Eric Johnson

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Tapjoy Plans More Interactive “Rich Media” Ads

nokiaMobile ad platform Tapjoy announced today the official launch of special advertising units that will pair interactive ads with virtual rewards for gamers.

Rather than looking at an interstitial still image or video, the company said in a press release, these ads — formally called rich media advertising — will include “mini-games, 360° views, puzzles, swipeable product catalogs and more.”

Tapjoy’s ads are found primarily in free-to-play mobile games, and interacting with them usually gives the player some sort of a reward, like virtual currency that would otherwise have to be earned through playing the game or bought from an in-game store. The notion here is that these new ads are worth more to advertisers if motivated gamers take a more active role in “redeeming” them.

At launch, one of the first rich media advertisers is Nokia. Gamers who sit through a video ad for the Lumia 925 will then be taken to a gallery of images of the phone and invited to order it. In a recent interview, Tapjoy CEO Steve Wadsworth said a major car company would also roll out an ad that lets viewers touch a 3-D model car and spin it around before clicking away to either return to the game or visit the automaker’s website.

These special ads are being co-designed by Celtra, a studio with experience in making interactive ads, as part of a new partnership with Tapjoy. The car ad will probably work similarly to this mobile ad Celtra produced for HTC, which offers up a 360° model of the HTC One:

Wadsworth claimed that 65 of Ad Age’s top 100 advertisers are Tapjoy customers, whereas 15 months ago it had only eight of the companies on that list. The ad platform was active in about 7,000 mobile apps in the most recent quarter, he said.


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I think the NSA has a job to do and we need the NSA. But as (physicist) Robert Oppenheimer said, “When you see something that is technically sweet, you go ahead and do it and argue about what to do about it only after you’ve had your technical success. That is the way it was with the atomic bomb.”

— Phil Zimmerman, PGP inventor and Silent Circle co-founder, in an interview with Om Malik