Modern Marketing Brand Strategy

Hip-hop artist Babyface Ray reaches top spot with help from in-game ads

By John Glenday | Reporter

May 18, 2022 | 3 min read

A Detroit-based hip-hop artist is reaping the dividends of an in-game advertising campaign after his latest album shot straight to the top of the charts.

Face by Babyface Ray was propelled straight to number one on the back of an in-game ad campaign spearheaded by independent record label Empire, in partnership with the advertising platform.


Detroit-based hip-hop artist Babyface Ray

Reaching out to 226 million gamers across the US, the novel campaign marked a collision between the music and gaming wings of the entertainment economy to help differentiate Babyface Ray from other chart hopefuls.

Promoting the artist far beyond Michigan, the campaign targeted young males, early adopters and influencers across a variety of mobile and PC titles including Ubisoft’s Trackmania, Axis Football and Left To Survive via seamless commercials embedded within the play environment.

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Measurement partner Lumen Research states that this approach commanded improved attention rates up to 3.9x greater than comparable desktop ads. Moreover, visibility hit an impressive 93% on PC and 94% on mobile, as in-the-zone gamers devoted their full attention to play, foregoing any second screen distractions.

Peter Kadin, senior vice-president of marketing at Empire, said: “There is a movement toward entertainment mediums converging, and gaming is at the epicenter of this shift. Bringing Babyface Ray into the gaming world has allowed us to reach his fans in an engaging way in their favorite games.”

Anzu’s sales director US (West Coast) Matt Jablon added: “Entertainment is a strong vertical for in-game advertising because these brands typically have attractive and engaging advertising content. Through research studies like we did with Empire, we find that the gaming audience is highly receptive to these brands advertising their content within their favorite games. I’m excited to see more brands begin to adopt in-game advertising as a core component of their media strategy.”

The nascent in-game advertising sector has already tempted a raft of global brands to take the plunge including Vodafone, PepsiCo and Samsung as gaming starts to show its advertising muscles.

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