Published on: 30 Nov 2023
Reading time: 4 minutes
The increasing instances of mobile device usage have led to a need for advertisers to evolve and adapt quickly to the mobile environment and the shifting user demographics. Furthermore, challenges like ad-blocking technologies, ad fatigue, banner blindness, etc. have become very common, which means that advertising strategies need to evolve and grow constantly in order to keep up. The use of playable game ads for mobile and video ad campaigns is one of the most popular approaches today that advertisers utilize to overcome such hurdles and more. Starting from being in-game ads on mobile apps, the game ads format and the concept of gamification have been steadily gaining a lot of popularity across the digital landscape.
Playable ads are an interactive ad format that utilizes a sort of game for advertising. Game ads for mobile or video campaigns combine interactivity with core mobile gestures and gamification to grab the attention of the audience, educate them, and drive desirable actions. Game ads are highly interactive and generally allow users to try out apps, games, or product features without first having to download anything or fill in any forms. The best examples of using a game in advertising campaigns generally run for a duration of 15 seconds to 1 minute and thanks to their interactive elements, have proven to be a highly appealing ad format.
Usually, mobile and video game ads have 3 distinguishable parts, which include:
This part of the ad should ideally consist of instructional cues. It may also consist of a demo that shows the interactive elements of the game in the ads. Advertisers can use visual prompts to explain to users how to interact with the ad unit, like with an animated hand, simple text copies, etc. It is important to ensure that the tutorial prompt is not too long and is tailored to the nature of the game in the ads. Lengthy tutorial prompts can negatively impact retention rates for video and mobile game ads as they make it more likely for the user to lose interest.
A significant part of the ad is the interactive experience or game in the ads. Generally, for advertising a mobile game, advertisers offer users a snippet of the real gameplay, so they can experience the game without downloading it first. There are a range of choices for advertisers to create playable ads that engage users and deliver an enjoyable experience. The interactive experience can be designed to grab attention by captivating the interest of the audience or to deliver a brand’s marketing message and value proposition.
Advertisers can also build full-funnel marketing within their game ads, meaning that they can drive desirable actions by embedding CTAs in the gameplay instead of at the end.
The final part of playable ads is the end screen or end card. This part can be customized for your brand as well as your campaign and can be used to finish with a strong CTA that encourages conversions. Desired actions that you may drive can include signing up for a mailing list, downloading an app, or making a purchase.
There are mainly two types of playable ads that are being used across major ad serving platforms – playable HTML ads and interactive video. Game advertising via HTML ads is mostly done for mobile games and utilizes the assets and HTML code of the mobile game for advertising. The ads replicate a small part of the game, giving users an accurate experience of the gameplay. However, mobile ads have gained a lot of popularity in recent years, so much so that the ad format has also been adapted across various types of digital ad campaigns, integrating gamified elements into ad units for higher engagement.
Interactive video game ads, blend the aspects of video and display ads with HTML to integrate interactive elements into the ad experience. Not limited to showcasing a mini game, interactive video ads can include gamification, like quizzes, user-directed storytelling, scavenger hunts, etc. to showcase the products/services of a brand.
It is not as simple as just adding a small game to your advertising campaign, as a successful playable ad that drives campaign performance requires careful strategizing.
Just like any other advertising campaign, it is crucial to ensure that your game ads are in line with your brand positioning and tonality. It is also important to deliver a simple, straightforward experience for users, without exuberant distractions and with a clear call to action, to encourage them to take the desired action.
Users should be able to intuitively understand how your game ads should be played. An immediate instinctive understanding of the gameplay will allow the users to interact with the ad immediately, which is a key aspect for the success of any game advertising campaign.
Understanding your target audience is crucial when it comes to creating online or mobile game ads that can grab attention and engage users. To tailor your ad according to what works, you must first garner deep insights about your demographics.
Whether it is for increasing app downloads or for brand awareness, game ads are supposed to be an enjoyable experience. Extended gameplays that last too long can be viewed as intrusive, so don’t forget to keep your ads short and sweet.
Advertisers can easily access advanced performance metrics and analytics for their live digital campaigns using display advertising platforms, like Airtory in real-time. Not only can these analytics help advertisers gain a better understanding of the preferences of their target audiences and what resonates with them, but they can also accordingly optimize live campaigns in real-time for better performance.
Playable ads have the capability to create interactive brand experiences for audiences across the digital landscape, helping advertisers achieve a variety of marketing objectives with ease.
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