With Addition of CrowdStar, WildTangent Looks Toward 100M Users for Video Ads

Casual game network WildTangent is showing off some of its progress on Facebook this morning, with the addition of CrowdStar’s entire game portfolio to its BrandBoost video advertising platform. With CrowdStar, WildTangent says it has a partner pipeline that will give it access to 100 million users this year.

BrandBoost is a direct competitor to companies like TapJoy that provide video ads on Facebook games. A player who wants to earn virtual currency typically visits the offer wall and chooses videos from among other options, earning a small amount from each viewing.

That experience is too separated from the actual game content, according to Dave Madden, the executive vice president at WildTangent. “Advertisers don’t want to be two steps away from the content or be an ATM machine [for players],” he says.

WildTangent’s alternative is to directly place ads in the content, for instance beside a virtual good, perhaps even one created specifically for an ad campaign. (Note that TapJoy and others do have options of in-content ads). Advertisers can target across for specific demographic or psychographic profiles within games using BrandBoost, and also have control over the duration of the campaign and how many impressions it gets over a given period of time.

Madden claims that WildTangent is now working with 75 of the top 100 brands in North America, including names like ABC, Trident gum, and Werther’s Original.

Advertising hasn’t fully taken hold in social games — budgets are still pretty small, by Madden’s estimation,. “The budgets are more in the discovery mode than opening the flood gates,” he says, ranging from $75,000 to $250,000 per campaign. By next year, with the right implementation of ads, Madden expects that the number could rise to $250,000 to $500,00 per campaign.