Ingress and AXA Redefine Mobile Game Advertising

Niantic Labs has been a major innovator in the mobile industry, especially with their “game” Ingress. While we’ve seen several marketing partnerships, such as Jamba Juice & Zipcar, the partnership with AXA has been unique and revolutionary. In this article I want explore some information about the AXA shield, some statistics shared with us from Niantic Labs, and a brand new video from AXA/Ingress further explaining these statistics.


Our first sneak peak

November 18th, 2014, we are first exposed to the AXA Shield in Ingress APK Teardown 1.65.0. Though we didn’t have much more information at the time, we were all very excited to see a new item introduced to Ingress.

The graphic attached to the new EXTRA_SHIELD Mod

December 5th, 2014, we made our first public connection to the company AXA in APK Teardown 1.66.0. Other than establishing a tie to the company AXA, we were still unaware of what this new shield was really bringing us.

Searching for "AXA" returns this company.



A diamond in the rough

December 17th, 2013, Ingress exits out of beta. Blogs and social medias exploded with the exciting news. Ready to have your mind blown? Among all these announcements was a Tweet, from none other than AXA… Almost a YEAR before we unveiled any information about the new shield and the company AXA.


AXA Shields Revealed

December 16th, 2014, the AXA Shield is revealed. The way in which this was announced was masterfully done. An Ingress “in-game” company (Visur Technology) partnered up with the insurance company AXA to protect people both in the real world, and the augmented one. The AXA Shield became the best protection in the “game”, out classing the Very Rare Shield. What made this release even better was that the AXA Shield was initially only obtainable from AXA Portals, leading you to AXA business locations in person.




April 30th, 2015, we are shown the first video advertisement from AXA. The video tells us about the “game” Ingress, the AXA Shield itself, and a love story between “Romeo76” and “Juliet83”.


Engagement statistics

We’re excited to announce some engagement statistics shared with us from Niantic Labs which highlight the success of the AXA/Ingress partnership.

In the last 5 months:

  • Over 4 million Ingress players were exposed to the AXA brand promise
  • Over 600,000 Ingress players visited AXA agencies in real life
  • AXA agencies generated over 3 million in-game actions in Ingress
  • Over 5 million AXA Shields were deployed in Ingress
  • AXA representatives interacted with over 55,000 Ingress players during anomalies”


AXA has also provided a brand new case study video of the AXA / Ingress partnership:


Is this the future of mobile game advertising?

After being exposed to this marketing strategy from the beginning and seeing the statistics, I would have to say this has been more than successful. Traditional ads in mobile games have always been invasive,  annoying, uninteresting banners or images that are often forgotten the moment they leave our screen. This new marketing strategy from Niantic is brilliant! We are provided with a usable “in-game” item relatable to what the company actually does in real life, a fair number of us have actually been drawn to their places of business in person via portals, and the company name has been imprinted in our minds.


Niantic recently brought us other new items using this marketing strategy, such as the MUFG Capsule, which represents a Japanese banking company. As the AXA Shield protects, the MUFG Capsule is “a storage container that can hold other objects and cause them to multiply over time.” Much like a bank gives you interest on money you’ve invested.


Will other companies take Niantic/AXA’s lead on this fresh way of advertising? Or will mobile games  continue use of less effective traditional advertising as seen below?



Let us know what you think in the comments.