Best Practices for Creating and Implementing Playable Ads

By Diksha Sahni | March 14th, 2018

High-performing Playable Ads are the current hot trend in the gaming industry, with their ability to positively affect user experience and deliver higher ROAS. Adoption of playable ads for both branding and performance-driven campaigns has seen an upward trend this year and is likely to strengthen as advertisers try to reach the relevant audience with innovative ad formats that not only convert well, promoting large install volumes at scale, but also result in engaged users and subsequently maximized LTV per user.

Creating a Playable Ad is as important as implementing it for the ad format to deliver well. Implementing Playable Ads requires a combination of superior campaign design, content engagement and media placement. This ultimately results in a top performing and enjoyable ad experience with minimal intrusion. We give you 5 tips on best practices for creating and implementing high-converting Playable Ads:

1. KISS!

Playable Ads work well because they help close the “expectation gap” for a user by providing a preview of what to expect before they actually download an app. Here it is crucial to keep the design of your Playable Ad simple and minimalistic for higher installs. Remember, at this stage, you are only providing a preview of your app. Try to avoid just replicating the game levels. Instead, pick one of the most exciting elements from the game or apply gamification techniques to explain the story of the game. Bottom line: KISS! Keep it simple, silly!

Pro tip: Use existing brand assets, including animations, and make it as interactive as possible. Make sure that the first screen loads quickly, and that the ad is fun, valuable and engaging for users.

2. Time It Right

A minimal design also calls for an optimum length for a Playable Ad to be effective. Because Playable Ads are a preview of the app experience, usually a time frame of 30 seconds or less is considered most effective. The average length of Playable ads should bebetween 10-40 seconds play time.

Pro tip: Due to the short timeframe, be sure to provide users with clear instructions to understand the game play. Otherwise, user will be spending time to figure out the game and you will lose a potential user for a campaign.

3. Size and Format

The smaller the size of the creative, the greater are the chances of the ad being shown to the user in time for them to view and interact with. Balance the performance versus interactivity wisely and continuously test to optimize. If you plan to adjust the aspect ratio based on the device screen height and width, it’s recommended for the Playable Ad to be as responsive as possible. A better interactive experience can improve conversion rates.

  • Recommended 4G/LTE: 1 MB (avoid going beyond this size).
  • Recommended 3G: 700 KB total
  • Recommended 2G: 200-3000 KB

Pro Tip: Develop the ad in a ‘square format’ or in a responsive way so that it can be easily compatible with portrait/ landscape inventory.

4. Loading Screen and Tutorials

The Playable Ad must have a loading screen, which is ideally clickable (especially in cases where the ad takes a significant amount of time to load) and populated with the target URL directly. Alternatively, you can use the loading screen of the game/ app to increase the recognition factor and branding effect. Additionally, it helps to create a tutorial for the first 2-3 steps to instruct users how to engage with the game.

Pro tip: On non-rewarded placements, one can improve ad start metrics by adding animated pointers, or a text-box informing the user what they need to do in order to start playing.

5. Ad Placement

The creative aspect of designing a Playable Ad is incomplete without an intelligent ad placement strategy. To ensure high-performance, consider where the ad can be placed within the user flow. After the preview ends, it is important to place a powerful call-to-action to make the user convert - should they be impressed by the quick glimpse of the game or your brand product. Keep the experience as non-intrusive as possible to improve install rates. It is recommended to make the whole screen clickable, and to add an engaging end screen CTA to improve engagement rates.

Pro tip: Experiment with the position of the close button on the screen. For example, the button can move randomly from one corner to the other to prevent the user from closing the ad unintentionally.

Diksha Sahni
Diksha is a Senior Content Marketing Manager at AppLift and is based out of our Bangalore office. When she is not behind her computer writing, you can find her binge watching her favorite movies, finding her happy place at a dance studio, and checking off places on her bucket list.

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