Wendy’s harnesses power of in-game advertising; launches ‘Baconator’ campaign in video games

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wendys.jpgWendy’s is the first New Zealand brand to take advantage of new technology with its latest Baconator campaign appearing on billboards in popular video games.

The Wendy’s ads will appear on 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.

The first brand to utilize this new Playwire – Digital Commons offering in the local market, Wendy’s billboards will be served across dozens of games within the RapidFire Network, with ads displayed within the game environment and served in real-time when players are connected to the internet.

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 Lisa Ison of Digital Commons: “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.

“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.

With a core target audience of males 18-30, Wendy’s NZ CEO Danielle Lendich says gaming is a highly relevant setting for the fast food brand: “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.”

Wendy’s is also targeting Snapchat users as part of its Baconator campaign, with a 10 second video ad and national geo filter, live from 23 August.

Says Ison: “Digital Commons is excited to bring new technology and environments otherwise 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.


“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.”