Glossary
Mobile App Terminology

Playable Ads


What are playable ads?

Playable ads, or ‘playables,’ are a type of ad format in which the ad allows users to try a scaled-down version of the app before they actually install it. This “try before you buy” type of ad format has become highly popular with mobile games as it’s much more interactive than traditional ads and often doesn’t actually feel like an ad. Similar to a free demo, this scaled down version of the app can last anywhere from 15 seconds to a minute and typically concludes with a call to action (CTA) to install the full app.

Given the interactive nature of playable ads, many mobile marketers have embraced them due to their higher conversion rate, retention rate, customer LTV, and ultimately ROAS for their marketing efforts.

They can also be great for both users and apps that are showing ads, because playable ads are also often rewarded ads: play and/or watch for 15-45 seconds, and users get benefits in the game they are currently playing.

Want to maximize your Playable Ads performance?

Learn how Singular can help!

Uses of playable ads

Playable ads have only been an available ad format for several years, so there are a few best practices to keep in mind when creating them. Given that the ads only have at most ten seconds to hook users, playables should be as intuitive as possible and focused on a single feature of the game or app. As highlighted in our blog post on playable ads:

If your playable ad is too hard with literally impossible puzzles and no good solutions, you run the risk of alienating potential players.

As Publift highlights, there are three main components that make up a playable ad, including:

  • Tutorial prompt: This is a visual prompt that explains how the user can interact with the ad, such as an animation that explains how to play the game. Again, since these ads are still quite short the tutorial needs to be quick and to the point in order to not lose the user’s attention with a complicated tutorial.
  • Game or interactive experience: As mentioned, the game or interactive experience should be focused on a single feature that can grab the user’s attention, provide an opportunity to push a marketing message, or drive a specific CTA.
  • End card: The end card should typically have a CTA that drives the desired conversion such as installing the app or clicking through to a website.

Given that playables are still relatively new and users haven’t seen them as much as traditional ads, they tend to offer a number of benefits to brands and mobile marketers. Firstly, playable ads have been known to have increased retention and generate a higher in-app LTV. Another major benefit is that, unlike traditional banner ads, playable ads provide advanced analytics to the advertiser that can be used to test and optimize the ad further.

In order to get the most from their playable ads and analytics data, many mobile marketers rely on mobile measurement partners (MMPs) to improve the performance of their campaigns.

Want to maximize your Playable Ads performance?

Learn how Singular can help!

Singular & playable ads

One of Singular’s core solutions that can help marketers improve their playable ad performance is our marketing analytics platform. By having a unified dashboard with all your marketing data, this helps marketers take a scientific approach to their growth strategy by providing optimization opportunities and granular performance insights. Specifically, the platform provides unrival ROI insights with 8 layers of granularity designed to help maximize return on marketing efforts.

Singular also allows you to visualize creative level insights side-by-side to understand how each asset is performing across various campaigns. Combining this marketing analytics data with fraud prevention technology and ad monetization analytics give mobile marketers everything they need to get the most out of their advertising budget.

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