Playable Ads vs Playable Video Ads vs Interstitial Ads: Key Differences You Need to Know
To provide your app’s users with the ideal ad experience, it’s important to select the right type of ad based on what your audiences want. Depending on your app and the nature of people’s interaction with it, there are different options available to you as a publisher. Each type of ad offers a unique experience that can engage users and help generate revenue for app owners that display them. The following is a breakdown of three main types of ads you can use: playable ads, playable video ads, and interstitial ads, the differences between them, their engagement, and which to choose for your app.
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What Are Playable Ads?
Playable ads are a particular type of interactive ad that enables users to essentially sample an app before actually downloading and installing the full version. These ads give audiences a preview that includes key features of the app to help drive engagement and encourage people to download the app.
While mobile gaming apps are often the first to come to mind when thinking of playable ads, other types of ads may also use playable ads to connect with their audiences. For instance, grocery stores could advertise for their businesses by creating a shopping minigame that allows users to catch items in a virtual shopping cart to earn discounts they can use in their app. This would encourage people to not only engage with the game but also install the app to apply the rewards.
Playable ads follow a particular structure that makes them different from other types of interactive ads. First, they begin with a basic tutorial, which leads into the interactive element, which then transitions to a call-to-action (CTA).
When first opening an ad, users will encounter a tutorial that quickly details how to play the ad. Users will see which steps to take, often with a sentence or two of text instructions. The text may include transparent overlays that go away as soon as the user begins interacting with the ad.
After the initial lead-in and tutorial, the interactive element comes into play. This typically includes a short minigame that users can play, ending with an in-ad reward that gives users a sense of accomplishment. In the process, the ad will entice people to download the app if they enjoy their experience.
The final part of the playable ad is the CTA, which directs users to download and install the app to enjoy the full experience. The CTA could appear in the middle of the interactive portion or at the end of the ad. The CTA should be short and urgent to drive people to convert.
What Are Playable Video Ads?
Playable video ads are ads that users can choose to view or skip before continuing their ad experience. Video ads may appear at various points when users interact with an app, and they’re far more effective than static image ads. Videos should be engaging but short enough to avoid annoying the user, and many video ads include the option to skip the ad after a certain period.
One of the most popular uses for mobile video ads is as a rewarded video ad, which gives users the option to play the ad in exchange for an in-app reward. Typically, these rewarded ads appear in an offer wall or at critical moments of a game, such as when a user has run out of life and can recover one more by watching the video ad. Users can also get other in-app rewards through these videos, including currency, features, and more.
Playable video ads are often ideal to use if you want to engage users with quick and engaging ad experiences that keep people in the app.
What Are Interstitial Ads?
Interstitial ads are ads that occupy the full screen of users’ devices. At this point, the ad will display an image or video that runs for a certain amount of time. Eventually, users will be able to tap a skip button.
Interstitial ads appear at specific periods as users interact with the app. For example, users might view an interstitial video ad before moving on to the next level in a game. They may also encounter these ads when exploring different parts of an app, requiring them to view these ads before accessing a destination page.
Interstitial ads can consist of static image ads, or they may feature interactive content such as animated GIFs, videos, or playable ads. At the end of the ad, an end card typically appears with a CTA and/or a preview of an app store listing.
Although interstitial ads are extremely popular among advertisers and publishers alike, the key is to ensure their frequency doesn’t hinder users’ experience with an app. If interstitial ads are too frequent or too long, they’re likely to annoy users to the point where the user chooses to close the app entirely. However, with the right balance and a good overall app experience, interstitial ads can be seamlessly incorporated into ads and provide a steady revenue stream.
The Differences Between Playable Ads, Playable Video Ads, and Interstitial Ads
Each of these mobile ad types is potentially beneficial depending on the app they’re used for and the way they’re presented to users. Before selecting a specific type of app, it’s important to understand the differences between them and the kinds of engagement they attract.
The Advantages of Playable Ads
Playable ads are great to use if you want to engage with users by offering them a unique experience. Playable ads get users involved in a way that other types of ads simply don’t. This can become part of a seamless in-app experience, particularly for gaming apps that naturally incorporate gamification.
The main benefit of playable ads for publishers is that they allow users to interact with other brands, but without the need to first download an app. This ensures that they remain engaged with the app to completion without interrupting their experience outside of the ad. Users will also likely feel more satisfied with their ad experience, which translates to a better overall in-app experience.
One report found that playable ads are the most effective in-app format according to U.S. agency professionals, with 46% of individuals surveyed finding them to be the most exciting type of ad.
When Video Ads Are Best
Playable video ads are also good to use in many cases. Unlike static image ads, video ads see considerably more engagement. Instagram alone has seen three times the level of engagement with video ads compared to image ads.
Video ads can present users with visuals that keep them invested and may even encourage them to watch the video to completion. A convenient tappable CTA at the end can also encourage users to convert before returning to the app experience.
Nearly any type of app can benefit from video ads, including interstitial video ads and rewarded video ads. In fact, rewarded video ads can be as much as two times as effective as interstitial videos, with 52% of mobile game developers finding them to be the most lucrative type of ad.
Engaging Users With Interstitial Ads
Interstitial ads are ideal to use if you want to connect with users at regular intervals as people navigate your app. Users may see these ads when first loading certain parts of an app, completing stages in a gaming app or completing other tasks.
Interstitial ads are extremely popular among advertisers and publishers today. In fact, they’re the second most popular ad format just behind rewarded video ads. They’re also significantly more effective than banner ads, with a click-through rate that’s 18 times higher than banners.
Many marketers tend to use these ads in combination with rewarded video ads to maximize engagement and keep users invested.
As mentioned, the biggest caveat with these apps is that they can easily annoy users if developers don’t carefully implement them. Interstitial ads should offer an experience that’s as smooth as the rest of the app. If they appear too frequently to the point of annoyance, these ads could harm rather than monetize your app. The key is determining which frequency is the best, which you can do by running campaigns of varying frequency and determining how users engage with them.
Choose the Right Ads Based on Your App’s Requirements
Although playable, video and interstitial ads all offer great experiences that engage users, you need to choose the right ads or combinations of ads to get the best results. By taking the time to test different ads and see how users interact with them, you can optimize your in-app experience by making the right choices. In turn, you’ll be able to increase revenue earned through your app while giving users a consistently enjoyable experience that keeps them loyal.
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