Playable ads are the new buzz in mobile advertising and because of their effectiveness in captivating users to interact, install and engage when compared to other ad formats, they’ve become an integral part of mobile user acquisition strategies. We at Leadbolt have been testing and analyzing the anatomy of Playable ads for over a year, and have identified the key factors that drive campaign performance and encourage installing users to keep playing.
So what makes a great playable ad?
Keep it Simple. You may be surprised to know that the highest performing Playable Ads are those that have the simplest Game Mechanics. As Playable ads offer an interactive experience that give audiences a chance to become familiar with your game/app and engage with the ad even before making the decision to install, they work best if they are offered a fun, seamless, and positive game/app encounter. A simple and effortless experience indicates to the users that everything after the download will be just as easy, fun and positive. So set the tone by keeping the ad experience streamlined, light, and simple.
Communicate the App Essence. The ideal playable experience will communicate your brand essence in the Playable Ad. A Playable ad is not ideal as an in-depth training scenario or a substitute for the actual game/app. The goal is simply to convey to users on a visceral level what it feels like to play your game/app. By offering a simplified, stripped-down version of the experience, you are giving users an authentic feel for the game/app, whilst not bogging them down with too many game intricacies.
Remove the Learning Curve. Making the ad too complex, difficult to score, introducing a new feature, or adding something new to learn for the first time will actually impede the chances of a user downloading your game. Focusing on bringing the essence of your game to life, and encouraging enthusiasm for the app itself makes for an effective ad.
Easy Does It. Your Playable ad should give users just enough of a challenge to make it interesting and hold their attention. Don’t present challenges that take up precious ad time, or frustrate the user with high demands. Remember, we humans are conditioned to seek instant gratification, and it feels good to win! But victory feels the sweetest when you know you’ve EARNED it.
Best Practice: Design Playable Ads that function as an invitation to play. Ad engagement is designed to introduce the exciting concept or theme of the game/app being promoted and amplify the joy of its playing.
Like other ad formats, Playable ad campaigns can get tired and lose their potency over time. The first few days of a campaign going live offer the maximum opportunity to impact audiences and showcase your game/app’s unique-ness. It is here, early in the campaign cycle, that Playables are fresh, novel experiences, and exciting to audiences. So we recommend getting Playable Ads ready prior to campaign launch and expediting asset provision and any approval as required as soon as possible to ensure your campaigns are running on all cylinders from the get go!
At Leadbolt we have a dedicated in-house team of specialists that think about and work on Playable ads every day. We’ve tested a variety of Playable ad configurations and as with all campaigns delivered through Leadbolt and we suggest that ad creatives utilised undergo some variant testing to measure multiple performance signals and allow for iteration and optimization.
Playable Ads are making a big impact in the promotion of games and apps in mobile. They are fun, engaging and have a great Brand impact. At Leadbolt we love nothing more than seeing the results from a well-designed Playable Ad that captures the essence of a game/app. If you want people to Play your apps/games, go with Playable Ads – it makes intuitive sense!