How to Create Playable Ads: The Top 5 Best Practices

September 6th, 2018

How to Create Playable Ads: The Top 5 Best Practices
David Bell

by David Bell

CEO at Gummicube, Inc.

Ever since Google introduced Playable Ads as a mobile game-focused form of Instant Apps, developers have been trying to find the best ways to make great interactive advertisements for their apps. Playable ads are a great way to demonstrate an app’s capabilities or the gameplay of a mobile game, but as with any marketing strategy, it’s important to follow the best practices to get the optimal results. Here are five of the best practices to consider when designing your playable ad.

1. Less is More, But Give Them the Best

Playable ads are primarily used for mobile games, so developers may be tempted to show off as many aspects as they can – all the power-ups, the different kinds of enemies, weapons, party members and more. However, this can overload the users with too much at once, and overstuffs the experience. Instead, provide the game equivalent of an elevator pitch. It should introduce the gameplay, provide a quick look at the characters and give users a general idea of how the game works. Rather than bog it down with every option and feature available. What you should provide to users is the best the mobile game has to offer. Show off the coolest moves, the best equipment and the most entertaining mechanics. Pick the parts that will appeal the most to users and include that in your ad. The rest can wait and they may be interested to try the full experience.

2. Sizing and Timing

How a playable ad is made and designed is just as important as a static image advertisement, if not more. The best size for a playable ad varies based on the recommended connection, but for a 4G/LTE connection it should be around 1 MB at most. The ad’s aspect ratio can be adjusted based on the width and height of the screen, but it should be developed in a responsive way or square format so that users know to play it in landscape or portrait mode. Like a video ad, you only have a short amount of time to capture a user’s attention. A playable ad should be around 30 seconds, although it must still provide an enjoyable and intuitive user experience within that time. That is why using a simplified experience is recommended, so users can start playing and enjoying the playable ad quickly and make the most of the time they’re given.

3. Let Them Win

People like to win; it provides a sense of satisfaction and makes them happy. As such, good playable ads should challenge the players but still provide them with a victory; if a playable ad is too difficult, they may very well give up and move on. This does not mean they can win without playing – the difficulty should be somewhere between “easy” and “medium,” so that users have to put a little thought and effort in to succeed. That way they can still feel the satisfaction of working towards a win without it feeling like the app is easy and boring. There’s a balance to strike. If an app is too easy, users will get bored and ignore it, but if it’s too hard, it will frustrate them. Finding the right difficulty level can help increase installation rates by making the users feel like they’re good at the game.

4. Leave Them Wanting More

A playable ad is a preview for the game, and like any preview, should get users excited for the full product. When the ad ends, it should be at a point that leaves them wanting more. Even a teaser for future levels, powers and characters can incentivize users to download the full game. Be sure to include a call-to-action at the end of the ad that encourages users to download the full app. Linking directly to the app store page will make it easy for them to quickly install it and start playing, so you want to make sure that they can see what else they’ll get from the app and desire to download it.

5. Stay Optimized

App Store Optimization is always essential. While a playable ad may inspire users to try out your app, it is still necessary to keep the app listing optimized. Having a properly-optimized page can increase conversion rates so you don’t lose the potential users once they view the app page. Furthermore, having an optimized app means that users will be able to find your page later even if they don’t go to it directly from the playable ad. Even if all they remember are features and the general concept, they can still find the game in an app store search if it’s properly optimized and recognize it from the screenshots and videos. Playable ads represent a great new tool for drawing users to your mobile game. It is not the only tool, though, and every channel still deserves attention and consideration for a holistic approach to mobile app marketing and App Store Optimization.

Similar Articles

Halloween App Optimization - App Store Spotlight

Halloween App Optimization - App Store Spotlight

Posted on October 6th, 2023

Ghostly happenings are among us... and in your app listing too? If you aren't leveraging the power of app seasonality to make relevant tweaks to your store listing you're leaving precious engagement and conversions on the table.

App Store Connect Holiday Schedule 2021

App Store Connect Holiday Schedule 2021

Posted on November 8th, 2021

Developers on the iOS App Store should plan in advance of the upcoming Holiday Schedule to allow enough time for apps to get approved during the busy holidays.

App Store Optimization Best Practices - Iteration

App Store Optimization Best Practices - Iteration

Posted on November 1st, 2021

App Store Optimization is an involved process that should be regularly revisited based on recent changes in trends. Iteration is one of the key drivers for success in ASO.