Playable Ads: Benefits of an Interactive Ad Format

Post By Hannah Downing

If you've ever played a mobile app game, then it is more likely than not that you have encountered a playable ad. In a recent article on Venture Beat, Oren Cohen writes about a few of the benefits of using playable ads. The first, as Cohen puts it, is the "try before you buy" perk, where mobile users gain exposure to a new app without having to install it. This makes a huge difference for mobile users because it is seen as a no-risk, entertaining situation that may result in the user downloading a game they already know they will enjoy.

Cohen writes why he thinks this ad format is so successful: "Like the Super Bowl ads viewers look forward to watching, playable ads are an ad format users actually want to encounter." Instead of the more traditional ad that mobile users must passively watch or view, playable ads allow a space for users to appreciate and interact with the app.

This interaction ends up leading to more quality downloads and higher retention rates, Cohen reports, which, together, culminate another benefit of playable ads. This is no small feat, as an October 2016 Forbes article cites Quettra when writing that after just three days, apps tend to lose 77% of their users and, after a month, this becomes 90%. While there is a chance that some people will opt out of downloading the app, those that opt in are more reliable than other types of user downloads because they tested out the app ahead of time and have a higher chance of retention.

However, one of the most important aspects to consider when creating and improving a playable ad is how accurate of a representation the ad is of the actual app they would download. While Cohen lists multiple characteristics to consider when designing playable ads, this aspect is one of the most important because user loyalty is often built on trust.

If users enjoy a playable ad enough to download the actual app, only to find out that the app is different than what was initially presented to them, there seems to be no quicker way to lose a user's trust and, therefore, the user overall. Just as important is how users write reviews on the app stores. If a user feels cheated or disappointed, they are likely going to let other users know. And this may spell trouble for the app in question.

As playable ads become more popular, mobile marketing companies will likely use this to their benefit. Instead of simple static ads being placed for mobile users to see, mobile marketing companies like Oplytic will work with publishers to see how they can incorporate and take advantage of this emerging ad format.

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