Well-crafted playable ads have remarkable potential to enhance conversion rates and foster unwavering brand loyalty among consumers. It is a testament to the power of a caring and customer-centric approach, as users are consistently impressed when they perceive that a brand is offering them something appealing and highly relevant to their needs and preferences.

If you've heard about playable advertising and are eager to gain a more profound understanding of this innovative advertising medium or are keen to incorporate it into your app marketing strategy, this article is tailor-made for you.

In 2021, gaming advertisements emerged as the dominant ad format, with 41% of users citing their preference for this ad format. This observation underscores the significance of gamification and the allure of trial experiences in the realm of advertising. It highlights that gameplay takes precedence over other creative approaches when it comes to enticing users to engage with a game.

It aims to provide you with comprehensive insights into playable advertising, its manifold advantages, and actionable strategies for its effective implementation to enhance your app's performance and user engagement. So, continue reading to unlock the full potential of this dynamic marketing approach and discover how it can transform the way your brand connects with your target audience.

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How is playable advertising good for your product?

What is playable ads, or what are playable mobile ads? Playable ads are a type of interactive mobile advertising format that allows users to engage with a mini-version of a game or app before downloading it.

There are several compelling advantages to harnessing mini-game in ads, with one of the most prominent being their ability to actively engage users in a taste of the gameplay even before they hit the download button.

It taps into our universal fondness for "quick fun" – those moments when we can invest just a few seconds to infuse a dash of enjoyment into our day. Playables, in essence, encapsulate this concept perfectly, which explains their soaring popularity.

The magic of interactive ads lies in their capacity to expedite the user's journey from initial exposure to product conviction. In the realm of playable ads, all it takes is 15 seconds of playtime, and voilà – the user gains a swift and comprehensive understanding of what your product has to offer. Some iterations of playable ads even mimic the full-fledged mobile gaming experience, with the only limitation being the inability to save progress externally. But fret not; this progress is securely stored within the game itself.

What sets playables apart is that they transcend the traditional realm of merely observing another advertisement. Instead, they immerse the user in an actual product experience, transforming passive viewers into active participants and potential advocates for your brand.

Types of Playable Ads

Playable ads predominantly manifest as full-screen advertisements, seamlessly integrated into diverse platforms ranging from social media networks to health-conscious applications.

From a technical standpoint, playable ads typically fall into two categories: HTML ads and interactive videos.

HTML playable ads

HTML playable ads ingeniously reconstruct fragments of gameplay by employing HTML code in conjunction with game assets, offering viewers the closest approximation to the actual gaming experience.

Interactive videos

Conversely, interactive videos leverage in-game footage alongside HTML elements to craft playable advertisements. While these are relatively simpler to produce, they may not captivate audiences to the same extent as their HTML counterparts, as they lack the immersive depth and engagement potential.

Benefits of playable ads

Playable ads have a number of important benefits that offset the effort and cost of creating interactive content. In this section, we will review the principal ones.

Prolong the vitality of your standard creatives

Over time, every creative asset is bound to reach a point of diminishing returns. This typically occurs when most of your relevant audience has already been exposed to the creative, resulting in a decline in appeal and effectiveness. In such a scenario, the challenge lies in maximizing the creative's utility while minimizing the allocation of additional effort and resources.

Enter the playbook – a strategic solution that can breathe new life into a creative that has run its course. You can witness a remarkable transformation by appending this playbook to the end of a well-worn creative.

Suddenly, your creative reawakens with a fresh burst of vibrancy, ready to engage and captivate your audience once more. This ingenious approach allows you to extract the maximum value from your existing assets, effectively revitalizing them and extending their impact without the need for substantial reinvestment.

The uninstall rate decreases

When users opt to install a game driven by a playable video, the likelihood of them swiftly losing interest and uninstalling it diminishes significantly.

In fact, the probability that a user will actively engage with an application following the experience of a playable ad surpasses that of a user discovering an application organically in Google Play or the App Store. This underscores the pivotal role of playable ads in extending the Related Terms Return on ad spend (ROAS) and Lifetime Value (LTV).

As a natural consequence, the return on investment (ROI) experiences optimization through the attraction of a larger pool of intrigued and actively engaged users. By leveraging playable ads to captivate and retain users, your marketing efforts are poised to yield more favorable results, ultimately enhancing the overall effectiveness of your advertising campaigns.

Greater user insight through accurate analytics

Interactive ads introduce a wealth of performance variables that set them apart from traditional banner or search ads. This unique characteristic gives them exceptional capacity for scrutinizing and understanding user behavior.

For instance, when it comes to advertising games, the level of difficulty plays a pivotal role. If a game is excessively challenging, users may quickly lose interest, whereas if it's overly simple, it may fail to pique their curiosity. Analytics data becomes the guiding compass in finding that delicate equilibrium of difficulty, optimizing it to maximize player retention and app user engagement.

Yet, the realm of analytics in playable ads extends far beyond settings. Factors like user engagement levels, time invested, and the correlation between calls to action (CTAs) and click-through rates (CTRs) all come into play. This intricate web of data empowers advertisers to fine-tune their playable ads, transforming them into near-perfect engines for generating leads.

In essence, the precise analytics afforded by interactive ad format not only illuminate user behavior but also serve as the cornerstone for refining and perfecting these dynamic advertising assets.

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How to create quality playable ads

From a technical point of view, creating playable ads can be a challenge for playable ad developers. From a marketing point of view, however, playable advertising is a powerful tool for attracting new users. Here, we will discuss the creation of such ads in terms of transmitting the marketing message.

Content Guidelines

Playable ads, at their core, serve as advertisements. Just like any other form of advertising, your primary objective is to motivate users and prompt them to take specific actions.

Therefore, certain content requirements should be met: the creative should maintain clarity, avoid excessive length, and conclude with a well-defined call to action. Visual aspects of the creative also adhere to standard guidelines, including a thoughtful composition, contrasting elements, and strategically placed focal points.

However, a crucial aspect that warrants special attention is the selection of placement sites. In this endeavor, a one-size-fits-all approach is not suitable. Each site has its own distinct requirements, often varying significantly from one another. Hence, it is imperative to proactively determine the most suitable platforms for your playable ads, as they all come with their unique specifications and preferences.

Guidance for Users

Initially, users often show little interest in engaging with an advertisement, and at times, they might not even recognize the presence of a playable ad. This is where a brief tutorial can play a pivotal role – a tutorial placed at the outset of the creative.

This tutorial, lasting only 2-3 seconds, serves to acquaint users with the game and provides clear instructions on what to do next. It should be designed to be intuitive, requiring minimal clicks to prevent the user from feeling overwhelmed or deterred.

Encouraging Action

In certain instances, when a playable ad follows video footage, it may introduce a delay before the Call to Action (CTA) button emerges, prompting users to visit the app store. This delay can occasionally lead to user frustration, as prolonged advertisements, even if they're game-related, might result in users prematurely closing the ad.

Hence, there's merit in considering the inclusion of a persistent store-link button within the playbar throughout the entirety of the creative. This approach allows users to access the app store at their convenience, mitigating potential frustrations associated with delayed CTAs.

Best Playable Ads Examples


Before launching the game, Nexon M, the game developers, initiated an advertising campaign with the goal of building anticipation for their upcoming product release. Initially, they opted for video ads, but these did not prove effective in guiding users through the conversion funnel. Consequently, they made the strategic choice to implement playable ads.

playable ad example battlejack

The gameplay featured a fusion of card battles, a hero collection system, and a blackjack-inspired mechanism for damage calculation. This unique blend defined it as a role-playing game incorporating several innovative elements. However, it garnered a somewhat tepid reception from critics.

In the end, when the game was globally released, this high-performing asset empowered Nexon M to secure a notable advantage, with an approximate 50% increase in Install Per Mille (IPM).

Race Master 3D

This Race Master 3D advertisement also ranked among the top-performing playable ads during the first quarter of 2022.

Race Master 3D, developed by SayGames, falls into the hyper-casual racing game category. Much like their counterparts in this genre, these games offer straightforward gameplay that's easy to grasp but challenging to excel in, a key factor contributing to their immense entertainment value.

playable ad example race master

In this playable ad, players are introduced to the game's uncomplicated controls and tasked with completing a single level. This brief experience is typically enough to captivate potential players and pique their interest in the game.

Throughout the entire ad, the "Install" call to action (CTA) is prominently positioned in the bottom right corner, ensuring it remains accessible at all times during gameplay. This strategic placement allows users to initiate the game installation process with a simple click at any point, enhancing the ad's effectiveness.

Klondike Adventures

Klondike Adventures is an immersive simulation and adventure game teeming with captivating features, including farming, resource management, exploration, and construction. Additionally, players can immerse themselves in the unfolding narrative of the main characters, unravel mysteries, and indulge in entertaining mini-games.

Despite the game's inherent complexity, this exceptional playable ad for Klondike Adventures excels in simplifying the gameplay experience. It streamlines the controls to just two actions: swiping and clicking.

playable ad example klondike

The ad's primary focus revolves around two fundamental aspects of the gameplay – the collection of resources and their subsequent transportation to factories. The process couldn't be more straightforward: players are tasked with harvesting corn and shearing sheep within the playable ad, after which these resources are efficiently transported to designated clothing and popcorn factories.

Notably, upon successful completion of the playable ad's tasks, players unlock new content, accompanied by a convenient "Сontinue" button, further enhancing the overall user experience.

Are playable ads only for mobile games?

Playable ads are not exclusively designed for mobile games, although they are commonly associated with mobile game advertising. Playable ads can be used for a wide range of interactive and engaging experiences across different platforms and industries. Here are a few examples:


Beyond games, playable ads can be used to showcase the functionality of various mobile apps. For instance, productivity, fitness, or photo editing apps can create interactive advertising to demonstrate their features.


Retailers can use playable ads to let users interact with their products, like trying on virtual clothing or testing out various items in a virtual environment.


Educational apps and platforms can create interactive ads that allow users to sample lessons or quizzes to understand the learning experience.

Consumer Goods

Brands can utilize playable ads to engage users in fun and interactive experiences related to their products, such as makeup trials, virtual test drives for cars, or interactive cooking demos for food products.


Movie studios and streaming services can employ playable ads to offer sneak peeks or interactive teasers of their content.


Travel agencies and websites can use playable ads to provide virtual tours of destinations or interactive travel planning tools.

Final thoughts

Playable advertising comes with its share of drawbacks and a multitude of advantages. However, it's crucial to bear in mind that there's no one-size-fits-all solution for every mobile application. Each case demands a personalized approach, utilizing tools tailored to its unique requirements and objectives.

We at SmartyAds know how such ads work, and we are happy to share our experience with you so you can easily run playable ads with our SmartyAds DSP!


What are playable ads?

Playable ads are interactive advertising units that allow users to engage with a preview of a mobile game or app before downloading it. Users can experience a portion of the game's actual gameplay, helping them make informed decisions about installing the app.

What are the benefits of playable advertising?

Playable advertising offers several benefits, including higher user engagement and retention rates. Allowing users to interact with a mini-version of a game or app provides a taste of the experience, increasing the likelihood of installations. Playable ads yield valuable user data and can lead to more qualified conversions, making them a cost-effective marketing tool.

Are playable ads only for mobile gaming?

No, playable ads are not limited to mobile gaming. While they are commonly used to promote mobile games, they can also be employed to showcase various mobile apps, demonstrate product functionality, and engage users in interactive experiences across different industries, including e-commerce, education, and entertainment.

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