El Dragón: El Dragón: Promoting a Telenovela with a Gamified Ad


Campaign Summary

Univision strove to convert men aged 18 to 34 into telenovela fans.


Objective and Context:

For their newest telenovela, Univision mixed both Mexican and Japanese cultures into a thriller crime drama. The story of "El Dragón" was unlike the typical telenovela and therefore required a unique approach to increase awareness among members of the target audience.

As the leading Hispanic media company in the U.S., Univision boasts a strong Hispanic viewership. Members of this audience are highly aware of telenovelas but typically associate them with romantic stories geared towards women. This situation required Univision to showcase "El Dragón" in new ways to reach an audience of young males and convert them into telenovela viewers. The campaign required not only reaching the audience members but capturing their attention long enough for them to learn more about the show and become interested.

Target Audience:

For "El Dragón," the target audience was both male and female, ages 18 to 34, with a particular focus on men due to the nature of the plot: an action-packed crime drama. And given that the show was in Spanish, it was important to target a Spanish-speaking Hispanic audience.

As a gamified ad designed for the in-game experience, the El Dragón campaign was effective at reaching and engaging gamers, who view brands more favorably when they deliver an interactive, fun, and rewarding experience — in this case, with exclusive content.

These gamified ads ran in over 20 mobile games and were focused on racing, sports, tycoon, and shooter games whose cohort overlapped with the target demographic for the "El Dragón" campaign.

Creative Strategy:

In order to effectively reach the target audience for "El Dragón," Univision looked for interactive creative that required viewer engagement through entertainment. This ensured that the viewer would spend enough time with the creative to learn about the show and understand it was not your typical telenovela. Arguably, the most engaging and entertaining form of advertising is the playable ad unit. Leaning on the plot of "El Dragón," Gameloft created a mobile game based on the Japanese puzzle box, a highly engaging, challenging puzzle. Social prompts that allowed players to challenge friends were included to extend reach. In addition, players had the option to learn more through sections dedicated to the trailer, character biographies, and exclusive behind-the-scenes footage.

An interactive video unit that showcased the action-packed footage was also created with existing "El Dragón" content, ensuring views and engagement through built-in interactive prompts like swipe and tilt. These features empowered the player to drive the story forward. Display banners and interstitial banners were included to reinforce the message and keep "El Dragón" top of mind.

Univision leveraged Gameloft's network of premium games, which indexed high against the target audience, to reach players who were in an active, positive state-of-mind and receptive to playable content. Univision was able to target members of the specific desired audience with the mobile playable ad unit on their smartphones; the company did so by using demographic information (age and gender) that players provided to Gameloft and phone setting details like language settings.


Overall Campaign Execution:

Leveraging in-game advertising enabled the campaign to be delivered to individuals who were already in the state-of-mind to play. Moreover, Gameloft's internal teams and insights allowed the campaign to be delivered at optimal times (i.e., at natural cut points) and frequencies, ensuring that the ad was not intrusive or delivered too frequently, thereby avoiding fatigue.

There were four prongs of communication for this campaign:

  • Interactive video with expandable overlays (46 percent)
  • Incentivized minigame (19 percent )
  • Static banners (19 percent)
  • Static interstital (16 percent)

Mobile Execution:

The Campaign budget was $480,000 and spanned mobile, social, and a physical activation. In total $85,000 was dedicated to mobile, which was especially important to the campaign. According to 2019 Tapjoy research, 41 percent of gamers are likely to pay attention to ads in mobile games, ahead of the internet (17 percent), magazines (15 percent), and billboards (15 percent). In addition, 72 percent of gamers said they like interacting with ads in exchange for in-app currency or premium content, which the "El Dragón" campaign offered to players.

Univision used this gaming advantage, layered with the ability to target the specific demographic of males aged 18 to 34, to create an effective and successful mobile campaign.

Results (including context, evaluation, and market impact)

Throughout the campaign, Univision successfully reached its desired target audience with over 2.6 million impressions, 350,000 complete engagements, and nearly 14,000 click-throughs. The campaign drove awareness for "El Dragón," achieving its objective while engaging a high-value potential audience.

Categories: | Industries: | Objectives: Mobile Gaming, Gamification, and Esports | Awards: NA Bronze Winner