobile ads that are optimized for in-app environments. For the “Ferdinand” campaign, Interplay Studio designed 220 creative experiences that were localized for 16 different countries. Vizeum, the media agency for 20th Century Fox International, worked with Interplay on the campaign.
The in-app campaign for “Ferdinand” shows the power of games to extend the time spent with a brand on mobile platforms, which is difficult considering how quickly smartphone users swipe through ads and other content in apps and mobile browsers. Gamifying ads, in particular, has been a growing focus of mobile ads because of how this builds interactivity and excitement in a channel were consumers are known to already be playing a lot of games. Last year, 20th Century Fox worked with Tapjoy on a mobile campaign for "War for The Planet of the Apes." That campaign had an 88% video completion rate and 4% click-through rate to purchase tickets.
Marketers are clearly exploring the potential of gamification on mobile. Home Depot recently introduced a gamified app for employee training, Ally Bank ran an AR mobile game during the Super Bowl and the Major League Baseball Players Assoc. recently put playable ads in its app.
While engagement metrics for “Ferdinand” were solid, the Oscar-nominated movie delivered more modest results at the box office. “Ferdinand” premiered in December with some heavy competition from the much-anticipated “Star Wars: The Last Jedi,” the highest-grossing movie of the year. “Ferdinand” grossed $83.4 million at the U.S. box office and $208.8 million in foreign markets, per Box Office Mojo. By comparison, the biggest animated hit last year was “Despicable Me 3” with $264 million domestic and $770 million outside the U.S.
Tapjoy, whose software development kit (SDK) is currently embedded in more than 20,000 mobile apps that reach 620 million monthly active users, last year published research about the engagement of mobile gamers. It found that gamers feel more focused, happier and more engaged on gaming apps than on social networking apps. Consumers are 2.4x more likely to feel bored on social apps than gaming apps, and 60% more likely to feel stressed, its study found.