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Zynga launches ads that are games into its games

They're a mobile ad engagement booster, apparently -- and so the company's players will be subjected to its new SponsoredPLAY ads, after a successful beta.

Players of Zynga games will soon engage with the publishers new "SponsoredPLAY" ads, a solution developed in-house at the social/mobile game company to deliver advertisements in the form of mini-games.

The tech (and the interactive ads) were created by Zynga's internal Studio E, "an in-house studio focused on the creative ideation and development of high-engagement, in-game brand integrations," according to the company's press release accompanying the product launch.

"... SponsoredPLAY offers a new way for brands to reward and engage users in game," said said Julie Shumaker, the company's vice president of Global Brand Sales, in a statement.

The company put the ads -- some featuring Progressive insurance branding, which you can see below -- through a beta process in its Farmville franchise, and reportedly saw a "double-digit" increase in players engaging with the ads, as compared to video ads.

Players also spent much longer with the ads than is typical, Zynga claims: "between 15 and 25 seconds... five-to-seven times the industry average for static ads." Players liked them better than traditional ads, too -- and the brands benefit from that, the company said.

This is backed up by a third party source: mobile ad company Celtra gave similarly rosy statistics to VentureBeat last year.

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