Angry Birds creator Rovio plans mobile advertising flight

Rovio LogoRovio, the maker of Angry Birds, has formed a brand advertising partnership team comprising of several senior executives, essentially new hires from Apple, Millennial Media and inMobi. The new mobile ad division will allow companies to buy into its Angry Bird franchise as well as associated channels in YouTube.

The Angry Birds games are supported and serve up traditional banner ads, Rovio expects to apply “in game” brand marketing opportunities. You don’t have to look any further than the recent campaign with McDonalds where Rovio turned the ‘Golden Arches’ into a giant slingshot. I suppose you can consider the “in game” advertising as a virtual approach to the grass roots marketing campaign in China.

This concept has been around for decades now and is no different basic product placements within TV and film. The beauty of Rovio’s approach though is the actual measurable impact of brand awareness and adds a new mobile advertising tactic into the fray. Remains to be seen whether the 263 million monthly active users are valuable eyeballs for mobile marketers, in any event it’s a start that is no different than the early days of digital advertising. Looking forward to testing this out with our team!

Here’s the actual press release:

Rovio Entertainment, best known for its Angry Birds phenomenon, including nine blockbuster mobile and online games and hugely popular animations; has now grown into a global lifestyle brand. Rovio, while inspired by traditional media companies, has evolved into the media powerhouse of the connected device era—mobile, online, tablets, Facebook, Mac, PCs and smart TVs. Complemented by successful global launches of merchandise, activity parks, beverages and books; the brand has amassed an enormous, electrified fan base.

Having announced in May 2012 that the Rovio had over 1 billion downloads, and with its 263 million monthly active users (December 2012), the company has both reach and high fan-engagement levels dwarfing many other tier one media brands. Rovio’s YouTube video channel, which houses dozens of custom animations, has garnered nearly 1 billion viral views; its retail products are now generating a major part of Rovio’s revenues, and its animation studio is working on a major motion picture release.

“In a time when many companies delight in millions of app downloads, Angry Birds’ cross-platform media continuously reaches hundreds of millions of fans in a fun and engaging way. With this incredible reach we are fast becoming one of the most important digital advertising destinations for global brands,” said Andrew Stalbow, EVP, Strategic Partnerships.

Today the company announced the expansion of its global brand advertising partnership team with senior hires in North America, Europe and Asia Pacific. With this new team, Rovio will now be a direct media partner to the largest brands in the world.

“Our new Brand Advertising Partnership Team in the U.S. will enable us to now partner directly with other lifestyle brands,” said Michele Tobin, Head of North American Brand Advertising Partnerships. “The model of simply placing standard display ads in online and mobile properties is not necessarily strategic for the majority of tier one brands, and that model was in need of disruption. Rovio´s fan-first approach and engaged audience creates more native, integrated advertising experiences that more closely align to brands’ overall marketing goals.”

New North American Brand Ad Partnership Team
In the U.S., Rovio has added two new, experienced members to its North American Brand Ad Partnership Team in New York and Los Angeles. The new team will add an additional thirty plus years of TV, digital and mobile ad partnership experience, and Rovio will continue to build this team across the states to meet the growing needs of brands.

Betsy Flounders Novak has joined the North American Team as the Director of West and Midwest. Betsy has nearly 20 years of television, mobile and digital advertising experience. She has extensive experience creating strategic advertising partnerships with some of the largest global brands through premium media companies such as MTV (including Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, Spike and prominent MTV gaming properties), ESPN and; as well as mobile display and video ad companies including Millennial Media and Rhythm New Media.

Matt Pfeffer, the new Director of the East Coast, is based in New York City, joining Rovio most recently from Millennial Media, a leading mobile advertising company; and he brings another decade of media experience from, Ziff Davis and Golf Magazine.

New EMEA & APAC Brand Ad Partnership Team
“Brands and agencies in Europe and Asia want to work directly with scalable, next generation media companies, in unique ways,” said Todd Tran, Head of EMEA and APAC Brand Advertising Partnership Team. “As a media platform, we have now achieved tier-one global reach and we have an opportunity to really pioneer true integrated cross platform brand experiences.”
Todd Tran has joined Rovio to lead its new EMEA and APAC Brand Partnership Ad Team, based in London. Todd was most recently the EMEA General Manager of Apple’s mobile advertising business, where he s


uccessfully launched iAd in Europe. He has 12 years of digital media and advertising experience including launching a digital and mobile agency for WPP in Europe. His previous experience also includes working as a management consultant in the technology and media practice at Bain & Company.

Raphaelle Tripet will join Todd Tran’s team in mid-February from inMobi, a leading global mobile advertising ad network. Her prior experience includes digital ad sales at Nokia Interactive Advertising and strategic media planning at MEC.

About Rovio Entertainment Ltd.
Rovio Entertainment Ltd is an industry-changing entertainment media company headquartered in Finland, and the creator of the globally successful Angry Birds™ characters franchise. Angry Birds, a casual puzzle game, became an international phenomenon within a few months of its release, and is now the number one paid app of all time. Rovio´s Angry Birds have expanded rapidly into entertainment, publishing, and licensing to become a beloved international brand.

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