I’ve been playing Draw Something for the past two weeks and it got me thinking — what if the game used the TV model of advertising?
Draw Something has a transition or “drawsome” that appears after completing a turn and before starting the next. This transition lasts about 5 seconds. I don’t believe many players have a problem with this or the waiting — it’s a nice break and 5 seconds seems just right. This transition is similar to commercials on TV but as of today Draw Something isn’t using the space for advertising.
Now — in addition to the seemingly fun animation during transition, imagine a Coca-Cola logo on the bottom-right corner. Here is a before and after.
You are probably thinking the “free” version of the game shows ads already — you are right. But in my opinion banners and full-screen ads are ugly and they cause friction to the gameplay. If you are going to have ads I believe it’s best to include them during breaks, non-playing moments, like during transitions on Draw Something. I personally refuse to even look at mobile ads, rarely click at one — I’m sure for most people that is the case as well. Ads should be similar to the example above — they don’t get in the way and are simple yet effective in grabbing attention.
To to give some perspective on how big this advertising opportunity is lets compare Draw Something with ABC’s popular comedy Modern Family.
Modern Family’s worldwide numbers should easily be 2-3x of US. But keep in mind we live in the age of DVR — so chances are great number of ads for the show are being skipped. Also note there are only 24 new episodes in a year for the show — repeats don’t get the same viewership. The show is currently on its 3rd season and is very well known already. Draw Something is less than 2 months old and more and more people are learning about the game everyday — so user numbers should be going up near-term. 10 turns per user and opponent are very conservative assumptions — doubling them into the projection above would be very valid as well. These numbers should be very appealing to advertisers. Also ads like the example can’t be skipped and more than likely users will be glued to the screen for the whole 5 seconds — probably more since users have to press “go” for the next turn.
Translation? Mo money for Zynga.