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Gamers, forget your enemies because burgers are now targeting you

18 Aug 2017

After going on a rampage and massacring hordes of zombies from the comfort of your couch, the thing you want most is some greasy takeaway food right? After all, saving the world is hungry work.

This is something Wendy’s has realised.

The global burger joint has become the first New Zealand brand to take advantage of a new technology, bringing its new Baconator campaign to billboards, bus shelters and TV screens within the virtual gaming systems of multiple games spanning Xbox, PlayStation 4, Steam and PC platforms.

The technology for ‘dynamic in-game creative’ comes from US company Playwire Media, the world’s largest aggregate of entertainment inventory, represented in New Zealand by local premium digital media providers, Digital Commons.

Games are selected based on target audience and ads are served to the correct audience via their IP addresses, comparable to the mechanics governing Google’s geo products, says Digital Commons’ Lisa Ison.

“Frequency caps can be applied – possibly the core advantage of digital ‘billboard’ delivery over its traditional counterpart. For one impression to 'count', an ad unit will have been cumulatively on screen for 10 seconds, meaning one impression could be the ad served 10 times for one second,” says Ison.

“Ad units are intentionally designed to be non-clickable so the gameplay experience is not disrupted. Brands fit naturally within the game environment, maintaining the ‘realism' of the game and in turn increasing brand favorability with players.”

In other markets, notable brands using in-game technology include GoPro, Steam, Bethesda, Activision, 2k Games and EA. Ison says Digital Commons is unaware of any local brands using the technology to date.

Wendy’s NZ CEO Danielle Lendich says gaming is a highly relevant setting for the brand, as its core target audience is males aged 18-30.

“We know gamers fit into our target market and saw this as a unique opportunity and a new and exciting way to get our message across to a hard-to-reach audience.”

Ison says Digital Commons is excited to be bringing this new technologu and environments usually only available in much larger markets.

We’re proud of our partners, such as Playwire, who enable smart, boundary-pushing digital planning to help keep NZ advertising at the forefront of the industry,” says Ison.

“We’ve arrived in the age of ‘media’; not digital and offline media, display and billboards, just display. Billboards are billboards, whether they’re served digitally or consist of print adhered to wood and plastic - an ad viewed is an ad viewed.”

So keep an eye out for those Wendy’s ads on your next extermination – and just see if you can avoid doing the same to one of those burgers.

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