Case Study
Unico reaches #1 in US with ironSource's full product suite

Unico Studio is a mobile games company based in Palo Alto, California. Hear from Unico’s UA and Monetization Manager, Uzeyir Baser, about how ironSource helped them launch Brain Test: Tricky Puzzles, optimize the growth loop, and maximize their global buying power.

Launch and creative optimization

Mobile puzzle games is a competitive space with numerous titles jostling for users' attention. We wanted to stand out from the crowd and deliver creatives that really maximized the impact of the launch for Brain Test, our new puzzle game. With ironSource’s in-house creative studio, Playworks Studio, plus a range of tools for optimizing UA, we were confident ironSource would be the right partner to help us achieve this goal. 

The launch process began with the ironSource team running weekly creative tests to determine which sets would bring us the most cost-effective scale for our UA. You can see one of the winning creatives below.

The ironSource team were fantastic partners in improving our playable ad strategy, helping us overcome the issue of creative fatigue. As you can see, ironSource’s Playworks Studio created playable ads using striking excerpts from our game. These ads had very high conversion rates and increased our IPM, enabling us to acquire more users, more efficiently, and in turn expand the scale and impact of our UA campaigns. Thanks to this, Brain Test: Tricky Puzzles topped the iOS app store and then maintained its position in the U.S. top 5 for over two months and counting. 

Once we gathered enough data from our campaigns, ironSource helped us build out our LTV curves. This was crucial in maintaining scale for our UA activity. By understanding the LTV of our users, we were able to refine our UA strategy, determine the right bids, and target only the users who we knew would bring us the ROI we wanted. 

Maximizing global buying power

With a UA strategy in place, it was time to optimize it. The ironSource team gave us guidance into setting up a granular buying strategy - previously we were using a campaign bid optimization strategy and making broad optimizations, but manually implementing source-level bids required a lot of hard work and manpower.

We found that ironSource’s ROAS optimizer tool is much more accurate, automatically implementing granular bids per source on a daily basis, and freeing up valuable time for optimizing gameplay and creatives.

In the end, we had different ROAS goals per geo, enabling us to maximize our buying power and profits in each of these geos. This was particularly effective thanks to the creative localization done by the ironSource team, who localized every interactive end card and playable ad according to the language it was reaching. 

LevelPlay bidding: A no-brainer

Now that we were acquiring users at scale, it was time to turn our attention to the other side of the coin: monetization. Initially, the monetization strategy for Brain Test included many split out waterfall set-ups with 40-50 instances per geo. There were challenges with managing such a complex and granular set-up, as maintaining and optimizing it was very time-consuming. 

So we decided to run an A/B test of our current setup versus a global waterfall which included ironSource’s bidding product: LevelPlay.  The test determined that the simplified setup with bidding live was just as successful revenue-wise and far less time consuming - changing our strategy moving forward. Following ironSource’s best practices, we facilitated all of our bidders to scale (the graph below shows ironSource’s bidder’s performance in the A/B test - the orange line is group B where the bidder’s SOV scaled).

 

Tracking and understanding a monetization strategy requires a transparent and intuitive management dashboard, and ironSource’s mediation platform ticks the boxes, providing us with accurate and reliable ad revenue data. With a complete ARPU data set and a holistic understanding of our users' value, we were in turn able to set up an effective monetization strategy, to accelerate growth. 

Working with ironSource

Since the beginning of our partnership, we have seen strong support from the ironSource team in terms of monetization and UA. In addition, ironSource’s integration with all major SDK networks is a big plus, making our overall experience a very positive one. 

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