Designing the right playable is key. Ultimately, you will need to enter the process with a test-and-iterate approach, to find out what works for your games and your audiences.
Here are some of best practices to consider when creating playable ad experiences. They can be used to guide you through the design and creation of your playable, and they highlight some of the most important things to remember.
We have also included a list of must-have features that relate to some of these points, which you should consider when creating your playable.
Get the user engaged
Playable ads require the user to interact in order to experience what you have to offer - if you fail to get the user to do that, you've missed an opportunity. The tutorial and onboarding experience is the most important in your playable ad, so focus a lot of creative energy on this.
Playable ads offer you the chance to fully engage a user, so making the experience as interactive as possible is a good start. Make full use of the opportunity; don't simply rely on a single click to complete the game and show an install dialogue.
Optimise the playable length
Many playable ads are delivered into rewarded placements, which typically serve a 30s forced-view video. This is a well established ecosystem that is understood by publishers and users.
Consistency is important
Focus on consistency. Whilst you may create a playable ad which drives great CTR and install rates, if the users don’t find what they expect once they have downloaded your app, then this will ultimately lead to low LTV, low engagement and uninstalls.
Guide the user
Help the user get the most out of the experience, by giving them guidance on what to do. The user may not be aware that the ad is playable, and they will have likely not played it before. If you only have their attention for 30s, then make sure it’s not wasted being confused about what to do.
Invite the user
Whilst the playable ad should mimic the real Gameplay, it is important to remember that it is still an ad! The ad should be inviting and have a clear call to action which allows the user to visit the store of your full Game experience.
Keep it simple
Hard to do when you have so much to offer, but simplicity really is key. Whilst you will be inclined to excite the user with all of your features, be sure that you don’t lose sight of the end goal.
Make it a challenge
Just like designing your game is a careful balance, your playable ad is too. You should focus on making the ad simple, understandable and fun - but of course make sure it’s a challenge! You want to create an experience where the user can easily engage with the ad and get value from it, but not make it so difficult that they give up and leave.
It is important to iterate on your playable ads, as you would with any video or image assets you use for advertising. Two of the main reasons to do this are:
- Ad saturation or ad fatigue: If you’re running a large ad campaign then you may find that some users are exposed to your playable ad multiple times; as the playable is a short (~30s) game experience with no variation, you will find that users become quickly bored of this.
- Optimisation: Just with your full game, you will need to continually measure and learn from the experiences you are creating. By doing this, you then iterate on new designs, pointers, characters, difficulty etc. You need to find what works well for your specific game and audience.
Play rate - how many users play the ad after it is served (per ad impression)
Install rate - how many users install your ad after seeing/playing it
Retention (D1, D7, D28) - what percentage of users retain (keep using) after downloading from your playable.
You’ve invested time, resources and money in creating a playable - so go the final length and make sure you’re serving the user with the correct language.
Check out our guide for playable ad localisation.