New Branded Video mobile ads bring Dishonored action video game to life and record a 13% click-through rate

Tuesday, November 27, 2012 | 7:00 AM

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An inspiring mobile ad campaign for the new video game Dishonored drove viewers to a four-minute trailer on, achieving an incredibly successful click-through rate of 13% over the 12 days that it ran. By incorporating the Dishonored promotional trailer into the new Branded Video format from Google’s Rich Media Designs for Mobile, the short clip created serious excitement around the game in a compelling new way.

Dishonored is a first-person neo-Victorian stealth action-adventure video game. Because it’s not part of an established franchise, its creators Bethesda Softworks needed to grab the attention of gamers and educate them very quickly about the unique gameplay of Dishonored. So when Bethesda gave its agency Target Media the task of raising awareness about the brand-new game, everyone was in agreement: Dishonored deserved advertising as visually remarkable and as captivating as the game itself.

The idea was to use the visually stunning announcement trailer to establish Dishonored in a front-of-mind position among the game’s tech savvy target market, building up awareness in the key demographic in the lead-up to the game’s launch. Target Media understood that the target audience of early adopters and committed gamers were likely to be heavy users of smartphones and tablets, so the Branded Video format for mobile was a perfect fit. Google’s Rich Media Designs for Mobile templates are designed to make it easy for advertisers to create ads using existing assets and then implement them across platforms including mobile and tablet. All Target Media had to do was use the Branded Video template to embed a short 20-second version of the game’s trailer on a backdrop comprising a key image from the game. By using just these two assets, the cost and turnaround time of the custom ad unit was kept to a minimum.

The clip plays with full in-line video and audio, meaning that the user can view it in place rather than being redirected outside of the ad to the native video player or their device. The aim was to get the maximum number of targeted views for the short trailer and also to drive users to click to Bethesda’s YouTube channel to watch the full four-minute version. The ad ran on the AdMob network, which provided the perfect platform to reach an audience of gamers when they were on their mobile devices. The timing of the AdMob campaign was coordinated with desktop efforts to complete a powerful multi-screen approach.

To learn more about the campaign’s success, see the full case study here.

Posted by: Matt Brocklehurst, Product Marketing Manager, Mobile Ads