Zynga Announces Launch of SponsoredPLAY, Reimagining Mobile Advertising for Social Games

SAN FRANCISCO, Oct. 08, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Zynga Inc. (Nasdaq:ZNGA), a leading social game developer, today announced the launch of SponsoredPLAY, a first-of-its-kind engagement advertising product for social games. The products are developed by Zynga’s recently launched Studio E, an in-house studio focused on the creative ideation and development of high-engagement, in-game brand integrations. SponsoredPLAY, the first gamified ad from Studio E, offers players value in the game they are playing in exchange for engaging with brand advertisers.

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“At Zynga we believe the next wave in mobile advertising will be SponsoredPLAY. Social games are one of the top entertainment activities consumers participate in on their mobile devices, and SponsoredPLAY offers a new way for brands to reward and engage users in game,” said Julie Shumaker, Vice President of Global Brand Sales, Zynga. “Our new SponsoredPLAY engagement ad products deliver advertisers significant brand lift by offering players content that is rewarding, additive to gameplay and improves the overall gaming experience.”

During a SponsoredPLAY beta, Zynga worked with a number of top brands such as Progressive® Insurance on a series of SponsoredPLAY executions. Zynga’s Studio E created FarmVille-themed, partner branded, gamified ad engagements in FarmVille: Harvest Swap, FarmVille 2: Country Escape and FarmVille 2 that closely tied to the core gameplay of these games. These SponsoredPLAY ads offered players a unique way to engage with brands through new content and an experience that felt authentic to the game they were playing. Social is also at the core of these experiences, and Studio E designed them with a Twitter integration to help spread organic buzz and increase engagement.

A Studio E beta of SponsoredPLAY achieved encouraging results in a number of key areas, including:

  • The SponsoredPLAY beta saw a double digit increase in player opt-in interactions compared to interstitial video ads
  • Average time spent in SponsoredPLAY beta ads ranged between 15 and 25 seconds, which is five-to-seven times the industry average for static ads
  • The SponsoredPLAY beta saw a lift two-to-four times the industry average for static ads in key brand health metrics such as campaign message recall, purchase intent, and favorability

“Zynga has had a long commitment to leveraging data and analytics to deliver the most personalized gaming experiences,” said Dr. Amy Gershkoff, Chief Data Officer, Zynga. “We’re seeing that use of data and analytics come to life with the launch of SponsoredPLAY, which enables us to deliver the most consumer-centric ad experience to players while helping brands meet the right consumers, in the right games at the right time.”

About Zynga Inc.

Zynga Inc. is a leading developer of the world's most popular social games that are played by millions of monthly consumers. The company has created evergreen franchises such as FarmVille, Zynga Casino and Words With Friends. Zynga's NaturalMotion, an Oxford-based mobile game and technology developer, is the creator of hit mobile games in popular entertainment categories, including CSR Racing, CSR Classics and Clumsy Ninja. Zynga games have been played by more than 1 billion people around the world and are available on a number of global platforms including Apple iOS, Google Android, Facebook and Zynga.com. The company is headquartered in San Francisco, Calif. Learn more about Zynga at http://blog.zynga.com or follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

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Contact: Zynga Communications Kelly Pakula kpakula@zynga.com