Tips and Tricks of Converting Playable ads

Tips and Tricks of Converting Playable ads

Playable ads are a hot new and exciting trend at the mobile advertising space. They’ve become an essential part of mobile user acquisition strategies. Playable ads allow users to fall in love with an app through an interactive ad experience by playing a mini no-download game.

If interstitials and video ads provide us with user clicks or views, playable ads give us more behavioral data, including how long user interacted for, why they dropped off and more. All this information help a lot for ad campaigns optimization upon users’ expectations, as it gives multiple opportunities to engage.

People love to play. New buzzing ad format delights users, offers new engagement opportunity, they understand and enjoy it.

Technically, all Ad Networks which support MRAID, are able to run playable ads. Among Ad Networks analyzed in Apptica – in-app ad monitoring service, playable ad format is already found at Admob, Chartboost, Mopub and Startapp.

Above: information selected by Ad Networks (Admob, Chartboost, Mopub and Startapp) regarding playable ads availability.  Source:

In campaigns with premium partners, Ironsource said that the interactive ads have performed 300 percent better than standard video ads and 1,100 percent better than display ads. MNectar, one of the early adopters of playable ads has claimed that the ads are 4x more effective than other formats, including interstitials, and even video.

According to iMedia playables result in CTR (click through rates) up to seven times higher than video ads. They also result in double the user retention rates compared to video ads. Even more interesting, the ad format increases the LTV (lifetime value) of users acquired, because they demoed the app before installing. This means more long-term revenue, better ROAS (return on ad spend), and decreased cost-per-click (CPC). They drive the most engaged users, deliver higher eCPM to the publishers, and they are fun.

Tips & Tricks of playables:
Playable ads give users the taste of the game. By creating playable ad, in the short 30 seconds’ time, you also need to think of:

  • Ad Script. Part of the game you would like to highlight and how to do it?

  • Number of levels and its difficulty. There should be the balance between making it too difficult or too easy.

  • Ad’s style: “freestyle” or tutorial based game.

  • The right scenario: win or lose.

  • Clues and hints for winning scenario (hints, pulsating arrows, glowing clues). Users expect instant gratification. By using clues, you may control high win rate.
    Above: examples of clues and hints for playables. Source:

  • Time. How much time it takes a player to win and how much time it may take to decide installing the game.

  • Creativity & Localization.

Additional insights:

  • Not overwhelm users with too many complicated features.
  • Exclude advanced levels features of your game.
  • Make A/B tests with different number of levels.
  • Take core elements of their app and gamify them for maximum engagement.
  • Call to action button. Instead of a “Install”, try to use “Next Level”, “Fight More Zombies” etc.

Above: call to action button, design examples. Source:

  • Offer and grant user once they download or open the app by “welcome bonus”, special deal or coupon (for e-commerce app for example).
  • Make the new format more obvious for users. They need to understand that they are able to interact. It should not be confused with interactive gif, for example.
  • Spy and monitor Top converting Playable Ads, play, see the mechanics, ad script, levels, style, clues and design.

The goal is creating enough engagement and curiosity to drive the user to download the app. Find “delight” and ‘sweet’ moments that make your users love your game and create the rest of the experience to compliment them.

Who uses playable ad format?

Playable Ads are not only great for game publishers or app makers, but also any brand or simply any business. Non-gaming apps should definitely get in the game. Marketers can think of a mini-game creation related to their industry or business. By giving users a richer snapshot of the advertised app or brand, interactive ads also result in higher-quality users acquired, and increased brand recall, IronSource said.

Final thoughts:

Playable Ads are fun, engaging & effective. Like with any gameplay, it takes multiple iterations and dozens of A/B tests to find the right outcome. Nowadays playable ads are becoming an important tool for brands gaming and non- gaming to increase engagement, higher quality user, stronger retention and ROI on advertising spend, and the key to good ROI with playables, is analyzing the game events and optimizing the gameplay.
It is a never-ending process. To succeed, you need to develop a series of creatives, launch, gather the data, analyze and then optimize them. Work closely with UA team, gather feedback and improve the original creative.