Led to a Successful US Delivery Facebook Advertisement Operation
Mr. Kensuke Shibata
Entertainment Business Headquarters - Marketing Group Manager
Mr. Takateru Wada
Entertainment Business Headquarters – Marketing Group Promotion Team
Ms. Aya Mizutani
Entertainment Business Headquarters – Marketing Group Promotion Team
Mr. Takeshi Fukumoto
Internet Ad Business Headquarters – Senior Account Planner
Ms. Mitsue Masuda
Internet Ad Business Headquarters – Infeed Consulting Department Director
Mr. Yukinori Shiota
Internet Ad Business Headquarters – Infeed Consulting Department Chief Consultant
Ateam implemented Facebook video advertisements and overseas distribution for promoting real-time battle apps with full-scale RPG such as “Unison League” and “Sangoku Taisen Smash!”. We invited Mr. Shibata, Mr. Wada, Ms. Mizutani from Ateam Inc., to hear their ideas on the characteristics of domestic and overseas distribution as well as their success stories of overseas promotions.
Background of Launching US distribution of Facebook Video Ads
Mr. Wada: As for promoting real-time battle apps with full-scale RPG, “Unison League”, we have distributed Facebook ads before. And last year, in November 2015, we implemented video ads and US distribution for the first time.
Mr. Shibata: We have been more interested in trying video advertisements than before. And, we received a proposal from you company stating that we will go through a high speed PDCA on a one-stop basis from making video creatives to distribution, which lead to distributing video ads for the first time.
CA Shiota: I think that one of the most important factors that lead to the success in the video ad US distribution was having the resources that allowed for being able to make many creatives and running high speed PDCA. For the production of the various creatives, we worked together with our subsidiary company, CyberBull that specializes in Web video ad.
Mr. Shibata: We felt well assured due to CyberAgent having a proper set up for Facebook ad operations.
Also, Mr. Fukumoto has been contacting us for about 2 to 3 years. Although it took a while for things to start, we’ve always been wanting to work together.
CA Fukumoto: There was one discovery immediately after distributing the video ad.
Since Unison League was a full-scale RPG battle game, we predicted that video creatives showcasing the battle scenes will attract users.
We, first made a variety of creative patterns but, the values for all the battle scene creatives that we predicted to be effective didn’t quite increase.
Other than the battle scene creatives, we made creatives with the main avatar. This started off with low values but steadily improved from around the 2nd and 3rd days.
Since this was a oversea distribution, there were differences in culture and effective characters from Japan, we were uneasy about how much we should culturize but, through gradually shifting the creatives, we were able to effectively grasp the tendencies of the effective creatives. This was one key turning point.
Mr. Shibata: When deciding the design for Unison League’s game plan, we conducted a survey asking whether images with monsters/dragons and batter scenes or images of Japanese favored avatars and item appeals were better.
We thought that battle centered appeals will be favored, but the result showed that avatars and item appeals were better. So, even in-game, we continued promoting without culturizing it so much. Nonetheless, for the ad, we thought, “wouldn’t the battle appeal be better in the US?”. So, we didn’t mention this survey to try the ads at a neutral state without any preconceptions.
However, in the end, the avatar appeal showed to be more effective either way.
CA Masuda: Results showing that an avatar appeal was better was a first for us as well. Generally, we were focused on which batter scene should be the best scene to use. I remember after receiving a call from Mr. Shiota saying “It was the avatar scene!!” being surprised but pleased of the results.
Effectiveness of Promotion
CA Masuda: For game industry client’s Facebook ad distribution, nearly 80% are video ads. Even initially starting with 80% stills and 20% videos, this distribution ratio in the end becomes more than half videos, showing just how effective videos are for the game industry.
We are working to distribute the most effective video for our clients. Usually, we use play videos but, these play videos are quite difficult. Such as deciding which scene should be used, how many cuts per scene and fitting that all into 20 seconds. There are still more things we can do, so we would like to keep on challenging.
Differences between US and Domestic distribution of Facebook Video Ads
Ms. Mizutani: Since we saw good results with Unison League, we decided to ask your company to promote our new title, “Sangoku Taisen Smash!”, and started domestic distribution on Facebook video ad from January this year.
Domestic distribution is quite hard to show volumes but, to reach the target CPI, there were numerous video creatives which helped.
Unlike Unison League, Sangoku Taisen Smash had a lot of sexy female characters, and we believe figuring out how to effectively distribute them on Facebook was quite difficult. It has only been a month since distribution but the results are gradually beginning to show.
CA Shiota: For US and domestic distribution, trends are still different. For the domestic distribution of Sangoku Taisen Smash, we are still figuring out the winning pattern.
For the US distribution of Unison League, we started a new attempt from February.
Although the distribution was aimed at improving ROAS, to our surprise new installs increased. Compared to Japan, US Facebook users tend to “like”, share and comment more, so distribution due to this culture difference, CPI was considerably cheap, being able to profit from just half the norm.
In response to that achievement, we tried a similar distribution method for Sangoku Taisen Smash’s domestic distribution, but the expected result didn’t show. This is mainly due to the difference in culture, and noticed this early on was helpful.
Mr. Shibata: From being able to share the video ads lead to success in US distribution, we would like to challenge and make more videos focusing on this point for the future.
Mr. Wada: I agree. Since, I am the administrator of the Facebook page for the game, whenever someone “likes” an ad, I get a notification and in comparison, to the US where people “like” frequently, barely anyone “likes” in Japan. In that regard, I am aware of this difference between Japan and US.
CA Shiota: It is quite different. We regularly post information regarding rare gacha items on Facebook per title and in the US, there will be about 30 comments when Japan is almost none.
Through this, we can learn about US and domestic distribution patterns so we would like to deepen our understanding in this regards.
Mr. Shibata: Again, I feel that Japan is a Twitter based culture and US is a Facebook based culture.
Mr. Shibata: For the future, we will challenge on Europe distribution in addition to US. Italian, German, French, Spanish and Portuguese are the main languages of Europe so implementing them into the game versions and ads will be promoted starting March. Optimally aiming to distribute video ads cultured to each region will hopefully lead to achievements for our Europe Facebook video ad distribution.
Mr. Wada: Since we were able to see some degree of success with US distribution, if we challenge for Europe distribution based on this by having language support for Europe, we can also distribute to South America regions that speak Spanish. We would like to develop more and more per market.
Mr. Shibata: Also, although this is in the future, I would like to spend my budget from TV CM to web ads, to solidify the web video ad creatives. By doing so, maybe we can make CG and live-action creatives. I would like to challenge these and see good results as soon as possible.
CA Shiota: Because new title games utilize 3D, trying 3D videos for ads and other wider range of ads might be interesting. Resources are in place so once deciding the title and country to challenge, we can start anytime.
Mr. Shibata: We hope to make interesting and innovative video ads together.
Your company has a wide range of businesses, constantly challenging new things, and we are also apart this development. Even for ad promotion, we will propose new initiatives as soon as possible, after setting up a new internal organization so we would like to continue working with you in the future.
CA Fukumoto: For the current titles as well as future titles, we hope to further our proposals through making challenges together.