8 Tips for Making a Great Playable Ad

By Vungle | February 12, 2020

The static banner ad isn’t dead yet, but nothing converts users as effectively as a playable ad that demos your gameplay. According to eMarketer, 28% of US ad agency professionals think playables are the most effective ad format. On the Vungle network alone, playable ads convert 57% more customers than non-playable ads.

Clearly, players that test-drive your game before downloading it are more likely to be the quality long-term audience you’re looking for. So how do you make a great playable ad that gets customers to tap? Vungle’s creative experts weigh in with their pro tips.

① Keep it fun & simple

Simpler interactions create richer experiences that the player is more likely to enjoy and engage with. Make your playable easy from the get-go and avoid overly complex interactions. You don’t have time to teach users how to play; they should just instantly know what to do! In the example above, all a user needs to do is touch the screen. It doesn’t get easier than that!

② Use visual language

Explain how to play with intuitive visual cues and textless iconography that can be understood universally. Show the user what action you want them to take. The faster your players understand the rules, the sooner they can play the game. An image of a hand motioning to tap a button or swipe on the screen has become part of our visual vernacular today — no need to tell a user to “swipe to match” when you can show them.

③ Show your actual game

Playables that demo authentic gameplay are less likely to be uninstalled. On a related note — where possible, replicate the game with high fidelity, like this 3D playable for Helix Jump.

④ Show off the best part

Let your customers play an exciting and crucial event in your game, preferably a moment that promises some reward if they keep playing. In the example below, we could have made the user collect resources, craft items, or build a shelter … but fighting zombies was a far better choice.

⑤ Let customers play ASAP

Drop them into the middle of the action sooner to make customers more likely to engage and less likely to close the ad out of impatience. Avoid lengthy tutorials, long intro animations, and static “choose your character” setups. Start the users right at the fun part.

⑥ Dazzle your players

Catch your customers “in the headlights” with transfixing callouts, 3D animation, or video they can’t look away from. Vivid sound effects with no background music led to 53% higher conversion in some cases.

⑦ Add social proof

We’ve seen a five-star review or brief testimonial in ads boost conversion by as much as 206%.

⑧ Show a video first

Give users more context for your game with a brief high-quality video before jumping into the playable. If you show gameplay in rewarded video, this can help prime users to engage with a playable of similar gameplay. Creative synergy across media is the secret formula that reads “1+1=3.”