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Playable ads: The ad format of choice for user engagement

Imagine you have access to a great price on a premium vacuum cleaner, and you’d like to share it with your customers. There’s only one problem: you run a diner and your customers come for grilled cheese, not housekeeping.

That’s when it sinks in: relevance rules engagement.

Engagement sounds difficult, but the principle is quite simple. If you hope to engage with an audience, the first question you must ask is “Will they care?” Relying on gimmicks to generate interest in something you know your audience doesn’t care about at its core can only get you so far.

Now think about mobile gaming audiences. If you’re a publisher and you buy ad space in a game people are already playing — hoping to attract new users to your killer game — there’s a whole lot of relevance in that scenario. To maximize engagement, you could consider the different advertising methods at your disposal to reach that prime audience. Static banners and end cards are mainstays. Videos show off spectacular visuals that can be very compelling. However, there is no better way to entice a gaming audience than by giving them a sample of the goods. This is where playable ads make their hay. They present a highly engaging way for advertisers to put their best foot forward.

Simply put, a playable ad is an ad format that lets prospective players try a brief demo session of a new game without any installation required.

The beauty of a playable ad is user experience. By experiencing gameplay firsthand, players know exactly what they’re getting into if they go ahead with an install. There is no chance they’ll feel misled, as they might otherwise due to the limited information available in a static image or pre-rendered video. When this magical dynamic is achieved, uninstall rates evaporate, users stick around, and they pay for their new game too.

How playables perform in the mobile games market

Considering the vast mobile gaming population that downloaded 230 billion new apps and generated $116 billion worldwide, it’s hard to believe that mobile is still an underutilized channel. Believe it or not, the mobile gaming market is projected to reach even greater heights: $338 billion by the end of the decade, a compound annual growth rate of 12.3 percent. It’s no wonder that the potential of playable end cards has become tantalizing. 

Indeed, 28 percent of US agency professionals have found playable ads to be the most effective in-app ad format. Impressions have increased by an average of 53 percent per month with playable end cards converting 2.6x better than static end cards. And of course with greater traffic comes more in-app purchases (IAP). It’s no surprise advertisers are clamoring for playable ad support from their ad networks. We’ve heard the call too.

In a recent Chartboost survey, 70 percent of advertisers reported more installs (IPM), 60 percent reported more clicks (CTR), and 40 percent reported greater return (ROAS) when using playable end cards in their user acquisition (UA) campaigns. Considering the challenges privacy constraints have introduced to the market in recent years, the data supports the demand.

Playables made easy
As the home of mobile game monetization and advertising, Chartboost supports playable end cards and makes the whole process really quite simple. Advertisers with managed accounts need simply to provide their playable end card creatives; we can even help with the upload process. If you struggle with building creatives in-house or through third parties, we have partnered with specially selected studios to help develop your playable ads. And using our performance metrics, we can optimize future iterations of your creatives. 

If you’re an advertiser and higher CTR, IPM, and retention is your thing, give playable end cards a try. Start here to begin testing playable end cards on Chartboost right away. If you’re already using Chartboost, simply ask your account manager how you can get started with playable end cards today.

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