In-game advertising company Anzu has reportedly patented their existing system of measuring the viewability of intrinsic advertising. Intrinsic advertising is a system wherein adverts are placed within the game world. A classic example being arcade game Crazy Taxi and its usage of real-world brands such as KFC and the now-defunct Tower Records as in-game locations. Anzu's tech is intended to measure viewability of intrinsic ads within a 3D environment as well as other data about orientation, occlusion and virtual world positions.
The technology has been running in their SDK for a while, but has now secured a patent, showing the recognised value of the technology. Co-founder and CPO of Anzu, Ben Fenster, stated how this technology will help Anzu grow “We understand that for Anzu to succeed and for gaming to become a recognized advertising category, advertisers need an efficient and transparent way of measuring intrinsic ads, as well as a means of comparing them with common ad formats.”
One of the factors with intrinsic ads, as stated by Fenster, is how disruptive it is. Unlike more traditional methods of advertising such as interstitial (those that come between gameplay) or banner advertising amongst others, it’s hard to measure how long a player spends looking at an intrinsic ad and how viewable it is in a rapidly changing 3D space. What Anzu is doing is seeking to preempt issues advertisers might have with feeling that they’re not getting their money’s worth, by offering standardised metrics.
This is important not only for pushing the technology forward but also a lucrative business opportunity for Anzu if this tech proves to be as useful as they say. By getting in at the ground floor, they could stand to make a healthy profit offering this tech to companies who want to track in-game advertising and ensure that it remains visible and effective to players. Ultimately, securing a patent also protects this technology as Anzu's IP and proves their position as an industry-leader in new methods.
Although other systems commonly in use could attempt to integrate similar measuring systems as intrinsic ads become more popular, Anzu describes theirs as a comprehensive technology.
“In addition to measuring viewable impressions and other standard MRC metrics, the 3D ad tracking engine collects unique data points about intrinsic in-game ad placements and their lifecycle, including average screen coverage, occlusions, virtual world position, and orientation in relation to user view. This data is combined with conversion and session data to create robust data models, used to help optimise the delivery of campaigns and provide media value to advertisers.”