Jonathan Attias of Sayollo tells us how they help brands achieve significant ROAS through immersive mobile game advertising.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Jonathan Attias: Thanks very much for asking. With two toddlers who have been at home for close to a year, it’s been a challenge juggling being both a parent and co-founder of a startup. Most of our staff had to adapt to a reality where our children became part of our work-life, and we still managed to roll out the new version of Sayollo, our in-game advertising platform.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded Sayollo.
Jonathan Attias: I spent the better part of a decade working in AdTech, running CPI campaigns, deep-diving into the mobile app industry in-game advertising platform, and generally learning what works and what doesn’t. A couple of years ago, I realized that the mobile game industry was still massively under-utilized by brands and ad agencies. This was in spite of the fact that mobile games generate over $21B a year, with over 100M daily players. This realization was what prompted the conversation between myself and Eitan Norel, with whom I went on to co-found Sayollo. Sayollo enables mobile game developers to easily embed in-game ads, a non-intrusive form of native advertising that both boosts ad visibility and enhances the gaming experience by adding a layer of realism to the game.
How does Sayollo innovate?
Jonathan Attias: We are the only platform that provides game developers with a G-commerce platform. Gaming Commerce (or G-comm for short) works just like billboards do in real life. The gamer sees video ads on billboards within the game (for, say, Nike sneakers), generating awareness. Then, at a given point chosen by the game publishers (between game levels, for example), gamers will be able to purchase those shoes with the click of a button and immediately get back to their game. The ability to ‘close the cycle’ and demonstrate how in-game awareness advertising converts to real-time purchasing is what enables Sayollo to provide global brands with real, tangible value.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Jonathan Attias: Thankfully, our industry didn’t bear the brunt of the coronavirus pandemic. Agencies and brands are still looking for the best advertising channels to reach their audiences, and online shopping is more popular than ever.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Jonathan Attias: The most difficult choice we had to make during the pandemic was to ensure that all our employees were taken care of in the face of the new normal. To meet the pandemic’s challenges, we changed our working patterns to a hybrid format. Some worked from home, and some worked from the office. We also provided daycare services to provide a stable framework for all our employees’ younger children.
This taught us, as a company, how to work with a dispersed team while maintaining focus on the goal ahead.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Jonathan Attias: While there are a few other companies that offer in-game video ads, such as Admix and BidStack, Sayollo is the only company that provides brands with a way to close the cycle and take the gamer from awareness to purchase without leaving the game.
Your final thoughts?
Jonathan Attias: The coronavirus pandemic has taught me that a team truly is as strong as its individual members. Everybody pitches in to keep the boat afloat. We emerged from this past year a stronger company, able to weather any storm that comes our way and better understand the impact we can make on the AdTech industry.