In-game Banner Ads See High Viewability


  • Mobile viewers interact with many in-game banner ads, but few remember them. Banner ads that display on the bottom of the phone screen can be seen 90% of the time by gamers, but they have an 11% recall rate. Those audiences will spend only 1.5% of their time on the ads, according to a study by Kargo.
  • Instagram ads were found to be more effective than in-game commercials, with 50% viewability and 20% recall, although every ad was seen 1.9% of the time per session. Instagram ads were 8.3 times more effective than gaming ads and 5.4 times better performing than desktop. 77% of participants interacted with at least one ad per session.
  • Desktop banners were found to have 80% viewability, but viewers only interacted with them, 1.9% if the time. They had a 3% recall rate. Kargo worked with Tobii Pro Insight to observe eye movements of viewers as they interacted with apps on Instagram, desktop, mobile games, and mobile web.


Kargo’s study found that good viewability must not always translate to high recall rates and that mobile marketers needed to consider factors like the platform, the size of the ad, the format, and the strategy. Larger ad formats are less visible on phone screens, and users swipe past them. They proved more effective in boosting recall, as seen on Instagram.

In-game banners only take up a small part of the phone screen, and so are easy to ignore. According to the study, game developers who want to monetize their audiences have to develop more formats like native ads or rewarded video that show up in a game to make the effective. Gamers are open to sponsored videos, according to a different study by Hub Entertainment, that found 46% of the gamers to have played games that have sponsored content. 61% of those players said the content made the game fun, while 23% said the ads spoilt the game.

The creative has to be engaging to create better recall and awareness. Kargo recommends that marketers consider using animated video ads because they score higher among creative metrics. The more effective a video is, the more it helps drive growth on social media. Advertisers on Facebook increased their video budgets to 24% in Q3, and that video spend has exceeded double image ad spend per a different study. Video ad spending in the U.S is expected to jump 56% to get to $24.8 billion by 2022.

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