Source: Zynga Inc.

Zynga & Rubicon Project Announce New SponsoredPLAY Custom Mobile Advertising Product for Political Campaign Advertisers

Bring Immersive SponsoredPLAY Ad Units to Political Advertising Market for 2016 Elections

SAN FRANCISCO and LOS ANGELES, Jan. 07, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Zynga (Nasdaq:ZNGA), a leading social game developer, and Rubicon Project (NYSE:RUBI), which operates one of the largest advertising marketplaces in the world, today announced that the two companies will bring new SponsoredPLAY immersive ad units to political advertisers in time for the 2016 elections via Rubicon Project’s leading Guaranteed Orders platform.

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at

Today’s announcement was made during a session on the future of digital political engagement at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The political advertising collaboration follows an earlier announcement that Zynga has selected Rubicon Project for an exclusive launch relationship for programmatic direct advertising via automated guaranteed buying.

Rubicon Project launched its Washington, D.C. political and advocacy team in 2015 to bring the power and scale of automation to the more than $11 billion projected to be spent on political advertising in 2016, more than one billion of which is expected to be spent on digital advertising. The joint effort announced today will focus on Zynga’s innovative gamified SponsoredPLAY ad units developed by Zynga’s in-house design and development team, Studio E, which offers advertisers a native ad experience that delivers among the highest engagement rates in mobile advertising. SponsoredPLAY provides candidates and campaigns the ability to interact with voters on a far deeper level, driving greater consideration and engagement.

“Zynga’s highly immersive SponsoredPLAY ads completely break the traditional political advertising mold. To date, campaigns have not harnessed the full power of mobile advertising, and this election cycle mobile will be a critically important channel for political campaigns looking for new ways to capture and hold voters’ attention,” said Dr. Amy Gershkoff, Chief Data Officer of Zynga and former Head of Media Planning for Obama for America. “SponsoredPLAY delivers engagement rates six times those of traditional mobile ads, and together with Rubicon Project we are able to offer these ads at scale to political campaigns, enabling campaigns to reach the right voter with the right message at the right time with an experience that’s both fun and educational for Zynga players.”

SponsoredPLAY political ads will appear as mini-games that mirror the content and fiction of the game being played to create an engaging, authentic experience for the player. Many SponsoredPLAY ads will also be designed with a Twitter integration so voters can help spread the word about candidates or political issues they find compelling.

“Mobile is not just a smaller screen,” Gershkoff said. “It’s a conversation in real-time with voters about the issues that matter to them most. The SponsoredPLAY ad experience offers campaigns a way to have an organic dialogue with voters by integrating the ad experience directly into the game.”

“We are thrilled to extend our exclusive programmatic launch relationship with Zynga to include SponsoredPLAY political campaign advertising in 2016, as digital advertising is projected to become the second-largest area of spending for political campaigns this year,” said Theresa Mueller, Director of Political and Advocacy, Rubicon Project. “Political buyers will be tested to see who can find the most impactful strategies in this quickly changing landscape. High impact ad executions like SponsoredPLAY offer campaigns the most personalized and deeply engaging experience available today.”

About Zynga Inc.

Zynga Inc. is a leading developer of the world's most popular social games that are played by millions of monthly consumers. The company has created evergreen franchises such as FarmVille, Zynga Casino and Words With Friends. Zynga's NaturalMotion, an Oxford-based mobile game and technology developer, is the creator of hit mobile games in popular entertainment categories, including CSR Racing, CSR Classics and Clumsy Ninja. Zynga games have been played by more than 1 billion people around the world and are available on a number of global platforms including Apple iOS, Google Android, Facebook and The company is headquartered in San Francisco, Calif. Learn more about Zynga at or follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

About Rubicon Project

Founded in 2007, Rubicon Project’s mission is to keep the Internet free and open and fuel its growth by making it easy and safe to buy and sell advertising.  Rubicon Project pioneered advertising automation technology to enable the world’s leading brands, content creators and application developers to trade and protect trillions of advertising requests each month and to improve the advertising experiences of consumers.  Rubicon Project is a publicly traded company (NYSE:RUBI) headquartered in Los Angeles, California.

Forward Looking Statements

This release contains forward looking statements relating to, among other things, Zynga’s selection and success of Rubicon Project to bring automated guaranteed advertising buying at scale (including for SponsoredPLAY ads for political campaigns), the expected amount of 2016 political advertising and the portion thereof spent on digital advertising, Zynga’s and its Studio E’s ability to deliver mobile advertising engagement via its SponsoredPLAY ad units, the ability of SponsoredPLAY ads to allow political campaigns to interact with voters on a deep level to drive consideration and engagement, the immersive nature of Zynga’s SponsoredPLAY ads, SponsoredPLAY ads’ engagement rate as compared to traditional mobile advertising, and the ability of SponsoredPLAY ads to reach desired voters with a political campaign’s message at a desired time in a fun and educational way. The success of the matters covered by such forward looking statements involves risks. Actual results could differ materially from those predicted or implied. Factors that could cause or contribute to such differences include, among other things political campaign advertising buyers interest in purchasing Zynga’s SponsoredPLAY ad offerings through automated guaranteed advertising buying on the Guaranteed Orders marketplace, players interests in the purchased SponsoredPLAY ads, Zynga’s relationship and agreement with Rubicon Project, Zynga’s ability to offer SponsoredPLAY ads in a timely manner, Zynga’s ability to monetize its advertising options effectively, the effectiveness of Zynga’s marketing program, Zynga’s ability to anticipate and address technical challenges that may arise and competition. More information about the risks Zynga faces is included in Zynga’s quarterly and annual reports filed with the SEC, copies of which may be obtained at or the SEC's web site at Undue reliance should not be placed on the forward-looking statements in this release. We assume no obligation to update such statements.


For Zynga
Kelly Pakula

For Rubicon Project
Eric Bonach