Should You Play With Your Ads?

Mobile game marketing has exploded in the past five years along with the growth of mobile games being played all over the world. Trying to find the right trends that help developers and their marketing teams discover players who are willing to spend money on their games is increasingly becoming a struggle for everyone. One of the mobile marketing trends that I’m excited to be part of is the use of playable video ads in mobile apps.

Being able to interact with a new game means a lot more than just watching gameplay or even reading what they might see when they choose to install a game. I’m not alone in this thinking as Jasmine Cohen from IronSource remarks in her company’s blog that playable ads have conversion rates 7x higher than videos and have been shown to lower uninstall rates, reaching up to the 90% in the first two months for some mobile games.

Kongregate also shared their data from playable ads showing that conversion rates were in the double digits compared to regular ads and were over 2x more profitable to a developer than other types of ads.

So What Are Playable Ads?

Playable ads are exactly what they say they are, advertisements that a consumer interacts with an ending by the player winning or losing the activity or quitting the ad. In the mobile space, the hope for mobile app developers is that a consumer enjoyed the advertisement and installed the game or app. However, there are many types of playable ads showing up already in apps.

At Synative, we found there are two different categories for these types of ads: A mini-game/demo that allows gamers full access to many options inside the downloadable game, or an interactive video with the gamer tapping or swiping at different requested times to complete the video.

Both come with their own strengths and weaknesses. Mini-games and demos allow gamers a full feature experience but can take 1 – 3 minutes to play and would become an annoyance to gamers if the ads are used for pre-roll and post-roll interstitials. Many playable videos allow for much better and quicker experience but don’t accurately show the gameplay in a manner that surprises the gamer when done impractically.

Why Don’t I See More Playable Ads?

The technology is still new, so many developers find the time it takes to develop one might be too time-consuming or costly to build due to the time and requirements. Marketing groups also can find asking a development team to create a new demo could add frustration to leaders and slow down game development down by days or even weeks to create the perfect ad.

Another issue is that many of these ads are in HTML5 and while HTML5 is starting to become standard on many development kits, it’s still a very difficult item to test and may require companies to hire some developers with an understanding of JavaScript and HTML5 game development along with long hours of programming and game testing.

With this in mind, most would rather outsource their ad development to another company and let them handle the dirty work. Sadly, the quality of the work in my experience can be judged as great at times to totally unacceptable. Add to the thousands of dollars to make one and the weeks of talking, agreeing, shipping assets, and building the ad, can make a marketing group question whether it was worth it all in the end.

Thankfully, this is where we can help at Synative. We have been working to create technology that takes care of these issues and helps developers create playable demos in five minutes and playable videos in an hour. Add some additional analytics to your ads and an easy, shareable link, and we think we can help take you into the future of mobile advertising.

If you want to give us a try, email us at BD@Synative.com or talk to us at PocketGamer Connects San Francisco to learn the details about our technology.

May 8th, 2018