Roblox expands immersive video ad access to all advertisers

Roblox has expanded its immersive video ads access to all advertisers, enabling them to reach Roblox’s Gen Z users who represent over half of the platform’s 71.5m daily active users.

Available today through Roblox’s self-serve “Ads Manager” and soon via programmatic media buying, the new video ads come with expanded controls and features such as genre targeting, brand suitability and an audience estimator. This new immersive advertising format does not require the creation of custom-built 3D content.

Furthermore, advertisers will also be able to buy completed views later this year—a proven format in the industry currently being beta-tested in ads manager. 

Video ads join the broader suite of Roblox’s immersive ads offerings that already include portal and image ad formats, the two solutions helping brands drive traffic to their existing content and increase awareness among users on the platform. 

“By advertising on Roblox, brands can create deeper connections and engage tens of millions of Gen Z users who represent our top-spending demographic and spend millions of hours here daily connecting and exploring immersive experiences,” said Stephanie Latham, vice president of global brand partnerships, Roblox.  

“Our new video ads format offers the simplicity and scalability that brands want to drive global awareness and consideration. Any brand can easily leverage our video ads in their campaigns, benefiting from a format built for this digitally savvy consumer generation that’s increasingly hard to reach through traditional and 2D media.” 

Initially introduced on Roblox in November 2023, video ads have been tested over the past six months with top brands such as e.l.f. Beauty, HUGO, Walmart, Warner Bros. Pictures and global agencies including dentsu and Hearts & Science. 

Since last year, Roblox has also been experimenting with immersive ads that allow developers to insert ad units into their Roblox experiences. A Roblox study shows that

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In the in-game advertising world, tension is mounting between intrinsic ads and immersive brand experiences

As brands increasingly look to reach gamers in their natural habitat, stakeholders in the gaming advertising world are coalescing into two camps: those porting programmatic adtech into games via intrinsic in-game ads, and those integrating brands into more immersive gaming experiences. As these two sides increasingly compete for marketers’ gaming budgets, the tension between them is mounting. 

Last month, Epic Games CEO Tim Sweeney caused a stir by coming down hard on in-game ads in a Q&A with Digiday. But for many executives and observers in the space, Sweeney’s comments disparaging in-game billboards came as no surprise; it’s a drum he has been beating for years. But despite Sweeney’s statements that he “hates advertising in games,” Fortnite is arguably chock-full of ads in the form of brand integrations, the equivalent of Hollywood product placement for gaming.

That isn’t to say that Sweeney’s comments didn’t come across as good sense to many marketers in the space.

“I agree with Tim wholeheartedly; I am almost 99 percent aligned with what he said,” said Brent Koning, the global gaming lead at Dentsu. “When you look at in-game advertising, just generally as an industry, there are some challenges. Candidly, we have just RFP’ed all of the major in-game advertising partners, and a lot of those platforms are saying very, very similar things.”

Still, while Sweeney’s points are fair, it’s hard to deny that they favor the work his company is doing over other companies’ efforts to integrate brands into games. The argument that Fortnite’s brand integrations are more seamless than other forms of in-game advertising ignores the higher barrier to entry of this format. Compared to intrinsic in-game ads, which can be placed programmatically inside game environments, bespoke branded game worlds and in-game items require more pre-development and consistent updates to be effective. And

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