Zynga Cools Predictions, But Ads Heating Up; Foursquare Checking In To Ads

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Zynga’s Display Ads

Online casual game publisher Zynga enjoyed the thrill of being a public company yesterday as it reported its Q2 revenue and then suffered a Wall Street-style beatdown for revising future revenue expecations downward significantly. Nevertheless, as Ad Age’s Cotton Delo reports, ads offered hope: “In a quarter where [CEO Mark] Pincus was looking for a growth story, he singled out advertising. Zynga’s advertising revenue for the quarter ending June 30 was $40.9 million, up 45% from $28.2 million the previous quarter and up 170% year over year….” – and the display ads are not your standard IAB units. Read more. And, read the release.

Facebook In Hand

What do we know about Facebook mobile ads? Ads API partner AdParlor (an AdKnowledge platform) offers one answer with a study based on its short experience with the channel. Key findings: click-through rates are 15x higher, clicks are 30% cheaper, and fans on mobile devices both comment and engage more than those on PCs. Maybe because they’re bored in the dentist’s office? Read a press release, or download the whole study.

Foursquare’s First Ad Check-in

Even the tiniest steps toward figuring out a substantial ad model by either Foursquare or Twitter can command great attention. Today’s move is by Foursquare, which is now adding promotions to its “local update” feature that came out last week, is more than the usual incremental activity. Mediapost’s Mark Walsh points out that this is actually the social check-in service’s first paid ad placement. “Promoted updates are like search ads for the real world,” explained Foursquare in announcing the new tool. Read more.

Mobile-Alone’ Strategies Lose

After all these years of waiting for mobile advertising to arrive as the “next big thing,” ValueClick’s Greystripe is telling advertisers to stop thinking of “mobile-only” ad solutions and look at it merely as a part — an increasingly essential part — of a cross-platform strategy. “As advertisers increasingly choose mobile as an integral part of their strategy, the effectiveness of their efforts will depend on their ability to apply the sophistication of online targeting and ad creative to their mobile campaigns,” says Kurt Hawks, general manager at Greystripe. “To do this, advertisers must partner with a cross-platform digital marketing partner offering these solutions. Read the release.

Displaying The Survey

Rocket Fuel’s Senior Director of Analytics, Doug Miller, gives a bushel of in-banner survey tips on iMedia Connection. He notes the color of the creative matters for the survey: “Recent testing has shown black backgrounds with white text have 28 percent higher response rates than average, while the 300×250 ad size yields 86 percent higher response rates. Make sure to use this size ad to give your in-banner survey the best chance at being answered by the highest number of respondents.” Read more.

Adobe’s Crystal Ball

In a mid-year report on digital ad trends, Adobe forecasts a marked budget shift to mobile and social. Tablet devices and smartphones will represent 20% of all online traffic by year’s end, and the economics of search especially favor tablet campaigns. “Conversion rates for tablet campaigns, relative to PC campaigns, rose over the past quarter, creating a surge in tablet ROI despite the fact that tablet CPC remain below those of PCs.” Meanwhile Facebook user engagement with brands will go up in the second half as advertisers invest in social. Download the tea leaves.

$1.3 Trillion Annually

This will give the tech “bah-humbuggers” something to chew on…. McKinsey Global Initiative looks at the value of what it calls “the social economy” in a new study. In reviewing social tech effects in four commercial sectors, namely consumer packaged goods, retail financial services, advanced manufacturing, and professional services, MGI declares that “these technologies “create value by improving productivity across the value chain [and] could potentially contribute $900 billion to $1.3 trillion in annual value across the four sectors.” Read more. And, download the full report (PDF).


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