Every now and then a mobile gaming client will ask us about playable ads. It's usually because they're testing a new network who's pushing them to try playables. Although Airtraffic produces the best UGC ads and mobile video ad creative, we do not make playable ads. But why?

It's simple:

  1. There's very little demand. 99% of clients we talk to are looking for UGC ads, motion graphics gameplay ads, or static display ads.
  2. Playable ads are rarely - if ever - top performing assets. Just ask someone who's run playables in the past. We're sure there are exceptions out there somewhere, but we have yet to find them.
  3. Our competitors seem to agree. We've see very few creative vendors offering playable ads. And the ones that do, they offer a self-service tool where the client does most of the work.

Ultimately, there just isn't enough demand for playable ads for us to justify offering them as a service.

That said, playable ads might work for you, and that's great if they do! We're not saying you shouldn't try them. However, most marketing teams we've talked to report little to no success with playable ads. Here are some reasons why playable ads tend to fail.

Misleading User Experience

One of the main reasons playable ads don't work is that they can create a misleading user experience. Since these ads recreate a game's experience, they often exaggerate, simplify, or otherwise change that experience compared to the actual product. This can leade to user disappointment when they get to the real game. As a result, the increased engagement and conversion rates that advertisers expect from playable ads may be short-lived, with many users uninstalling the app shortly after trying it.

High Costs and Limited Returns

Playable ads tend to cost more than video ads, UGC ads, banner ads, and sometimes even 3D ads. And if you're using a self-service playable ads tool, someone on your team has to take the time to learn the tool and make the ads. Despite these investments, the return on investment for playable ads may not justify the additional cost. The potential for low user retention means that playable ads are less likely to deliver long-term value for mobile advertisers, thus resulting in low ROAS.

Not Attention-Grabbing

In a world with TikTok, YouTube, and Instagram, it's critical your ads capture viewers' attentions quickly. Playable ads often struggle to do this, as users need to engage with the ad for an extended period to receive the full experience. Most playable ads begin with a slow, text-heavy tutorial. Users may simply skip the ad or lose interest before completing the experience, limiting the ad's effectiveness.

Airtraffic produces video ads, UGC ads, banner ads, 3D ads, and more. Our clients have saved upwards of 60% on their creative costs compared to previous agencies they've worked with. Learn more, or contact us below.