The Rise of Playable Ads


Mobile advertising continues to be an evolving industry with the rise of different ad formats. While app marketers across the world focus their KPIs on acquiring high-quality users, as opposed to prioritizing scale, playable ads are starting to take momentum on both acquiring high-quality users and scaling campaign performance.

What are playable ads?

Playable ads work as a “try before you buy” type ad unit, letting users interact with an app’s main features before installing it. It’s an ad that doesn’t feel like an ad.

Generally used by mobile game app marketers, playable ads offer audiences a snippet of the real gameplay, ranging from fifteen seconds to one minute. Once the snapshot of the game ends, a call to action (CTA) is displayed so that audiences can install the game if they want to.

Why playable ads?

Higher retention rates. Playable ads give audiences the chance to experience the gameplay. By the time the audiences finish playing with the ad, they already know what to expect from the app and will more likely install it. These users are more likely to open the app and continue engaging, generating more high lifetime value (LTV) players.

By guaranteeing high LTV users early in the user lifecycle, playable ads effectively reduce app uninstalls while increasing retention rates. This helps advertisers save money by filtering users who wouldn’t enjoy the app—minimizing money potentially wasted on acquiring irrelevant, low LTV users. Even if the cost per install (CPI) for playable ads is more expensive than a typical video or banner ad, the ROI ends up being higher.

Moreover, the playable ad is inherently enjoyable and actually fun to play with. This is the ad format users want to encounter.

The bright future

As an innovative and eye-catching mobile advertising solution, playable ads drive advertisers’ excitement. That’s one of the findings of AdColony‘s app install marketing survey.

According to the survey, 71% of advertisers find playable ads effective and 45% said that playable ads were what they were most excited about in 2017. Though the budget allocation towards playable ads is still low (4%), it is two times higher than that of Q3 2016 (2%).

The good news is that playable ads are being used by 64% of top app install marketers, and as the budgets assigned to them are on the rise, this ad format will take a unique place in mobile game advertising.

Learn more about how to run successful and effective campaigns with playable ads by following our blog.


Topics: Marketplace Insights