Video game advertising: Roblox reports early positive organic lift after advertising beta test, is an article published by Digiday on 5th May 2023 that Strive’s Managing Director, Malph Minns, contributed to. 

Roblox is still developing its advertising offerings — but data from its advertising beta test, shared exclusively with Digiday, indicates that the platform’s Portals advertising product results in a considerable organic lift for brands, a metric that has encouraged both Roblox and its partners as it progresses toward the full rollout of ads later this year.

Roblox announced that advertisements would be coming to its virtual experience platform last year, with Roblox ads coming in the form of digital billboards, video ads and “Portals” that allow users to jump from one experience to another. Since the announcement, Roblox has been beta-testing its advertising offerings with a select group of brand partners, including Puma and the NFL.

In a test that ran between Feb. 1 and March 12, Roblox worked with over a dozen brands across verticals such as fashion, sports, entertainment and retail to measure the organic lift generated by its in-game Portals. The test involved portal activity by millions of users across Roblox’s 180 supported countries and territories.

Video game advertising: brands see 10% traffic increase on Roblox Portal ads

Data from the test showed an aggregate nine per cent of users either returned to the branded experience they discovered through a Portal or saw some friends portaled into a branded experience and joined them organically. In other words, brands can generally factor in a nearly ten per cent increase on the traffic and engagement figures they see through Portal ads. Roblox also found that up to 20 per cent of users were redeeming digital items in experiences they joined via Portals.

“We also noticed an uptick in homepage discovery during the beta test, which further highlights the potential lift of the immersive ad unit,” said Ivan Dashkov, head of Web3 at Puma. “Overall, we’re happy with the results of the beta test, and we’re excited to explore more opportunities to collaborate with Roblox in the future.”

While speaking to this reporter during last week’s Digiday Gaming Advertising Forum, Roblox head of immersive media solutions Ashley McCollum described how the platform measured the organic lift capabilities of Portal ads.

“We used a common denominator — the total users — to come up with the aggregate per cent of, one, Portal users organically returning to those experiences after they’ve been portaled, and then number two, Portal users’ friends who joined them in the experience,” McCollum said. “The brand didn’t have to pay for that — that was an organic exposure that came as a result of the paid campaign.”

Roblox’s organic lift numbers demonstrate one of the platform’s core strengths as it moves toward the full rollout of its ad offerings — that ads in Roblox, and particularly formats such as Portals, are couched inside engaging gaming experiences in which users actually want to spend meaningful time. Roblox and its beta advertisers are confident that simply “portaling” users into a branded experience is enough to get those users to connect with brands in a more long-lasting way.

“Experiences in Roblox have the opportunity to engage far more emotionally, and have the dwell time of those engagements be far longer than what an advertising one is,” said Malph Minns, managing director of the agency Strive Sponsorship. “But the investment of your time, and indeed the cost of those experiences, can be a lot more than traditional advertising.”

Click here to read the full video game advertising: Roblox reports early positive organic lift after advertising beta test article on Digiday.

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Frequently asked questions

What are the three types of video game advertising?

The three main types of video game advertising are: i) dynamic in-game ads (DIGA) is real-time and geo-targeting capable, in the same way, that traditional digital banner ads are. These work in existing and new games. ii) Static in-game ads are typically integrated into the storyline of a game, or allow players to interact with a brand, and are placed at the time the game is published. iii) Advergames are custom-built games with the sole purpose of promoting a brand or product.

What are the benefits of video game advertising?

Done well, in-game advertising helps you reach your target audiences in a non-disruptive, highly-viewable environment. It can even add value to the user’s experience of the game if it helps make the game feel more authentic (e.g. perimeter advertising in EA Sports FC).

What is advertising in games called?

Very simply, in-game advertising (IGA). This is different to advergames, which refers to games specifically made to advertise a product/service/brand.