Case Study

Mobile Apps as a Proxy for Audience in the Age of GDPR: A Case Study

August 22, 2018
By Allyse Slocum, Director, Digital Marketing

When it comes to advertising, it’s all about knowing your audience. But recent developments across the industry (and around the globe) are forcing advertisers and publishers to rethink how they use data to find and engage with their target audiences. So, in an age of Cambridge Analytica and GDPR, what’s a buyer to do? It turns out they can turn to mobile apps as a proxy for audience, using the rich information on user interests, behavior and demographics that mobile devices provide. Gameloft Advertising Solutions, a client of Rubicon Project for two years, offers a great example of how this can be achieved.

A Relationship Built on Trust and Transparency

Founded in 1999, Gameloft is a leading mobile game publisher based in Paris with more than 114 million active users worldwide. They offer more than 50 games for advertising on mobile phones and tablets, and their premium games have an average user rating of 4.5/5 stars on both those operating systems.

Rubicon Project leverages Gameloft’s user data to build key buyer relationships and drive demand through curated private marketplaces.

In light of increasing data concerns, Rubicon Project has worked to ensure a well-lit, high quality marketplace. According to Senior Sales Director for Mobile, Matt Cunha, “We’re engaging with a hand-selected set of premium buyers and premium sellers to build a VIP app marketplace where trust, transparency, quality, and confidence prevail.”

We worked with Gameloft to create brand safe inventory categories, then built direct relationships with top tier buyers.

Mobile Apps: How Data and Engaging Formats Can Win Audiences

One such example is when Gameloft worked with MCA Music, the Philippine regional branch of Universal Music Group (UMG), to help MCA reach music fans as part of the promotion of “Black Panther: The Album” — an accompaniment to the blockbuster film.

MCA was looking for enthusiasts to download or stream a specific track on the album and so they turned to Gameloft as a way to find and engage with this target audience.

According to Gameloft’s North American Programmatic Account Executive, Corentin Leydis, “Gameloft games offer an environment in which users are completely focused and engaged. The level of engagement you can expect from such an interactive environment is much higher than TV or pre-roll ads.”

Gameloft inventory has exceptional quality — it’s TAG registered, Ad-Block free, brand-safe, and viewable. In fact, MOAT viewability scores show that their inventory outperforms the market average in terms of human and viewable rates for display and video.

What’s more, Gameloft games offer advertisers with an effective way to emotionally connect with users. Says Corentin, “By carefully crafting the ad placements to fit seamlessly within the game, we can associate the brand to winning moments.”

The Wealth of Mobile App Data

When it comes to advertising, it may be all about the audience, but when it comes to audience, it’s all about the data. And here is where Gameloft sees a critical advantage. “When our users download a game, we use an age & gender gate.” says North American Marketing Manager, Hugo Fresson. “We also can collect the operating system, language, and GPS location of the device. We can garner more behavioral data using in-game surveys.”

Figure 1: Mobile app data combined with 3rd party data provided interesting behavioral insights.

In the case of MCA, Gameloft’s data showed that 72% of players consume movies regularly and 63% consume music regularly. The percent rises to 65% for one particular game, Asphalt 8.

Additional 3rd party data from Quantcast© painted an even better picture of Gameloft players.

All of those insights were used to create contextual targeting, displaying ads in games to an audience with a high affinity to the product advertised.

The result? Direct access for MCA to highly engaged users.

The Case for Rewarded Video in Mobile App

Another advantage of mobile app inventory is access to ad formats that incentivize users to further drive engagement. Rewarded video makes for an exceptional user experience and, in turn, creates a positive brand association among viewers. Rewarded video is non-intrusive, triggered only when users agree to watch for rewards. These ads add value to the game by helping users progress as a result of engaging with them. In turn, buyers see much better completion rates.

Figure 2 – Rewarded video vs. non-rewarded video performance

MCA was able to leverage rich insights into user behavior and interests, then successfully target users in a space where they were more than willing to engage. Using rewarded video resulted in more than double the completion rate and CTR of their non-rewarded videos.

At campaign completion MCA saw increased, high-quality traffic, all without compromising data privacy or negatively disrupting target users.

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