Updated: May 30
Major publishers are now buying ads from one of the most popular mobile-app games in the world, Subway Surfers. Wonder why?
Do you ever wonder if your favorite mobile games are being used as pawns by major publishers to push their content on unsuspecting users? Unsuspecting users of the popular mobile game Subway Surfers may be unaware that they are being targeted by major publishers in a new advertising strategy.
In-game rewards are being offered for reading articles from publishers such as Vanity Fair, Complex, and the Los Angeles Times, and while Subway Surfers boasts over 2 billion downloads, the popular video game has become an unlikely destination for major publishers to advertise their content. But why are publishers turning to a mobile game to promote their articles and news stories?
One of the primary reasons why publishers are buying ads on Subway Surfers is incentivized traffic. The game offers users in-game rewards for reading articles from publishers such as Self, Vanity Fair, Complex, and the Los Angeles Times. This incentivizes users to click on the ads and engage with the content, increasing the likelihood that they will visit the publisher's website.
According to a report by mobile ad platform AdColony, incentivized traffic can increase engagement rates by up to 600%. This means that publishers who buy ads on Subway Surfers can potentially see a significant increase in traffic to their website.
Another reason why publishers are turning to Subway Surfers is rewarded placements. This is where publishers buy ads to reach a specific audience that is showing up on Subway Surfers. For example, if a publisher wants to reach a younger, mobile-first audience, they can buy ads on Subway Surfers to do so.
According to an article on MediaPost, rewarded placements on Subway Surfers have been successful in reaching a younger, mobile-first audience. A rewarded placement ad campaign for an unnamed publisher drove 13 million page views, according to a case study by mobile ad platform Tapjoy. This shows that rewarded placements can be an effective way for publishers to drive traffic to their website.
One potential downside of advertising on Subway Surfers is that the traffic generated may not necessarily be high-quality traffic. While it's generated by real humans, it's unclear whether they are remotely interested in the publishers' content.
However, according to a report by mobile ad platform Fyber, incentivized traffic tends to be more engaged than non-incentivized traffic, with higher retention rates and longer session times. This means that while the traffic generated may not be high-quality, it is likely to be more engaged with the content.
Almost every other ad on Subway Surfers is for a published article, according to an article on Digiday. Publishers that have advertised on Subway Surfers include Vanity Fair, Madame Noire, Health Central, and many more. This means that publishers of all sizes are turning to Subway Surfers to promote their content.
Gating and experiences, where users only see a particular type of ad once they've hit some type of threshold, is a common tactic on Subway Surfers. This means that publishers can target users who are more likely to engage with their content, increasing the effectiveness of their ads.
Drive Millions of Visitors to any Page
Subway Surfers has been downloaded over 2 billion times and has become one of the most popular mobile games in the world, according to an article on Business Insider. This means that the game has a massive user base, making it an attractive platform for publishers and brands to advertise on.
A rewarded placement ad campaign for an unnamed publisher drove 13 million page views, according to a case study by mobile ad platform Tapjoy. This shows that Subway Surfers can be an effective way to drive traffic to a publisher's website.
In addition to publishers, brands such as Coca-Cola, Nike, and McDonald's have also advertised on Subway Surfers, according to an article on Mobile Marketer. This shows that the game is not just attractive to publishers but to brands as well.
Surfing the Ad Wave
The world of Subway Surfers advertising is not as straightforward as it may seem. While publishers and brands can benefit from the high traffic volume and the ability to target specific demographics, there are potential downsides that should not be overlooked. The issue of zero intent traffic and the quality of the engagement generated must be taken seriously.
The fact that almost every other ad on Subway Surfers is for a published article raises concerns about the platform's true agenda. As advertising tactics continue to evolve, it's important for marketers and consumers alike to stay informed and vigilant in the face of potential manipulation. Only then can we truly harness the power of advertising for positive impact.