Misleading ad in mobile games: Playrix, Matchington Mansion, Mafia City

Misleading ad in mobile games: Playrix, Matchington Mansion, Mafia City

If you were playing free mobile games at least once you've probably seen the mobile ad of other games popping up occasionally on your screen. Some of us hate it, the others accept it as a necessary evil but what if you're actually interested in playing the game from the ad because it looks like the next Call of Duty? You click the ad, download the game and then realize that the gameplay has nothing to do with the ad and the game is nothing you believed it would be. This called a misleading ad or fake ad - the way some publishers advertise to attract more users.

Why do they do that?

Why cheat users if they delete the game anyway when realize it doesn't fit their expectations. Well, perhaps the developers expect that some part of the acquired traffic, who doesn’t feel deceived too much, will stay. That will give the application a rather small DAU increase, despite the obvious day-1 retention decline.

However, this strategy can only work if the game is good enough to attract and retain traffic. Some large publishers allow themselves to make fake advertisements, and Apptiсa has collected several examples of such ad creatives.

The popular pay-to-win mobile game Mafia City is known for cartoon video ads that have nothing to do with the real gameplay.

Another pay-to-win game Hero Wars - Men’s Choice Epic Fantasy RPG pretend to be a brain-twisting puzzle game while having completely different gameplay.

Despite hundreds of angry user reviews, the game is very successful. It consistently enters the Top 10 role-playing games and gains more than a million dollars in revenue every month, according to Apptica Store Intelligence.

The same situation with a huge and successful publisher Playrix - the ad makes the game look like it's house-repairing game while in fact it's a match-3 game.

The publisher follows this strategy with other hyper-casual games: Gardenscapes, Township, and even the new one Wildscapes.

And not only Playrix releases such creatives for match-3 games...

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