WildTangent, the world’s largest games media company, today announced the launch of a unique advertising platform, BrandBoost, which provides brand marketers the opportunity to reward gamers with complimentary game play and virtual items in return for brand engagement.

BrandBoost has recently been deployed on Sony Online Entertainment’s “Free Realms,” Outspark.com, and OMGPOP.com. WildTangent is also set to announce additional partnerships with top social game developers which will give the company a growing footprint on Facebook and MySpace.

Building on the success of the company’s Sponsored Session advertising model for downloadable games, BrandBoost will now make it possible for leading national advertisers to scale major brand campaigns across the rapidly growing areas of social games, MMOs and virtual worlds with guaranteed engagement and proven results. Over the last few years, WildTangent has run hundreds of millions of Sponsored Sessions impressions for brands including Proctor & Gamble, Unilever, Kraft, General Mills, Toyota, Honda, Ford, Disney, Sony, Nintendo, EA and Activision across its game service.

“BrandBoost enables brands to address the enormous scale of social gaming and virtual worlds with engagement based advertising that is non-intrusive and delivers tangible value to gamers,” said David Madden, executive vice president at WildTangent. “We’ve created a paradigm in which gamers are seeking out ads because they know that their experience will be enhanced with access to content that is typically behind a paywall.”

BrandBoost was created to help marketers address the transition of online gaming audiences to social games, free-to-play (FTP) and subscription-based MMOs and virtual worlds, all of which employ some form of a pay wall or micro currency model. Some of the ways that BrandBoost is currently being deployed include:

Downloadable Games: Ad engagement unlocks a free game session
Subscription-based Massively Multiplayer Online Games (MMOGs): Ad engagement unlocks a free one-day subscription
Social Games and Free-to-Play (F2P) MMOs and Virtual Worlds: Ad engagement unlocks virtual items, boosts and special in-game privileges

BrandBoost embraces an opt-in advertising model, giving consumers the choice of either paying for game content with micro-currency or accessing it for free by engaging with the brand.

A recently released Nielsen survey of 27,000 consumers indicates that over 85 percent of gamers would prefer to not pay for their digital games content, highlighting the significant opportunity for trusted brands to play a role in the online games ecosystem.

When given the choice, more than 95 percent of consumers across the WildTangent game network choose to engage with brands to access content for free.

The BrandBoost advertising typically takes the form of a large format rich media experience consisting of video with a branded, interactive skin and in some cases players engage with branded mini-games prior to accessing their game content. This rich media experience is amplified by IAB-standard companion ads running before and after the experience delivering multiple impressions with each engagement. The BrandBoost platform supports all rich media formats in addition to third party ad serving and advanced targeting capabilities.

“We have run dozens of ad effectiveness studies indicating lifts in awareness and purchase intent that trump market norms for online branding campaigns,” said Bill Clifford, vice president of global ad sales at WildTangent. “Quantitative metrics are equally as impressive, with more than 10 percent of consumers taking action with the brand beyond the engagement experience, and we’re able to deliver the scale that our clients need to impact their bottom lines.”