Favourite ad formats in the gaming industry green and white image with a handful of white dice

Playable Ads vs Rewarded Videos

Our two favourite gaming industry ad formats are playable ads and rewarded videos. The advertising techniques used in the gaming industry help build brand awareness in advertising channels where competition is high.

For that reason, choosing the right ad format is crucial. It can help you differentiate your brand from the rest of the competition and reach specific audiences. Below, you will find our two favourites and why they are important to use. 

Playables

A playable ad is an interactive ad format that allows users to enjoy core app features in a limited selection (usually between 15 sec to 1 minute) of ad placements. This format gives the users a perfect opportunity for a brief gameplay experience

So, why do playables work? Playable ads are inherently more engaging, especially when targeted at mobile players. Using playable ad campaigns that effectively demonstrate what users could expect from the entire game or app is more likely to reach qualified audiences. This, in turn, would ideally increase ROAS (return on ad spending) and user retention.

But of course, certain steps need to be taken to ensure the best possible impression to the user. First, display only the essential and most appealing elements of your game. Remember, keep the game mechanics simple so the user fully understands it and spends more time playing. Finally, make sure to combine your essential elements with rich media, animations, and sound effects. Here’s an example of a playable from Angry Birds:

An example of an Angry Birds playable ad, in which a user is introduced to the game with two free shots!

Rewarded Videos 

Even though playable ads generally have a higher CTR compared to video ads, video ads (in this case, rewarded videos) are also a solid ad option.

But what are rewarded videos? Simply put, when a user watches rewarded video ads, they receive a bonus/prize in return. It could be any type of in-game bonus like coins, extra lives, points, etc. One positive aspect of rewarded videos is that the player willingly watches the videos. This gives the user the incentive to go through the whole video to get the “prize” at the end. 

One important point with ad creatives is that users can get bombarded with back-to-back videos. This, understandably, disrupts the gameplay, ultimately ending in player frustration. However, with rewarded videos, 76% of players find rewarded videos the least disruptive out of all ad formats.

Like any ad creative, you need to utilize the placement of the reward where the user could need it the most. One of the most effective placements (there are more than 5 ways of utilizing RV) is the “get one more life/spin/coin”. No user wants to quit playing a game they have recently started to enjoy, so showing the alternative to either quit (hell no!) or watch a video to continue the game is the best option.

An example of a rewarded video where you gain a prize by watching an ad

To Summarise

Those are our two gaming industry ad formats, and it is safe to say that not every ad creative will work for all games. In fact, there are 477,877+ mobile gaming apps available for Android. So with that in mind, the ad formats you choose for your game depending on the type of game you have as well as your revenue method.

In addition, it is important to test out banners, intertials (statics), offer walls, and native (if possible). The important part is to consider the most efficient way to maximize monetisation and also provide your players with the best game experience.