TreSensa: Making a Game of Mobile Advertising

October 1, 2014

1:30 pm

Advertisers want your attention — on TV, in magazines, on the internet, and almost everywhere you look, there are hints of promotions, deals or pilots. Yet, there is still a platform where brands are struggling to connect with fans: mobile advertising.

Banner ads don’t work on the small screens and other rich media ads can feel very intrusive so you can almost cause a negative reaction to the brand,” says Rob Grossberg, the CEO of TreSensa. “And with video on a mobile device, seconds feel like minutes, so video ads are getting shorter and brands have very little time to connect with you.”

TreSensa helps companies like Progressive Insurance, HBO, and Warner Brothers create and distribute branded mobile games, according to a press release. Essentially, TreSensa has made a breakthrough in helping brands reach their audience.

On average, TreSensa’s branded mobile web games are played between 3-10 minutes. Given that most mobile video advertising is 15 seconds in length, branded games offer consumer brands mobile engagement that is magnitudes better.

This advertising strategy doesn’t only apply to big companies, it can apply to startups as well – and is a tactic they should consider.

 It comes down to games and what people like to do on smart devices,” says Grossberg. “And if you provide them with content they enjoy, they don’t care that it’s a branded game.”

 TreSensa Mobile Games Going Viral

 A major advantage to mobile web games is that they do not require a download from the app store. They are “tap-and-play” games that are supported right out of the mobile browser. This is key for brands in that it removes all the friction in getting a user to play the game, and then it gives the game a real chance to go viral.

“Social sharing is extremely challenging for apps on the app stores because of the download requirement, but in a mobile web game it’s just tap and play; you can share via tweet, you can post it – you remove the friction and the game can go viral,” says Grossberg.

Grossberg says there are things you can do to help make the games go viral, in particular, adding elements to create competition among friends.

“We have a social leaderboard for example,” says Grossberg. “The super fans of True Blood in a game we created for the HBO series last year could compete against each other and try to be in the top ten of the weekly leaderboard.”

Not only do the games offer excitement for users and fans, but the companies can also tie the games to a new promotion or their overall branding.

“When we work with a brand, we have a studio team out in San Francisco that has years of game and brand experience,” says Grossberg. “We find out what the goals are for the campaign – is the game tied to a TV spot or particular brand messaging? And we weave those things into the game.”

More about Grossberg and TreSensa

Grossberg has more than 15 years of experience in the digital marketing space – he’s a lawyer by trade, but has also held senior roles at Tremor Media and DoubleClick.

He has a few pieces of advice for young entrepreneurs: keep a small team of highly-qualified people and don’t be afraid to take on tough technical challenges.

“When we started a few years ago, many in the industry said the mobile browsers weren’t good enough for games, and it was going to be five years until they would be,” says Grossberg. “We just put on blinders, dove in to attack this challenge, and prove the naysayers wrong. We accomplished a lot with a small, senior team and we are now leaders in mobile web gaming.”

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Amanda Quick is a tech/startup reporter covering young entrepreneurs for Tech Cocktail. She's also interested in covering apps, emerging technology, IoT and beauty & wellness. Amanda is currently in grad school at Syracuse University studying Information Management. In the past she has interned at NBC Sports, NBC Olympics, Brand-Yourself, and the Times Leader Newspaper as well as worked at WWNY-TV and the StartFast Venture Accelerator in Upstate New York. Amanda is originally from Kansas City, MO but has also lived in Canton, MA and Scranton, PA. To learn more you can visit Like Amanda on Facebook and follow her on Twitter.

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