Fake ads have been a real struggle for many mobile game players. Misleading advertising came up as a trend around two years ago, since then it became a landmark for many publishers. Despite the fact the majority of players hate fake ads (there's even a petition on Change.org), this approach to advertising is surprisingly rewarding for some publishers.
Read more about fake ads phenomenon
The main idea behind the success of the misleading ads is that the CTR of fake creatives is definitely higher along with the lower retention rate: users download the game, attracted by the catchy creative, and then delete it when the game doesn't meet their expectations. However, if the game is high-quality with great visuals and satisfying gameplay, some users will actually keep the game and enjoy playing. This paradox was seen through the example of some publishers that made fake advertising their main user acquisition channel. Among such advertisers, we've seen Matchington Mansion, Mafia City, MythWars & Puzzles, and of course, Homescapes, Gardenscapes, and other titles by Playrix.
Playrix was present on the market with its first misleading creatives back in 2018. The main storyline was house-repairing, which became very popular when adapted by other advertisers in 2019.
It's wrong to say that these creatives were completely fake: Homescapes and Gardenscapes gameplay has elements of home/garden repairing. However, the games in their nature were simple match-three with some additional stories. One believes the limited amount of ad stories brought the publisher's appeal to the fake advertising genre: with simple puzzle gameplay, it may be not easy to find various vibrant and catchy stories for advertising.
Anyhow, the publisher found this type of ad rewarding and adjusted the strong fake ads flow. Since the summer 2019, Playrix runs a vast amount of misleading ads with very different storylines. Among the common stories are house-repairing, how to loot puzzle, saving character, make your choice, and others.
The complete guide to fake ads storylines
According to Apptica Ad Intelligence, Playrix released over 25 000 misleading ads from September 2019 to September 2020. On both platforms, iOS, and Android, publisher's ads were shown through different apps and games in 40+ countries. Along with some huge hypercasual publishers, Playrix is among the ten most active advertisers on the market. On the App Store, Playrix holds 4th position after Lyon Studios, Voodoo, and Alpha Mobile Ltd.
Playrix is definitely one of the publishers to whom such advertising brings strong installs and revenue flow. Publisher's metrics are only growing during the last year, which means that mastered advertising strategy, along with outstanding management, makes Playrix one of the most significant players on this market.
Misleading ads is one of the practices the advertiser should really master to get any profit. If the game cannot meet the high expectations of the player, this type of advertising may even hurt. In other words, fake ads are a controversial UA tactic only a few publishers are really into. Experts believe this trend in advertising won't become global and will continue to serve advertisers some more time.