We are living in the age of smartphones and mobile apps! Being at the brisk of the 5G era, with the enhanced accessibility and increase in mobile usage, the consumers are spending more and more time on their phones and within apps. This results with a rapid evolution in mobile advertising technologies as well. For app owners looking for new users, and brands in search for new customers, each passing day is a challenge to be up-to-speed with the sector and attract the attention of their target groups, who are now accustomed to consuming different type of content and who are exposed to various types of advertisements from numerous other competitors. This causes some of “conventional ad-types” to become less eye-catching and hence create opportunities for different ad unit types to be tried. In other words to cut through the “advertising clutter,” app marketers need new formats to grab the limited attention span of their target groups!
This is the point where playable ads come into the picture at the mobile advertising ecosystem! So what is a playable ad? Simply put; playable ad units are actually ads that users can “interact with” rather than seeing a static visual or passively watching a video. It actually provides the user to have a demo of the core functionality of an app or the core messages/benefits of a brand before proceeding with install or purchase decision. Here is an example of an app’s user acquisition campaign;
Before starting to talk more in depth regarding the benefits that playable ads can bring, it is important to clarify one thing: When we consider “playable” ads, due to the given “name”, people immediately think of games and assume that it is a format specifically designated for marketing campaigns of games. Yet, it doesn’t have to be the case! From a broader perspective, “playable ads” not only pose a great opportunity for games, but it is also a novel type of ad to be tried by brands or app owners from other verticals. By using this format, it is possible for the app owner to limit the expectation gap, meaning that the potential user-to-be of the app will have the app experience in a nutshell beforehand through the interactive ad. Hence if he decides to make the install, it is highly likely for that user to be turned into an engaged user of the app with lots of in-app activity!
For instance, a shopping category app can show it’s a wide range of inventory through an interactive ad, whereas a travel app can emphasize its system’s ease of use and variety of choices. From a brand’s perspective, what can be better than your customer to interact with you through your ads for brand recall & favorability afterwards? A car brand can easily take their potential buyer to a tour within their car through a smart interactive ad, or a consumer goods brand can convey its key message with this gameful approach. Interactive ads are basically a test drive before you use the actual product, therefore it is not surprising to assume that the return would be better!
To strengthen our point of view regarding how playable ads can benefit apps and brands from different categories, let’s focus more in-depth on the benefits that they’d bring to the table.
Better Brand Recall & Purchase Intention
It has been proven by studies that the brand recognition and purchase intention of customers that become aware of a brand through interactive ad units is higher than non-interactive ads. The main reason behind this is that by creating engagement with the right user at the right time, interactive ads actually help the establishment of a bond between the brand and the customer. As a result, the likelihood for that user to buy the call-to-action of the brand from the playable and go ahead & purchase the brand increases.
Same is valid for brand recall. Instead of keeping the communication with the customer one-way, playable ads enable brands to have an active interaction with their target groups. It gives the brand the opportunity to combine its core message with gamified experience and make it more memorable. As a result, both the aided and unaided brand recall of brands using interactive ads is higher than ones that are using non-interactive ads.
Look at it from a traditional marketing perspective; in-stores what brands are accustomed to do is to create tasting and/or testing areas where users can actually try the product before they make a purchase decision. Within the digital landscape, playable ads provide the same interaction with the brand & its potential customer.
Higher Potential to Bring Loyal Customers
Playable ads give the users a test run of what they should expect from what they are about to download and/or buy. Especially from an app marketing lense, by the end of the playable ad, the user would know what awaits for him if he makes the install and gets the app. This, in return results with apps getting more daily active users hence higher retention rates and LTVs.
From the angle of brands, the playable ads provide a great opportunity to land the brand’s key messages. Without the interaction, with one-way display ads, these may go unnoticed considering the clutter they are being shown in. Once the customer is engaged, the likelihood for them to become loyal users of the brand also increases.
Better Return of Investment! Not just for the Advertiser but for the Publisher as well!
Looking purely from an app marketing perspective, playable ads also result with higher conversion rates, meaning getting better returns from ad spent. While the conversion of video advertising is 3 times higher than display, for interactive this goes up to 7 times higher rates! Similarly, according to Facebook, after they enabled the interactive ad option from the newsfeed, some of their customers have seen 3 times better returns on ad-spent compared to other ad-units that they are using simultaneously during the same period.
Playable ads are beneficial not only for the app advertisers! For publishers, playable ads mean higher eCPMs and also better experience (and fewer complaints!) for their users, since similar to native ads, interactive ads are seen as less intrusive.
Still Early Age but Definitely Promising!
Some may argue that Playable Ad format is still at their early ages to be sure of the success rate. According to a study done by AdColony, Playables only make 6% of the total app install budget allocation in 2017. Yet, this is also mainly associated with the fact that not every platform is capable of supporting playable formats. So, the opportunity is definitely there to tap into!
Aiming to be one of the pioneers of the mobile ad-tech sector, as App Samurai we are also providing our customers with full support for the creation & execution of playable ads. We also know it is important to tailor-made these ad units carefully to best fit with needs&wants of the target users of an app or a brand. So, if you need more information, please feel free to contact us, we’d be more than happy to assist you!