Playmob takes on climate change with playable mobile ad

Dive Brief:

  • Gaming charity Playmob and non-governmental organization We Are The Oceans launched a playable ad campaign yesterday to raise awareness of ecological threats to small island developing states, which includes places like Fiji, Guam, Jamaica, Puerto Rico and Singapore, according to a statement made available to Mobile Marketer.
  • The ad features the Island Nation Defense game that requires players to build sandbag walls to protect an island community from rising tides. The game also highlights estimates of the costs of climate change, such as the number of people around the world who are estimated to be forced to migrate by 2050 due to rising sea levels.
  • TreSensa, a New York-based ad tech firm, developed the game, which will be distributed on the Playmob Network of 150 million users. Playmob and WATO, founded in February by former U.N. adviser Daisy Kendrick, also developed a playable ad game titled “The Big Catch” that was played 3.2 million times with an average playtime of one minute and 13 seconds.

Dive Insight:

Playable ads trade a few moments of a viewer’s attention span for a marketing message using sight, sound, motion and a high level of interactivity, and in the case of We Are The Oceans, a chance to educate a younger audience about the possible threat that beachfront communities face from climate change. The Island Nation Defense game last week was previewed during the U.N. Oceans Conference in New York. Playmob’s charity work mirrors the playable ads strategy of major brands such as Chipotle Mexican Grille, Pepsi, Kellogg and Coors that have tried the tactic to build relationships with digital consumers.

Microsoft, which introduced in March its platform for playable ads to promote apps, listed the advantages of interactivity in marketing messages, including the ability to keep users inside an app after clicking on an ad and creating engaging experiences that also convey information. While most of Microsoft’s work is geared for app developers that want to let users experience an app before installing it, the same interactive features can apply to any marketed product or service like Playmob's and WATO's.

Advertisers should keep in mind that, like all channels and platforms, playable ads come with drawbacks. An AdColony survey showed that playables made up 2% of total ad spend in 2016, and this year that number rose to 4%. Not all platforms support playables yet, which could at least partially explain why the tool isn’t scaling quite as quickly as some might’ve hoped.

Filed Under: Campaigns Gaming Mobile marketing trends
Top image credit: WATO and Tresensa