If there’s anything Rovio knows, it’s how to get their brand out there. Well, they make some fun games as well, but they reach a massive amount of eyeballs across mobile apps, Facebook, Smart TVs, and so on. It all comes down to the “all the screens” strategy that Rovio CMO Peter Vesterbacka has famously promoted for the Espoo-based company. The result is a massive fan base and high engagement. Rovio’s Youtube channel has over 1 billion views. And last December Rovio announced it had over 1 billion downloads with 263 million monthly active users.
Now Rovio has put out a press release with the title “Rovio Moving Towards Digital Advertising,” which seems to say nothing more than “we hired a bunch of senior advertising people, and we’re looking for brands.”
The press release says:
“Our new Brand Advertising Partnership Team in the U.S. will enable us to now partner directly with other lifestyle brands,” said Michele Tobin, Head of North American Brand Advertising Partnerships. “The model of simply placing standard display ads in online and mobile properties is not necessarily strategic for the majority of tier one brands, and that model was in need of disruption. Rovio´s fan-first approach and engaged audience creates more native, integrated advertising experiences that more closely align to brands’ overall marketing goals.”
It will be interesting to see what ‘integrated advertising experiences’ means. Does this refer to more of the Angry Birds Lego Star Wars of digital marketing? That’s what I take it as.
Way back in December of 2011 Rovio was claiming that Angry Birds delivers 10 billion advertising impressions each month. This then made Rovio the largest mobile ad publisher in the world – even bigger than Google.
Back then Vesterbacka told Business Insider:
BI: Do you still consider it a game?
PV: It’s a brand.
BI: Is it an advertising platform?
PV: Absolutely, absolutely, absolutely, absolutely, absolutely.
BI: I guess we should call you an advertising company then.
PV: Absolutely, we serve 10 billion ad impressions every month already. We are the biggest mobile ad publisher on the planet already.
Right now we’re doing a pretty crap job just serving a bunch of banners, it doesn’t really do much for our fans. So what we want to do is make it into something that is valued by our fans. If you look at Angry Birds Rio, that’s a great example of how to do it. That whole game is built around promoting the movie, and it’s such a great game and experience that people are willing to pay for it. So it has value in itself, I think this is the way to do with advertising as well. Ideally, we want to make advertising so good that people want to pay for it. And then the advertising is not just advertising, it’s an experience.
We’d much rather serve very few ads and charge a lot of money than serve billions of ad impressions which are crap, not good. We want to change that. This year it’s been all about getting ready for the next phase to enable explosive growth, we’ve spent the entire year building up the back-end to make that possible.
Rather than digital marketing, merchandizing and licensing seems to actually have been Rovio’s focus for 2012. Rovio seems to be experimenting with Kiosked, so I wonder if that will be one direction they go for with their advertising. In the future it will be interesting to see how they innovate on the advertising front. They’ve got the eyeballs, and I imagine they can build a few more brand partnerships.