Australia's PLAYGROUND XYZ aggressively expands into Asia

After expanding its services to the UK last year, Sydney-headquartered PLAYGROUND XYZ (Playground) has rolled out its offerings across multiple Asian markets including Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Philippines, Indonesia and Thailand.

The young marketing technology company - which uses a proprietary platform to author innovative new types of mobile ad formats - said it has undergone strong growth with over 90 top brands using its technology across more than 300 campaigns in the past 12 months. Playground said its ad formats aim to drive maximum branding and yield outcomes while being user experience focused.

Rob Hall, CEO of Playground said: “There’s always been an appetite from both brands and publishers for interesting, high performing ad formats on mobile. The catch has always been scale - doing something custom and truly different has been a pain to implement on a single publisher, let alone across multiple.”

“The first step was to find a way to get everyone on the same spec so the one creative build could run en masse. We’ve worked collaboratively with the industry and we now have products like our SuperSkin – where a single creative build will work across all the leading sites,” he said. The products are then delivered using the company’s core technology which adapts the creative on the fly, to fit with the layout needs of all the different websites.

Publishers using the technology include Daily Mail, Nine Entertainment Co, Fairfax Media, Multi-Channel Network, Southern Cross Austereo, Gumtree, Bauer, Mamamia, Conversant Media, Future Publishing, SBS, Perform Media, Huff Post, Ziff Davis, Asia One, International Business Times, The Independent, Asia Correspondent, Tech Wire Asia, FourFourTwo, Goal, The Inquirer and Malay Mail.

The next step, Hall said, is to build out the toolset: "There’s no point having these new ad formats if building and producing them is a nightmare. We tried to rethink this problem and ended up building a cloud based self-serve studio tool where creatives can choose a template, design a photoshop file and upload it to our Wizard which cuts up the image and turns it into a HTML5 ad instantly.”

The last piece of the puzzle is to finding the best way to connect its buyers and sellers to transact. "To that end we launched our marketplace, called the Playground Private Exchange earlier this year. We’re now able to help demand and supply come together to trade these products programmatically and that has massively fuelled adoption,” Hall added.

Mason Rook, Daily Mail Australia’s commercial director added: “We are incredibly excited to continue our partnership with Hall and the Playground team. Innovation, adaptability and speed to market is something we pride ourselves in at Daily Mail Australia. Last year we did some great work with the Playground team launching all their formats as well as market firsts, so launching within the marketplace was an easy decision.”

At the moment, Hall said its team is “working hard to make it simple: high performing new ad formats you can build in minutes, available across leading publishers via our marketplace, and executed with your trading method of choice.”