Euro Round-Up: The Spil Games RTB Case Study; Bertozzi On Incentivised Advertising; nugg.ad Expands In France, Acquires 3W Régie; Qubit "Catch-All" Cookie Consent; And More Agency Consolidation

Online Gaming Company, Spil Games, Explores The Revenue Opportunities Around RTB

Spil Games is a global online casual gaming network, with 2.23 million unique visitors and 170 million impressions per month in Germany. The company, headquartered in Hilversum, the Netherlands, are reaping the rewards of monetising its portal pages through RTB on non-guaranteed inventory.

Stefan Beckmann, Country Manager for Spil Games Germany, explains their model.

“Games are always in need of explanation as advertising environments more than, for example, news sites. But online gaming has a huge potential for advertisers to target their relevant audience. Our predominantly female and juvenile audience is obviously not important for all advertisers, but there are many who want to address just those users.”

Spil games always has a percentage of their inventory not marketed via the Spil Games direct sales team, however this percentage varies by period.

“In the intense fourth quarter, the proportion of branding campaigns for leading global brands is very high.” Beckmann adds, “Purely based on impressions, however, the proportion of performance campaigns is always higher, as we often implement branding campaigns with large custom-size or integrated solutions, which of course achieve much higher CPMs.”

Spil Games Germany uses SSP Improve Digital for their non-guaranteed inventory in other European markets, including the Netherlands, UK, France, Spain, Italy and the Scandinavian countries. However Beckmann is confident this doesn’t affect their direct sales team.

“We have no fear our sales team will be cannibalised by RTB. As a niche player, we gain branding campaigns only when we offer our customers tailored solutions with custom-sizes and integrated elements. We are not a pure coverage provider, and still mostly use our technology for yield optimisation, which means we optimise ad networks with whom we have an existing business relationship.”

Matching campaigns to their targeted young, female audience is also an important issue. To address this in RTB, the focus is on branding.

“Over 60 per cent of our users are female. Our focus is heavily on branding campaigns. We have have an attractive target group, who have a high commitment level with our games and advertising content. Our portals are customised for the target groups of girls, teens and families. Spil Games users come to us in a relaxed attitude to be entertained and communicate with other users. This is a great environment to place brand messages. Nonetheless, the environment is also suitable for transaction-based campaigns, they just have to be focused on the appropriate audience.”

Beckmann sees great potential in Germany for dynamic trading platforms, such as ad exchanges and supply aggregators.

“In Germany, the volumes are not at the same level as in the U.S., where we have already noted more movement. Advertisers need to open the subject further here, but something does not happen overnight. In addition, ad exchanges haven’t been here long enough to have measuring models, many large ad networks and agencies have to show years of proven performance in the layout and optimisation of residual inventory. For us as a publisher, increased CPMs and efficiency of internal processes already compare favourably to previous processes.”

The case for quality advertising, and why it shouldn't be devalued

Vivaki's Marco Bertozzi gives an interesting perspective on the recent SkipIt initiative, recently launched by SpotXchange, which will allow users to pay to skip online video ads. Bertozzi makes the point that many users will simply not be bothered to set up an account to avoid seconds of pre-roll video advertising. Here he outlines his scepticism around the project's success:

"Let’s stick with the principle of paying to skip an Ad though. Really? I am intrigued as to which Ad is going to push a person over the edge and make them sign up to an account. I find the idea of idly watching some content and then deciding ‘enough is enough, I am going to go to all the trouble of signing up to an account just to avoid a couple of minutes of Ads’ a stretch."

The piece then dovetails nicely in to an overarching opinion around the value of advertising, and why "liking" something or pay-to-skip-options ultimately devalues the advertising proposition. Ads pay for content, he argues. And as an industry we should be making online advertising more engaging and more entertaining:

"Our job in this business is to make people realise that Ads pay for content, that Ads should be as high quality as possible, and that advertisers need to create content people want, whether that is an Ad or a short film or whatever. Paying for likes, watching an Ad to get something, all these models are blunt instruments and undervalue what we do. They are not what we should be aspiring to."

Capturing French intent: nugg.ad Expands Business in France, Acuiring 3W Régie

Targeting service provider, nugg.ad, continues to expand its business across the French market acquiring a new partner in the form of leading French digital media company, 3W Régie. 3W Régie is reaching over 40% of French internet users via its portals, including Cdiscount, PriceMinister, Vivastreet and Cybercartes. Online campaigns across these portals can now be targeted effectively on the basis of socio-demographic and product interest data, while remaining compliant to privacy laws.

Stephan Noller, nugg.ad CEO, comments: “The French market is of key significance for our business. 3W Régie’s far-reaching portfolio offers us a fantastic platform for our solutions and I am sure that advertisers will now be able to implement their campaigns more efficiently.”

nugg.ad’s Predictive Behavioral Targeting offers a solution for online advertising by addressing target groups specifically on the basis of pre-defined socio-demographics and product interests. nugg.ad offers the only targeting product currently on the market certified by the independent European Privacy Seal EuroPriSe. The seal is awarded by the Independent Centre for Privacy Protection Schleswig-Holstein (ULD) in collaboration with several European data protection supervisory authorities such as the Commission Nationale de l'Informatique et de Libertés (CNIL) in France.

QuBit Addresses EU Cookie Law with Consent Tech Release

Travel specialist data analytics firm QuBit has pre-empted the start of new regulations concerning the serving of cookies by launching a new Cookie Consent technology.

The release comes ahead of the implementation of EU Privacy and Communication Directive which comes into effect 26 May 2012.

This requires websites to get consent from users to allow the use of cookies and data collection, which is a potential threat to advances made in website and digital marketing optimisation. QuBit believes the law will have a “massive impact” on the industry.

Graham Cooke, QuBit CEO, comments: "The cookie law is designed to increase transparency around websites identifying users, which is a good thing. At the same time, however, this is going to be a massive challenge for every site owner, large and small. Developing a consent solution in-house is going to be costly and risky in terms of meeting compliance objectives, which could also evolve over time. We're giving site owners a free route to quick and simple compliance using an established and popular platform.

“Losing things like analytics, personalisation, testing and personalised marketing could seriously impact the effectiveness of a website, so maximising cookie consent is going to be vital to minimising the impact of the law. Our solution is based on our experience of site optimisation and so will ensure that users are presented with the right request at the right time in order to give the best chance of securing consent."

The QuBit cookie consent product is free to OpenTag users and is part of its tag management system offering users a plug-and-play compliance solution.

Cookie Consent gives site owners recommended messaging to maximise consent, the ability to tailor the look and feel of the consent presentation, the ability to customise the timing of consent requests and also three different levels of consent requirement that the site owner can choose to match their desired level of compliance.

Havas Acquires Victors & Spoils

Global advertising and communications services group, Havas, announced last week the acquisition of a majority stake in Victors & Spoils, the world's first creative advertising agency built on crowdsourcing.

David Jones, Havas CEO, comments: "When an industry goes through a revolution you can either sit and watch it happen or embrace the exciting new business models at the forefront of that revolution. Victors & Spoils is one of those new models that is challenging our entire industry and I'm delighted to welcome them into the group. The client list they have been able to build in only two years is testament to the power of their model."

Founded in 2009 in Boulder, Colorado, Victors & Spoils is a technology-centred advertising agency that became profitable very quickly after its launch. V&S has a lean core team of experienced creative and account management professionals who, via the agency's proprietary Fan Machine platform, digitally connect, manage and curate their crowd of more than 6,000 talented creatives throughout the globe.

CEO and founder of Victor & Spoils, John Winsor adds: "In this new world of digital abundance, where great ideas can come from everywhere, the future of advertising is radically changing. David's vision for Havas is something I deeply believe in and will only accelerate our vision to change the advertising industry for the better globally for clients and creatives."

Victors & Spoils will be part of the Havas Worldwide business unit, strengthening the Group's global offer. One of the first joint Havas and V&S projects will be to use V&S's proprietary technology to create a 15,000 person professional Havas "crowd" to source ideas from.

In addition to his role as CEO at V&S, John Winsor will assume the key role of Chief Innovation Officer at Havas. The V&S management team remains unchanged and continues to own a minority stake in the agency.

This move is part of Havas' larger acquisition strategy targeting innovative agencies utilising technology to anticipate client needs.

Victors & Spoils client roster includes Chipotle, Coca-Cola, Converse, Crocs, Discovery Channel, Dish, GAP, General Mills, Harley Davidson, Levi's, Mercedes Benz, Oakley, PayPal, Smartwool, Smashburger, Unilever, Virgin America, WD-40.