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BizReport : Mobile Marketing : April 10, 2019

Top 3 tips for a strong playables strategy

Most of the focus on playables are from game developers and publishers, but according to one expert non-gaming brands have a lot to gain from a strong playables strategy. Here are three tips.

by Kristina Knight

Kristina: What is it about playables that consumers like? 

Beatrice Olivas, CRO, Motive: Playables are interactive ad formats that allow mobile app developers to offer a short preview of their game, app or brand in a gamified format. For consumers, playables offer an interactive, playful way to test drive an app prior to downloading it.

Kristina: From an advertising standpoint, how can playables improve the ad - and brand - experience? 

Beatrice: By allowing users to engage with an app, product or offering prior to download, playables drive a higher-quality user, which is the holy grail in mobile today. Playables can be designed to meet goals for both performance and brand advertisers. For brand campaigns, metrics like a user clicking on the ad, session length and repeat play can be captured and evaluated for engagement. For example, a playful custom playable was designed for Reese's Pieces that mimicked the Miss PacMan game by allowing the user to move around the board devouring candy pieces instead of dots or Pac-dots. Rather than including a call-to-action to download an app, the playable was leveraged to raise brand awareness for the popular candy brand.

Kristina: How can non-gaming brands use playables to engage?

Beatrice: You don't need to be a mobile game developer to drive ROI through playable ads. Non-gaming clients can use playables to drive better engagement and, ultimately, stickier users. Playables allow advertisers to evaluate many layers of engagement such as heat map tracking to pinpoint where the interaction on the ad is taking place, session length and repeat play. These are all valuable indicators of whether or not an ad or product resonates with the target audience that the ads are being served to. Advertisers also value the transparency of playable ads, which give them full control over where their ads will run and limit exposure to ad fraud. Finally, non-gaming clients can also leverage the higher engagement of playables to raise awareness around new app features and functionality. 

Kristina: What are your top three tips for brands to build a playables strategy?

Beatrice: 1. While the interest in playables is definitely there, budgets have not been set aside to build playable ad units in-house. The key is to partner with a DSP that can build playables as the adoption of the format has been slow, despite its effectiveness. 

2. Be mindful of the lack of standardization in the industry with playable ad units. Today there is no one-size-fits-all approach or one template that advertisers can use. While advertisers are excited about playables, building a custom one can seem too monumental of a task given the amount of time and cost, reaching upwards of $10,000 in hard costs. A lower barrier of entry is to test a standard playable template like Match-3, Quiz, Tao Collect or Bubble Shooter, if applicable. This saves time and gives you a glimpse of what type of incremental lift the ad unit can deliver.

3. Be sure to capture the attention of your target audience with a clear and well designed lead-in video. Showing a high quality preview of your app or service can ultimately lead to a higher quality user. When the consumer knows what they are getting and decide to download your app, the lifetime value of that customer is exponentially higher than what we have seen in mobile to date.  

Tags: advertising, game ads, game advertising, mobile marketing, Motive, playable ads, playables

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