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Playables for Retargeting: Exploring Beyond UA

Playable ads have emerged as a popular creative option in the gaming industry, offering advertisers better performance and an enhanced user experience. By adding playable, fun and interactive content in an ad via MRAID, playable ads are able to inspire highly performant campaigns with increased LTV per user and lower eCPIs/eCPAs.

Benefits of using playable ads in user acquisition efforts are well-known. It is lesser known for its potential in user re-engagement and retention, which is, however vast. Due to the highly interactive format, playable ads can provide a playground for advanced retargeting efforts to bring back users and make them convert. Particularly for non-gaming branding apps, the power of playable ads via enhanced storytelling is a great way for advertisers to catch the attention of the ever-elusive customer.

Let us take a look at three scenarios across app verticals where playables can help to retarget users:

1. Gaming

Playable ads in gaming

For gaming apps, the interactive format of playable ads works by minimizing the “expectation gap” and helping users to actually experience what they can get out of the game. For user acquisition, this means great conversion rates. Talking about retargeting, playable ads can be helpful for users who have churned after a certain level.

Let’s take the following example: A user has been stuck at a certain level of a game for a couple of weeks and have, therefore, stopped interacting with the app. To bring back these churned users, playable ads can help to “guide” users on how to get to the next level. This can help to re-ignite user interest in the game. A playable ad, in this case, can be an interactive wizard providing helpful tips on how to complete a given level and a sneak preview of the next level.

Playable ads can also be a good format to explore to keep those gamers coming back for more! Advertisers can use the interactive format to “lure” users back by showing them what they can expect in the next level, thereby keeping user engagement high.

2. eCommerce and Retail

For eCommerce and retail apps, playable ads can re-engage users via enhanced storytelling which engages the audience through interactive elements. Not only can it help to reactivate users, but also retain regular users. Let’s take an example of Gamewheel’s Burger King campaign in 2015. While not essentially a retargeting campaign when it started, it’s good to see how the campaign was successful in getting users to engage with the brand: Burger King started leveraging playable ads in 2015 with The Angriest Whopper Game which was created using the Gamewheel platform. Players would try to collect 20 jalapeños in under 20 seconds in order to unlock an exclusive discount coupon, redeemable at Burger King restaurants. With this campaign they achieved a CTR of average 40.25%. By the end of 2016, Burger King had implemented more than four successful campaigns.

3. Travel and Lifestyle

Travel app playable ads

Worried about bringing users back to make a purchase? Playable ads can come to the rescue to not only retarget dormant users but also to cross-sell and upsell. Take the above scenario, for instance. A travel portal is able to cross-sell to users who have booked flights to Berlin by giving a virtual tour of the top sights that lets users choose a hotel nearby.

Playables and Retargeting: The Next Frontier

Implementing playable ads for retargeting requires a combination of superior campaign design, content engagement and media placement. By leveraging the playable ad experience for user retention, advertisers have the potential of improving user engagement that, in turn, maximizes ROAS. Playable ads are still a fairly new and technically advanced format, and it will be interesting for both advertisers and publishers to explore how widely this format can be used for retargeting success.

Find more content on our blog to learn about playable ads and retargeting!

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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