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Exclusive Q&A with Si Crowhurst, VP Vungle Creative Labs

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Exclusive Q&A with Si Crowhurst, VP Vungle Creative Labs
Exclusive Q&A with Si Crowhurst, VP Vungle Creative LabsReading Time: 5 minutes

 

We usually start with a brief introduction. Could you tell us about yourself and your current role in your organization?

S.C.: At Vungle, we strive to transform how people discover and experience mobile apps. Our goal is to be the trusted guide for growth and engagement, helping our clients optimise ad performance by creating and rapidly adapting ads that maintain user experience. As the VP of Vungle Creative Labs, I lead the charge on creating data-optimised content to drive engagement and increase returns for publishers and advertisers, ranging from indie studios to powerhouse brands.

Vungle Creative Labs’ secret to success is the multidisciplinary DNA of the team that combines creatives, technologists and data analysts. We’re constantly advancing our creativity and automation platform for custom creative, using data and machine learning to ensure our clients are on the leading edge of mobile advertising.

 

The main focus of this interview is Vungle’s joint initiative with the WHO/UN Call Out to Creatives to Help initiative – for creating ads and in-app advertising for public health awareness. How did this project come up? Who made the first moves?

S.C.: At the height of the pandemic, the United Nations/World Health Organization launched its first ever “call out to creatives to help” and we simply felt that it was an opportunity to create some really impactful work and really live up to our values. In short, we wanted to do our bit. 

The focus of the brief was for designers to create visual content explaining what steps people can take to slow the COVID-19 pandemic and tackle harmful misinformation campaigns. In a modern-day ‘Rosie the Riveter’ effort, we pooled our design talent, data analytics and gaming expertise and set to work creating a series of playable ads (i.e. interactive ads). Drilling into the principles of gamification, we created ads to drive user engagement around the key WHO messages of maintaining physical distancing and personal hygiene.

 

Tell us a bit more about the whole thing. Basically, you send health awareness messages just like in-app advertisements. Tell us more about the processes involved?

S.C.: The campaign strategy we developed and sent into the WHO/UN focused on delivering playable or interactive ads that carried a public health message instead of a consumer brand performance ad. The design process was also similar. We know from our wider work that gamification works in in-app advertising because it triggers powerful human emotions – think: the need for achievement, competition and status; the desire for reward etc. – so we applied the same thinking to this context. In one design, people interacting with the ads had to interact with the screen, swiping back and forth for the duration of time it takes to wash your hands before they could continue in their given app. 

 

What is exactly Vungle’s role in it? Do you use your data, testing and research insights to create, place and run the health awareness in-app ads, just like you do in the case of usual commercial ads?

S.C.: After reviewing the UN/WHO’s main goals and objectives, we selected the playable ad format as the most effective creative medium. Playable ads are dynamic, non-verbal ads that can transcend language and cultural barriers that could otherwise mean that certain messages don’t carry or fall flat. Visual language is a powerful way to drive home messages and encourage positive behaviour. We knew as the weeks of lockdown passed, there had been a significant uplift in mobile app downloads, so this format was really useful given the context. 

The team developed several creative options, choosing to capture the key messages of physical distancing and personal hygiene; some of the most salient health messages that many governments have advocated as fundamentally necessary to the emergency response. We then applied creative testing to learn, scale and adapt the ads at rapid speed to enhance user experience while still achieving engagement goals.

 

How are the users reacting to these health messages through in-app ads. Are their responses in similar lines as towards the commercial ads?

S.C.: We’re delighted to say that the ads have attracted over 36,771,804 million viewers so far, reaching both Apple and Android users in over a dozen countries. Excitingly, the work now also sits in a WHO library of artwork that will be used to educate individuals and communities all across the world as we pass through this global crisis and, hopefully, learn from it for next time. You see the library here: UN COVID-19 Creative Content Hub. In terms of the comparison to commercial ads, the click through rate has been impressive – 55 percent higher than the average click rate for advertising campaigns in apps –, but given the variables involved in the ad content and aims, you can’t really compare apples with oranges! 

 

You recently wrote about monetization strategies for in-app adds during COVID-19 outbreak. How are things going in the in-app monetization front over the last two months? Are the ad engagement and the revenues from in-app monetization going up or down? Would love to hear some stats and observations on this topic.

S.C.: As with every major crisis, the public turns to news and online platforms for information. With school closures and mandatory work-from-home policies, many of us in the industry expected some uptick in the number of mobile games being downloaded, and the initial upsurge post-lockdown was pretty massive. While entertainment advertisers are seeking to leverage this increase in demand and garner extra conversions as a result, it still feels too early to speculate on how things are going in monetisation and how resilient companies will be as we navigate these unchartered waters.

That said, as time goes on, we’re likely to see more and more people turning to apps that run on freemium models. This is what happened in China during the lockdown there. With users flocking to apps, it’s a good time for mobile marketers to strategically optimise their in-app spend, but we recommend engaging with partners who can really help them navigate this uncertain terrain. 

 

We focus on the gaming and gambling sector. The real world of sports has come to a standstill, with all the major sporting events getting cancelled. How did that affect the mobile advertising sector? Is there being a case of another door opening when one door is shut?

S.C.: While in-app advertising for sporting and gambling apps has taken a hit, users have transferred their attention to other apps that help tackle boredom, find some fun or, in many cases, manage their anxieties – for example, anecdotally we know that people have been trying to “upskill” with language apps like Memrise or Duolingo. So, the users are still there, but their allegiance to which apps has simply changed. When sporting events start up again (and as we’ve seen with Premier League football recently restarting), we can expect the sector to see a change in their fortunes. 

 

We shall conclude with a look into the future. What are the major changes, if any, that we could see in mobile advertising? Our readers appreciate your insights on this.

S.C.: AI continues to shape the future of mobile advertising, with the continued proliferation of machine learning algorithmic and automated bidding products from the likes of Facebook and Google having a strong influence. These technologies are taking control away from advertisers with respect to which target levers to pull in their campaigns and instead decisions are being made based on data. This data includes aggregated intelligence from different industries and markets, as well as billions of consumer data points like key words and searches, device types, and geographic locations – all of which will inform what works best in terms of ad spend and budget allocation.

“Seed” audience data – consisting of users who have already shown their interest by taking actions like clicking an ad or purchasing a product – and creative remain the two most impactful levers for a marketer to influence performance and scale. This has led to considerable investment in creative studios and technology that support the ability to produce massive amounts of creative variants, which can be piped into campaigns for testing. Creative that is adaptive and responsive to user preferences will continue to grow. 

Finally. short-form, video-sharing apps are a huge trend, and have enormous potential to reshape mobile advertising. Because this type of content feels more native – its users self-describe as creators rather than “influencers,” developing ways to draft behind it is exciting new territory we need to explore. 


Source: Latest News on European Gaming Media Network
This is a Syndicated News piece. Photo credits or photo sources can be found on the source article: Exclusive Q&A with Si Crowhurst, VP Vungle Creative Labs

George Miller (Gyorgy Molnar) started his career in content marketing and has started working as an Editor/Content Manager for our company in 2016. George has acquired many experiences when it comes to interviews and newsworthy content becoming Head of Content in 2017. He is responsible for the news being shared on multiple websites that are part of the European Gaming Media Network.

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FreeBitco.in Takes the Reins of FUN in Multi-Million Dollar Token Acquisition

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FreeBitco.in Takes the Reins of FUN in Multi-Million Dollar Token Acquisition
FreeBitco.in Takes the Reins of FUN in Multi-Million Dollar Token AcquisitionReading Time: 3 minutes

 

Through a series of ventures, FreeBitco.in seeks to promote the mass adoption and utilization of FUN Token in the iGaming and Gaming spaces.

FreeBitco.in, one of the biggest Bitcoin iGaming websites in the world, has acquired the majority of FunFair’s remaining cold storage of FUN tokens, the native cryptocurrency of the FunFair gaming ecosystem. The cold storage holds 4.45 billion FUN Tokens and FreeBitco.in has acquired 3.75 billion tokens.

Through this acquisition, FreeBitco.in plans to invest in the token’s long-term development.

“Since 2013, FreeBitco.in’s goal has always been to provide online gaming enthusiasts with a frictionless, transparent, and truly fair experience,” said a statement by FreeBitco.in. “There’s no better fit than the FUN token to help us significantly enhance our efforts.”
The FUN Token
Since 2017, FunFair Technologies has been striving to deliver a guaranteed fair, decentralized gaming experience to the mass market through blockchain technology utilizing the FUN token.

“Despite several industry firsts and significant milestones in proving that use case, it has recently become apparent that FreeBitco.in has developed a different and superior use case for the FUN token,” said a statement released by FunFair.

This announcement refers to FreeBitco.in’s Premium Membership Program; a feature that incentivizes FreeBitco.in users to buy and hold FUN tokens for significant benefits. This activity has driven considerable volume into the token economy without the burden of significant on-chain transactions.

“There’s no doubt that FreeBitco.in’s customers are currently generating the bulk of FUN token commercial activity rather than FunFair’s customers,” continued the statement.

“With this in mind and for the token economy to maintain its recent success, FunFair has agreed to sell the majority of their FUN token holdings to FreeBitco.in.”

FUN is an ERC20 token listed on major exchanges Binance, BitFinex, HitBTC, Changelly, and OKEx, as well as decentralized exchanges like Uniswap.
FreeBitco.in’s Vision for FUN
FreeBitco.in aspires to grow the FUN token as an independent entity through a series of upcoming projects.

“Our sole objective, as of now, is to work to increase FUN’s utility and value,” said FreeBitco.in. “We’re thoroughly committed to its long-term growth.”

Accordingly, FreeBitco.in is preparing to undertake the following initiatives:

1. Strategic Burning of Tokens: FreeBitco.in plans to invest a substantial portion of its bottom line into strategically acquiring and burning FUN tokens to elevate their value over time.

2. Improving Liquidity: FreeBitco.in is working on increasing FUN’s liquidity across all markets, thus making it easily accessible and tradeable. This is evidenced by a cumulative influx of $3 million in the FUN/ETH and FUN/USDC trading pairs on Uniswap recently, and other exchanges are set to follow.

3. New Blockchain: Based on the Ethereum blockchain, FUN prided itself on being fast, open, and secure. However, the growth of DeFi on Ethereum has been pushing gas prices up for many months, making the adoption of FUN too expensive for users. FreeBitco.in is actively exploring opportunities to port the FUN Token to a new blockchain that is faster and cheaper.

4. Dedicated Wallet: FreeBitco.in is working on creating a dedicated wallet for FUN users that can operate seamlessly between different iGaming platforms. The wallet would also help users convert their FUN tokens into multiple crypto and fiat currencies.

5. Proactive Development: FreeBitco.in is assembling a development team to build innovative, consumer-facing apps based around the FUN token, thus creating more use cases, strengthening utility, and promoting adoption.

6. Creating Effective Partnerships: FreeBitco.in seeks to build productive partnerships and affiliations with other iGaming entities to promote FUN’s identity as a transactional currency in online gambling.

Note: This is not a partnership between the two organizations, namely FreeBitco.in and FunFair Technologies. The aforementioned acquisition and venture is at the sole discretion of FreeBitco.in.

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Red Bull Mobile Esports Open Season 3 Finals to Crown the Best Players in the World

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Red Bull Mobile Esports Open Season 3 Finals to Crown the Best Players in the World
Red Bull Mobile Esports Open Season 3 Finals to Crown the Best Players in the WorldReading Time: 2 minutes

 

The third year of the competitive celebration of the mobile gaming scene comes to a spectacular thirteen day conclusion with world finals for Hearthstone® on March 20th, Teamfight Tactics on March 27th, and PUBG MOBILE on March 22nd and 29th.

  • The best Teamfight Tactics, Hearthstone and PUBG MOBILE players in the world will compete on the world stage in an epic thirteen day final, transporting players and fans to a virtual Istanbul.
  • The Red Bull Mobile Esports Open (M.E.O.) Season 3 Finals festival begins when the virtual Istanbul venue opens on March 17th.
  • The event will crown champions for all three games from March 20th – 29th.
  • Season 3 has been the most ambitious to date, with over 22,000 players registering to compete.

Red Bull M.E.O., the global mobile competition where Teamfight Tactics (TFT), Hearthstone®, and PUBG MOBILE players across the globe have been battling for supremacy, comes to an exciting close in March 2021! In its third year, the mobile open will close out its most ambitious season to date with an extraordinary thirteen day world final beginning on March 17th, transporting fans to a virtual Istanbul. The event will see national winners from 28 countries compete on the world stage to identify the best players on the planet. Alongside the highest tier of competition, the world final will offer fans a digital festival celebrating one of the world’s most beautiful cities, including virtual tours, exciting live streams, interactive challenges, and much more.

Uniquely positioned on both the continents of Europe, and Asia, Istanbul is the perfect digital battleground for the global competition. The immersive playground will feature three areas dedicated to the Red Bull M.E.O. Season 3 games, with the tournaments taking place in iconic and historic locations of Istanbul. The Hearthstone competition will take place at Grand Bazaar, one the oldest and largest markets in the world, and TFT will take place at the vibrant Ortaköy Square.

The PUBG MOBILE finals will be split into two regional events to ensure the best possible experience for players, crowning Red Bull M.E.O. Season 3 Champions of East and West respectively, and will take place at the Haydarpaşa Train Station & Dock. Engaging events throughout the final will include an airdrop treasure hunt available in the PUBG MOBILE district. The finals will also offer virtual tours of some of the city’s most iconic locations including Sultanahmet Square and Galata Tower, video content and streams, interactive mini games, and more. Istanbul has already played host to the Red Bull M.E.O. National Finals for Turkey in July, a spectacular event which saw players compete from their cars on a moving ferry to ensure social distancing.

The high-stakes competition kicks off on March 20th with the global final for the fast-paced strategy card game Hearthstone. Truly open to all, the exciting Red Bull M.E.O. Season 3 Finals stream will see players compete in Riot Games’ auto battler TFT on March 27th. The thirteen day festival will host two competitions to crown the best PUBG MOBILE players on March 22nd (East), and March 29th (West), and some of the biggest pro organisations in the world battle rising stars from every corner of the globe who have proven themselves in national competitions.

Red Bull M.E.O. Season 3 has been the most successful yet, with more players than ever before competing in national events in 28 countries. Season 3 began in May 2020, and has seen more than 22,000 players around the world register to compete.

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Genesis Global partners with Wazdan to extend games offering to customers

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Genesis and Wazdan
Genesis and WazdanReading Time: < 1 minute

 

Players can now enjoy Wazdan slots on Genesis casino brands

Genesis Global have once again expanded their content of games by collaborating with popular slots provider Wazdan, to offer their customer the entire selection of games.

The partnership will mean Wazdan games are available on fourteen of Genesis’ online casino brands to players located in Sweden, UK and most of Europe, offering popular titles such as Magic Stars 9, Larry the Leprechaun and Space Spinstm. Players can enjoy more than 110 HTML5 games with tech-rich features such as Volatility Levels™, Energy Saving Mode, Double Screen Mode, Unique Gamble Feature, Ultra-Fast Mode, Ultra Lite Mode, and the newly released Big Screen Mode

“Genesis is excited to partner with Wazdan, allowing us to enhance and expand our player experience. It is fundamental for us to work with companies that share the same vision to provide high-quality online gaming experiences using the latest technological advancements.” Says Ariel Reem, CEO of Genesis Global.

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