Every now and then a mobile gaming client will ask us about playable ads. Usually it's because they're working with a new ad network who is pushing their playables inventory on them. Airtraffic produces the best UGC ads and mobile video ad creative around; but we don't make playable ads.

We've never met a mobile game marketing team who list playable ads as their top performing assets. In fact, most of the marketing teams who try playable ads seem to do so because they haven't tried in a while. Our competitors seem to agree, since most either don't offer playable ads or 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 an ad agency right now.

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

Misleading User Experience

One of the main reasons playable ads don't work is the misleading user experience they create. These ads often showcase gameplay or app features that are exaggerated or different from the actual product, leading to user disappointment upon installation. 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 ROI

Playable ads tend to cost more than video ads, UGC ads, banner ads, and sometimes even 3D ads (if you're working with Airtraffic). 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 high uninstall rates, coupled with lower user retention, means that playable ads are less likely to deliver long-term value for mobile advertisers.

Inability to Capture Attention Quickly

You already know how critical it is for ads to capture viewers' attention quickly. Playable ads often struggle to do this, as users need to engage with the ad for an extended period to experience the full gameplay demo. Most playable ads begin with a slow, text-heavy tutorial as well. Users may simply skip the ad or lose interest before completing the demo, 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.