Playables Best Practices

Posted May 29, 2018

For the past couple years, playable ads have grown tremendously and gained popularity with top marketers and brands. Not only are playables a great way to enhance the user experience and improve ad quality, but they also offer interaction capabilities other ad formats don’t, which in turn increases engagement, retention, and user acquisition.

AdColony started making playables in the ad format’s early stages. Today, we create some of the best-performing and impactful playable ads in the industry, captivating audiences all over the globe. We believe that the greatest user experience delivers the best results and the AdColony Skylab creative team has fine-tuned the skills necessary to create amazing playables.

We’d like to share our insights with you.

Playables offer an unparalleled opportunity to connect with users who are engaged with their device. Unlike other ad formats, playables are exciting and interactive, just like a mobile game. Those who complete the playable experience are the most valuable users for playable ads. In fact, these users tend to have a 34% higher interaction rate compared to users who interacted at least once with the playable, who already have a high interaction rate.

We asked AdColony’s Video Production Director, Anna Su, about playables and here’s what she had to say: “We like to think of our playables as mini tutorials that tease the greater experience of the game. Clear instructions and simple guided gameplay create opportunities for a wider audience to engage.”

So what’s the secret to amazing playables? We can actually name a few:

  • Give Instructions: Without knowledge of a playable’s rules and goals, users lack the motivation to play. Many consumers have never even seen a playable before. It is very important to include clear, concise, text-based instructions or tutorials in the beginning of the playable to drive the first interaction.
  • Make Sure There’s Enough Time: Sufficient play time is definitely something that users look for. In fact, 30-second playables have much higher interaction rates than 15-second playables, as well as higher impression-to-game completion rates (18% compared to 13.5%).
  • Keep it Simple: Sometimes simplicity is better than trying to do everything at once. That’s definitely the case for playables. A simple design and a limited number of total engagements (10 or less) can dramatically increase completion rates.
  • Hold End Cards Till the End: The decision between “Auto End” cards, those that show up once the timer is complete, versus “No Auto End” cards, which show up only when the user completes the game, have long been discussed. After we tested 3 out of 4 gaming genres, the “No Auto End” variant proved to be the top performer.

Su continued by saying that “these units are still relatively new and while many are joining in the game, there is still a wide range of quality and a whole lot of experimentation. When they are successful, they are a strong force in driving campaigns to success.”

About Skylab
AdColony’s dedicated team of creatives all over the world focus on delivering big ideas, not just impressions. Over 60 creatives, 76 awards, and coverage in more than 15 countries makes the Skylab creative team a leader in the industry.

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