Try Before You Buy: Playable Ads for Gaming and App Advertisers

Jose Kantola

Marketing

 

Facebook has just announced its newest solution for gaming advertisers: playable ads, allowing users to test and play games within the ad format before downloading. (Official Facebook announcement.) It consists of an introductory video that will, upon clicking, turn into a full-screen gaming experience. Smartly.io teamed up with Facebook and advertiser GSN Games to debut and launch the new ad format.

Acquiring New Users With Playable Ads: a Success Story


GSN Games Playable Ad

 

Thank you, Smartly.io for helping us get started with Facebook playables! With playables we were able to decrease cost per purchase by 34%." 

Julia Fischer, User Acquisition Manager, GSN Games

 

GSN Games wanted to test out playables early on and compare it to one of their highest converting ad formats with comparable cost, video ads. Smartly.io helped GSN trial the new format, and the results speak for themselves 

   Results:

-34% CPA for purchases compared to Video Ads. 

-16% CPI compared to Video Ads.

 

Best Practices for Playables

While playable ads are a new format, most of the industry best practices still apply. You should test a lot, flaunt your unique selling proposition, and make sure to convey your game by showcasing the most exciting elements, moments, and actions.

  • Guide players at first and then let them discover on their own; using visual cues such as arrows and hands, to show what actions to take and how.
  • Loading times should be short so that the user has a chance to interact while the ad is displayed and visible, so they won’t become frustrated by the experience and browse on.
  • A playable ad is not a video, think about the number of interactions they take rather than the amount of time it takes to complete the mini-game.
  • Having a positive experience increases chances of download, which means a challenge is good but while letting them win. Allow for a sense of accomplishment, so not too easy or too hard, find the sweet spot.
  • Do not aim to re-create your game in HTML5, this is not the goal, make it clear what type of game you are advertising, give them a taste for later levels you know are most desirable, and use high quality graphics.
  • Allow the user to convert at any time by always showing the call-to-action from start to finish. (This does not prevent you from designing the final CTA more prominent!)

How Playable Ads Work

The lead-in video shows up on the user’s feed as they are scrolling. This part of the ad is crucial as it has to catch attention quickly and prompt the user to click on the ad to expand and start “playing” the ad.


  • High quality lead in video in horizontal or square aspect ratio. (Vertical is not supported)
  • Playable should be in portrait mode and have responsive design to accommodate varying device screen sizes
  • The playable game should be in HTML5 (Should not make any HTTP requests or contain any JS redirect, and should not require mraid.js)
  • A single file for playable ad that contains all assets as part of that single HTML file and assets should be data uri compressed. (Javascript, CSS, images, sounds) Total file size should be less than 2MB
  • For any CTA, the playable code should call the Javascript function FbPlayableAd.onCTAClick() whenever an action should open the store. For example, "this.downloadBtn.onClick(function(){FbPlayableAd.onCTAClick()});. Facebook has code that will handle navigation to the right app store page for this app

 

At Smartly.io, we work with a range of gaming brands to help them reach new, high-quality players and improve user engagement with the power of automation. With Smartly.io, it’s easy to test and scale your creatives – we also partner with production partners to help you adopt the newest ad formats – including playables.

Read more about our gaming solutions on our site here. 

 


 

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