How to Level Up your Social Casino Apps: What Works and What Doesn’t


Social casino continues to be one of the top-grossing mobile app categories and its growth shows no signs of slowing. In a previous article, we detailed what the social casino category includes and how you can benefit from retargeting your social casino game audiences. In this article, we share the creative strategies that proved to be successful for both user acquisition and retargeting campaigns.  

    1. Simple Creative vs Flashy Creative

Social casino app users like these games because they mirror the excitement of gambling. When designing ad creatives for social casino apps, keep in mind that the users want to see the resemblance to Las Vegas slot machines. That means creative should never be subtle, but just as flashy and eye-catching as the Vegas strip.

slots, flashy ad creative

To determine the value of flashy ads for social casino campaigns, we compared the performance of 2 creative designs: one with simple and another with flashy animation. The flashy creative variant outperformed the static creative ad in all metrics. On the last day of the campaign, the cost per install (CPI) of the flashy ad decreased significantly by 34.05% compared to the first day. Across the campaign, the return on investment (ROI) increased by 58.32%, and the conversion rate (CR) and install rate (IR) also had considerable increases – 50.98% and 28.57% respectively. 

    2. Without Audio vs WIth Audio

The best way to (virtually) transport social casino app users to Las Vegas is with sound effects, like a jackpot announcement and falling coins. 

In our recent campaign, the comparison between ad creatives with and without audio showed that the creatives with audio perform better than the ones without audio. Notably, the audible creative ad showed a 32.56% better click-through rate (CTR), a 4.74% increase in IR, 33.30% lower CPI, and 167.62% higher ROI. 

   3. Just the character/s vs Characters, slots, falling coins

Slots and falling coins can be a good addition to characters in the creative. Creatives with only characters underperform those with additional elements. 

slots with character, ad creative

We ran a user acquisition campaign for a social casino app over a span of one month. We compared two creative ads—one contained only a character and the other a character and slots. Across the campaign, the creative that had slots together with the app character outperformed the other with a 12.42% increase in IR, a 8.56% decrease in CPI, and a 52.75% increase in ROI.

   4. Dark, hardcore/RPG-style slot machine themes vs Casual and colorful themes 

Casual and colorful themes are better at getting users’ attention and prompting them to act. The reason may be that hardcore themes target a smaller, niche audience, which limits the segments of the users we attract.

slots casual theme

Let’s look into numbers again. The comparison of ad creatives with casual and colorful themes to those with dark, hardcore/RPG-style slot machine themes showed a significant rise in performance for the former. CTR increased by 11.63%, CR jumped 29.27% higher, IR showed a 44.30% increase, CPI dropped by 31.86%, and ROI grew beyond expectations, increasing by 108.30%. 

BONUS: Our analyses show that offering new app features and higher-level gameplay are the two most effective creative approaches for social casino apps. 

Keep testing

Using the multiple wins strategy is very common in many social casino ad creatives because it generates excitement and highlights the fact that anyone can win. Our analysis showed that other strategies we use to promote social casino apps outperform the multiple win strategy. So no rule is universal. It is important to keep testing different creative variations to see which strategies work better for your app. 


Topics: Creative Insights