Rovio courts brands with ad division

Rovio, the maker of Angry Birds, has formed a brand advertising partnership team comprising of several senior executives, as it looks to gain more control over the ads that appear next to its games and create a new revenue stream for the company.

Angry Birds

The creation of the in-house advertising division means Rovio will rely less on third party mobile ad networks for the display ads that appear inside its apps. One such ad was censured by the ASA recently after correct checks were not conducted to ensure an “irresponsible” video spot for horror film Paranormal Activity 4 was not seen by children.

Apps from the Angry Birds franchise have been downloaded more than 1 billion times and the company has more than 263 million monthly active users , which Rovio says proves the company’s reach and fan-engagement “dwarfs” that of many other media brands.

The new team will also be responsible for creating brand partnerships outside the mobile apps, such as through merchandise, licensing or placement in the forthcoming Angry Birds movie. A recent example of a Rovio partner marketing campaign was with McDonald’s in China, which saw the fast food brand’s signature golden arches made to look like giant Angry Birds slingshots.

The EMEA and APAC brand ad partnership team will be led by Todd Tran, who has joined Rovio from Apple where he was the EMEA general manager of Apple’s mobile advertising business iAd.
Joining Tran’s team, which will be based in London, is former head of strategic sales from mobile ad network InMobi Raphaelle Tripet.

Tran says: “Brands and agencies in Europe and Asia want to work directly with scalable, next generation media companies, in unique ways. 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.”

Rovio has also made two senior hires to its new North American brand ad partnership team: former MTV and Time ad executive Betsy Flounders and Milennial Media regional vice president Matt Pfeffer.

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