A Look At Ubisoft’s In-Game Advertising Journey With Trackmania

In the fast-paced gaming world, innovation is key to staying ahead of the curve. Ubisoft, a pioneer in video game development, recognized this early on and embarked on an exciting partnership with us in 2020, launching intrinsic in-game ad placements within its hit racing title, Trackmania.

Together, in partnership with Ubisoft, we have helped enhance the player experience for fans of this beloved racing franchise, which recently celebrated its 20th anniversary. As our collaboration with Ubisoft also celebrates its fourth year running, we caught up with Ubisoft Nadeo Communication Director, Adrienne Péchère, to discuss the partnership. 

The evolution of Trackmania’s in-game ad strategy

Ubisoft launched intrinsic in-game ad placements in Trackmania during the DIGI1 by Gamevention online gaming convention. This event saw some of the game’s top streamers compete within the first-ever worldwide multiplayer streaming session of the franchise’s then-latest release.

Over the past four years, we’ve worked closely with Ubisoft to evolve and optimize their intrinsic in-game ad strategy, helping them first launch placements that supported display ads across various maps and tracks, placing them in areas where you would expect to find ads if you were watching a real-life race, such as alongside and over the top of the race track.

After optimizing and seeing success with the display ads, Ubisoft updated the placements to support video ads alongside display ads to boost revenue and player immersion.

Adrienne says that continuously optimizing Trackmania’s ad placements over the past four years has made them “more and more efficient.” She also compliments Anzu’s solution for making them easier to measure over time, saying, "Thanks to the technology, we can now clearly determine the ads’ performance and secure the best placements to reach the highest impressions.”

Over the years, Trackmania has seen ads from big brands keen to connect with an engaged player base, which has added to the gameplay and elevated realism around Trackmania’s courses. “Anzu offers a wide range of brand ads in various countries. From food and beverage, beauty and fashion, to entertainment and telecommunication, many brands decide to use gaming for their promotion. I love it when I see ads from famous mainstream brands shown in Trackmania, such as Disney and Calvin Klein”, says Adrienne.

Learning from Ubisoft’s success

The learnings taken from testing display and video ads within Trackmania have led to the development of a set of creative best practices for optimizing ad placements within immersive racing titles. Taking their fast-paced gameplay, unique twists and turns, and nuanced environments into account, we’ve identified where they are most likely to be noticed and remembered when placed inside racing games. 

As you can see from the video, this can be at turns on a racetrack that require the driver to slow down, at points where the camera direction doesn’t change, in cinematic scenes shown before a race, or within high-traffic areas of a game (such as points where players fuel up their vehicles).

Revving up revenue and community engagement

Adrienne notes that in-game ads have been positively received by Trackmania’s large and dedicated community, noting that some players have complimented the immersive aspects the ads bring to the game.

Trackmania has a loyal fan base, and ensuring they were supportive of the ad placements was extremely important for the game, which regularly adds new updates and events to keep players engaged. Adrienne told us they are incredibly excited about what the future holds for the franchise.

“We recently celebrated Trackmania's 20th anniversary with the launch of our Original Trilogy, which offers new car gameplay and blocks based on the very first game, which was launched back in 2003. We released our first two updates, Snow and Valley, and the third one, Desert, will be out in time for the summer.”

She also adds that Ubisoft has recently announced “a revamped format for the Trackmania World Tour, allowing players, as well as, for the first time, community tournament organizers, to take part and play an active role in shaping the storylines of the 2024 esports season. Competitive players are also able to join Monthly Cups organized by Nadeo”.

Ubisoft's advertising journey with Trackmania demonstrates the power of strategic partnerships and together, we look forward to further exploring the intersection of gaming and advertising and continuing to unlock new opportunities and experiences.

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