This article originally appeared on iMedia Connection

Advertising technology is evolving, and as developers continue to become more creative with their ad formats, the industry is revealing there is much more to digital advertising in 2017 than simple banner or interstitial ads.

The time is right for new, exciting ad formats. 91 percent of users say adverts are more intrusive than they were three years ago, leading them to skip or block adverts. The advertising industry needs to innovate quickly to correct this imbalance in user experience.

What are playable ads?

Playable ads, a form of interactive advertising, are an exciting format that delights users and offers new engagement opportunities. They are in a format users already understand and enjoy; about two-thirds of the US regularly play video games on a mobile or console. The truth is, people love to play.

Game advertisers are rapidly adopting playable ads as a way for users to sample a game app in an entertaining, and rewarding format. It’s not just fun and games though — the format is paying off. Playable ads result in CTR (click through rates) up to 7x higher than video ads. They also result in 2x the user retention rates compared to video ads, as users get an in-depth experience of the app before installing.

Even more interesting, the ad format increases the LTV (lifetime value) of users acquired, because they demoed the app before installing. This means more long-term revenue, better ROAS (return on ad spend), and decreased cost-per-click (CPC). Game developers Jam City saw their ARPI (average revenue per install) at 158 percent higher than their average using a playable ad.

Even if a user doesn’t install the app, advertisers still see their interaction path in the ad. These insights lead to improved playable ads and installs, especially if many users get stuck or pause at a similar point. It may even help with optimizing the gameplay inside the app itself.

Gamifying non-gaming apps

While it makes sense for gaming apps to use this ad unit, what about other genres of apps? Should non-gaming apps be using playable ads too? And, more importantly, can they adapt their app’s flow for these new ad units in a way that interests users?

Non-gaming apps should definitely get in the game.

The first challenge of a non-game app looking to leverage this format is finding a gamified or competitive aspect of their app to showcase (via a playable). A utility app may find it difficult to gamify the in-app experience to catch users’ attention in 30 seconds or less. Not all non-games can have a playable with a ‘3 color match’ core.

Recommended Reading
How Playable Ads Help Publishers and Advertisers
How to Create Playable Ads: 7 Tips and Best Practices
4 Kinds of Interactive Ads and How They Benefit Advertisers
Interactive Video Ads Are Outperforming Static Video

Creative app marketers take core elements of their app and gamify them for maximum engagement by thinking outside the app itself. Marketers can think of a mini-game that isn’t directly related to their app experience, but is related to their industry or business.

For instance, a travel app could have a playable ad with letter tiles spelling out a destination city, or a multiple choice quiz on capital cities.

A food delivery app could have a simple puzzle, which when completed shows a popular dish.

A playable ad can also be relevant to what users are doing when using your app. Since a user is more likely to browse a shopping app on their commute than at work, marketers can develop a playable that relates to this specific timeframe and mindset as the theme.

Playable ads can be centered around trending themes as well, such as widely watched events like The Super Bowl or The Olympics. When marketers think creatively about their apps and brands, they harness the impact of interactivity, and generate a positive brand association of playing and winning — resulting in connections with potential and even existing users.

If playable ads don’t fit, get interactive

Not all apps should take a playable ads approach though. If gamifying your app or industry just isn’t an appropriate fit – take banking apps for example, no one wants to think of banks playing with their money – app marketers can think of leveraging another critical element of playable ads: interactivity.

By incorporating interactive elements into ads, you create an experience where users can engage with the ad itself. Even something as simple as an interactive end card offering users the choice between different in-app elements could have a big effect on user experience and your campaign results.

There’s everything to gain when including playable or interactive ads in a non-gaming app campaign. The gamification, or the ‘win or lose’ element of playable ads, has clearly been shown to impact user experience.The time when users will respond positively to an interstitial interrupting their app experience is running out.

If playable ads aren’t entirely suitable for your app, try to build the best user experience by integrating interactivity as much as possible, and go for opt-in ad formats like rewarded video that respect the user’s time and attention.

Giving users choice, and the ability to impact the ad they are watching, makes a huge difference in terms of brand recall, user engagement and enjoyment.

Learn more about ironSource’s interactive and playable ad suite here!

ironSource Blog

The Source

AdChat
ironsource-launches-first-augmented-reality-mobile-ads-games-ar

2017: The Year of Interactive Advertising

Dan Greenberg is the Chief Design Officer at ironSource.  Earlier this year, playable ads exploded, and brought interactive ads to the forefront of mobile advertising. Now it’s the end of 2017, and dozens of innovative interactive ad technologies and formats are popping up left and right. It’s an exciting time to be in the mobile..

CompanyChat
ironsource-mediation-maio-imobile

ironSource Mediation Welcomes Japanese Ad Network Maio by iMobile

ironSource is excited to welcome leading Japanese mobile ad network maio, which is owned by imobile, as a new demand partner. This new addition to our mobile ad mediation platform is a testament to our commitment to empower developers around the world, and particularly our recent focus on developers in Japan and the wider APAC..

AppChat
mobile-ad-mediation-platform-ironsource

5 Key Features to Consider When Choosing a Mobile Ad Mediation Platform

In the last few years, we’ve seen in-app advertising become an increasingly critical pillar in game developers’ app monetization strategies. In fact, according to App Annie, in-app advertising is set to dominate other app business models. Specifically, ad mediation, which aggregates multiple mobile ad networks into a single platform, is on the rise within the..

CompanyChat
ironsource-singular-top-20-secure-ad-network

ironSource Named Top 20 Most Secure Network by Singular

Yevgeny Peres is the VP Growth at ironSource. In recent years, mobile ad fraud has become an industry-wide issue which affects every advertiser - their budgets, their reputation, and mainly their effectiveness in achieving sustainable growth. That’s why we’re excited to announce that ironSource has been named a Top 20 Secure Ad Network by Singular. Singular, a..

AdChat
warren-woodward-nexon-dominations-ironsource

Best Practices for Launching Your Mobile Gaming App: Pt. 2, Worldwide Launch

Warren Woodward is the Director of User Acquisition at NEXON M, the San Francisco division of Korea’s largest mobile gaming company and one of the ten largest gaming companies in the world. Their hugely popular games include DomiNations, Titanfall: Assault, and Battlejack. This is the second part in a three part series. To read part..

AppChat
what-is-mobile-ad-mediation

What is Mobile Ad Mediation and How Does it Help App Developers?

If you’re looking to monetize your app through ads, you’ve likely come across the term "mobile ad mediation." But while the term is thrown around quite often, it can be hard to understand whether or not the solution is right for your app. Let’s take a look at what it means, who it’s best for,..

AppChat
what-is-k-factor-app-developer

What the Hell is K Factor and How Can You Boost It?

Every app developer wants to understand how their app’s user base is growing, and how viral the app is. For this, look no further than your app’s K Factor. But what exactly does K Factor tell you about your app’s growth? And how can you work yours out? What is  K Factor?  K Factor is..

CompanyChat
tomer-bar-zeev-ironsource-ceo

ironSource CEO Tomer Bar-Zeev Among 100 Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs at 2017 Builders + Innovators Summit

Goldman Sachs is recognizing ironSource CEO and Co-Founder Tomer Bar-Zeev again as one of the 100 Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs of 2017 at its Builders + Innovators Summit in Santa Barbara, California. Goldman Sachs selected Bar-Zeev as one of 100 entrepreneurs from multiple industries to be honored at the two-day event. A technology veteran, Bar Zeev..

AdChat

Trends and Challenges in User Acquisition: Q&A with Playrix’s Artur Grigorjan

Artur is Head of Growth Marketing and is charged with the mission of finding unique opportunities to grow and improve the marketing efforts of Playrix - one of the biggest game developers in the world. They’re the team behind the wildly popular, and top-grossing titles of Township, Gardenscapes and Fishdom. Artur knows a thing or..

Interested in becoming an ironSource partner?

We’d love to hear from you.