Press Releases

Zynga & Rubicon Project Announce New SponsoredPLAY Custom Mobile Advertising Product for Political Campaign Advertisers

January 7, 2016

Bring Immersive SponsoredPLAY Ad Units to Political Advertising Market for 2016 Elections

SAN FRANCISCO and LOS ANGELES, Jan. 07, 2016 – Zynga (Nasdaq:ZNGA), a leading social game developer, and Rubicon Project (NYSE:RUBI), which operates one of the largest advertising marketplaces in the world, today announced that the two companies will bring new SponsoredPLAY immersive ad units to political advertisers in time for the 2016 elections via Rubicon Project’s leading Guaranteed Orders platform.

Today’s announcement was made during a session on the future of digital political engagement at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The political advertising collaboration follows an earlier announcement that Zynga has selected Rubicon Project for an exclusive launch relationship for programmatic direct advertising via automated guaranteed buying.

Rubicon Project launched its Washington, D.C. political and advocacy team in 2015 to bring the power and scale of automation to the more than $11 billion projected to be spent on political advertising in 2016, more than one billion of which is expected to be spent on digital advertising. The joint effort announced today will focus on Zynga’s innovative gamified SponsoredPLAY ad units developed by Zynga’s in-house design and development team, Studio E, which offers advertisers a native ad experience that delivers among the highest engagement rates in mobile advertising. SponsoredPLAY provides candidates and campaigns the ability to interact with voters on a far deeper level, driving greater consideration and engagement.

“Zynga’s highly immersive SponsoredPLAY ads completely break the traditional political advertising mold. To date, campaigns have not harnessed the full power of mobile advertising, and this election cycle mobile will be a critically important channel for political campaigns looking for new ways to capture and hold voters’ attention,” said Dr. Amy Gershkoff, Chief Data Officer of Zynga and former Head of Media Planning for Obama for America. “SponsoredPLAY delivers engagement rates six times those of traditional mobile ads, and together with Rubicon Project we are able to offer these ads at scale to political campaigns, enabling campaigns to reach the right voter with the right message at the right time with an experience that’s both fun and educational for Zynga players.”

SponsoredPLAY political ads will appear as mini-games that mirror the content and fiction of the game being played to create an engaging, authentic experience for the player. Many SponsoredPLAY ads will also be designed with a Twitter integration so voters can help spread the word about candidates or political issues they find compelling.

“Mobile is not just a smaller screen,” Gershkoff said. “It’s a conversation in real-time with voters about the issues that matter to them most. The SponsoredPLAY ad experience offers campaigns a way to have an organic dialogue with voters by integrating the ad experience directly into the game.”

“We are thrilled to extend our exclusive programmatic launch relationship with Zynga to include SponsoredPLAY political campaign advertising in 2016, as digital advertising is projected to become the second-largest area of spending for political campaigns this year,” said Theresa Mueller, Director of Political and Advocacy, Rubicon Project. “Political buyers will be tested to see who can find the most impactful strategies in this quickly changing landscape. High impact ad executions like SponsoredPLAY offer campaigns the most personalized and deeply engaging experience available today.”


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