Google’s Niantic Labs – creators of the highly popular augmented reality game “Ingress” – may have just opened a new niche for the advertising and marketing of products within games. Niantic partnered with AXA Insurance on what they called a “virtual to real-world brand campaign” – resulting in more people engaging the insurance brand in the span of 5 months.

What was done was conceptually easy, but really leveraged on the gaming dynamics of Ingress. In the game, players of opposing factions will have to go to real-world locations which are marked as “portals” within the game and gain control of them, usually by staying in an area in numbers. What the campaign did was to make AXA retail agencies as “portals” within the game, resulting in 600,000 people actually walking into these physical locations and making contact with the brand.

The advertising mileage numbers are staggering – AXA reports that it has connected with over 4 million people, whether virtually or physically in the span of the 150-day campaign. There were item incentives in-game for those who physically visited locations – they were given AXA Shields which were usable within the game.


This is smart advertising, and it has to show brands that there are smart ways to market brand, especially if your market is highly connected. AXA and Niantic don’t have much in common, but they collaborated to make the campaign an apparently very successful one for both parties.

VIA: Android Central