Sphero. What is it? It’s, well, a ball. It’s a ball with huge potential for fun and games. It’s a robotic ball that acts almost like a pet, and you can make it do things—roll around, for example—right from your smartphone or tablet. It’s…

This isn’t making much sense, is it?

  • Vungle ads produced a 50% increase in engagement over Orbotix’s average time on site.
  • Visitors stayed on the website an average of 4 min and 45 sec after exposure to the Vungle ad.

The Challenge: See It to Believe It

Therein lay the problem for Orbotix, the company behind Sphero: words just don’t do justice to the jaw- dropping coolness that is Sphero. You have to see it. Once you’ve seen Sphero, it makes perfect sense—and the possibilities for what you can do with it know no limits.

But, how do you get people to see Sphero? Even more importantly, how do you get the right people to see it— the people who will be excited about it, who will talk about it, and who will be inspired to buy it?

The Solution: Video Over Verbiage

To address that question, Orbotix turned to Vungle. Vungle is the leading in-app video ad platform. Many of the world’s most respected gaming publishers embed Vungle into their phone and tablet apps, which provides an advertiser such as Orbotix the opportunity to deliver 15-second video ads, in high definition, right to the prospective customers they want to reach.

Once the ad has run, users can click through to the gosphero.com site for more information and details about how to obtain a Sphero of their own.

“We needed to create awareness,” says Chuck Lepley, Director of Marketing at Orbotix. “We needed to get people excited about Sphero, and a banner ad was just not going to do it. We needed a video ad that would present well and drive traffic to our website. Because Vungle is already working with well-known mobile game publishers, we knew our ads were going to show up on the devices of the very people we wanted to engage.”

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Vungle has an in-house creative team that has set the standard for 15-second in-app videos, but in this instance Orbotix provided the video itself. Vungle prepared the ad for distribution, created the links to the gosphero.com website, and then worked with Orbotix to set the parameters that would define the conditions under which the ads would appear.

The Vungle platform enables an advertiser to use whitelists and blacklists to optimize ad presentation. An advertiser can
blacklist gambling apps, for example, if it does not want its video appearing during the break in a mobile poker game. Conversely, if the advertiser were presenting video clips of a new resort in Las Vegas, it might want to whitelist mobile gambling apps so that the ad might show up in any number of mobile gambling applications.

But helping an advertiser determine when to run its ads is only part of the value Vungle brings to a campaign: Vungle ads look amazing. They load in the background when the user loads an application. When the ad appears, the high def video plays directly from the app cache on the phone or tablet—rather than streaming in real time over what might be a poor quality data connection. As a result, Vungle ads are smooth, uninterrupted, and unencumbered by buffering icons.

And they work.

The Results: 50% Increase Over the Average Time on Site

“Last month, the duration of the average visit to gosphero.com was 3 minutes and 17 seconds,” says Lepley. “But the visitors who came to the website after exposure to the Vungle ad stayed for an average of 4 minutes and 45 seconds. That’s nearly 50% longer than the average visit. If I look at the different marketing campaigns we have tried, the Vungle ads have generated longer visits than any of them.”

For Lepley, that’s the key to the value he finds in working with Vungle. “We’re out to create awareness,” he says. “If we can get someone interested in Sphero with that 15-second video— and then they click through and spend a significant amount of time on our website—we know they’re engaged. Even if they don’t make a purchase that day, the ad has done its job. They’re aware. They’re engaged. We have other ways that we can go and recapture them later.”

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