Playable Ads. A ‘must-have’ in every brands toolbag for 2021

Playable Ads. A ‘must-have’ in every brands toolbag for 2021

As playable ads keep evolving in today’s industry, we thought it was the right time to break it down this innovative and effective format: from what they are and why they work, to how they can work in any industry if used contextually. 

What are Playable Ads?

Playable ads are advertising units that use interactive elements, usually in the form of gameplay and common mobile gestures, to capture attention and engage consumers in less than a minute.


Playable ads have become very versatile nowadays and can be used in a multitude of ways: we can see them in-app(within mobile games usually) as well as on social media and the mobile web.

1- Social Media Platforms

Being ahead of competitors and gaining consistent customers is never an easy task. This can be achieved by growing popularity by interacting with audiences through the ads. They help brands stand out when it comes to their social media creatives, and engage and retain customers through a complete guided experience.

Here we can see a good example of how playable ads can help brands engage with their users on social media, where OCBC created a mobile game using the popular “catch and collect” format to showcase its conservation efforts and educate people about the benefits of this initiative.

2-Mobile Games

Video games are largely being played on smartphones across different industries, not exclusively in the gaming industry.

Playable ads can appear as in-app, full-screen interstitials or

opt-in value-exchange ads. We’ve seen that well-known non-gaming brands, such as New Balance, have created games to create that customized experience for the user.

Why playable ads?

As we mentioned, the ads give audiences a whole experience in the form of a gameplay, which works as a demo and helps the user know what to expect from an app. This leads to more app installs and higher retention rates.

Playable ads have had marketers excited in recent years. Back in 2017, according to a survey conducted by AdColony,71% of advertisers found playable ads effective and 45% said that playable ads were what they were most excited about. Now, with the new normal and more people staying at home, they are here to stay in 2021. Even before the pandemic, consumers were already prioritising mobile devices over television screens. According to a 2019 report by eMarketer, smartphones have taken over 70% of that mobile time along with 21% of the total time users spent on media.

In which industries are playable ads being used?

Gaming developers have been known as usually being first to market with new mobile technologies and tactics, and have been using playable ads for the last five years. However, now non-gaming companies are joining the boat too, as playable ads can help an app stand out with millions of apps in the app stores now. 

By using playable ads to highlight an app’s unique differentiators in a playful, engaging way, marketers attract users’ attention while respecting their time. 

Playable Ads are great for both the user and the marketer, as the specific campaigns help filter out non-committed users. This drives higher intent app installs, higher quality users and higher return on ad spend (ROAS).

Playable ads have been proven to be more engaging and generate a higher conversion rate than any other mobile ad formats. They are taking off the quickest in categories with fierce mobile app competition, such as quick service restaurant (QSR) brands. Burger King, for instance, was one of the first non-gaming companies to try them, with the launch of its Angriest Whopper game in 2015. 

We have also seen playable ads in the Gambling industry, with the creation of social casino games, in which there are different ‘rooms’ that showcase differently styled slot machines. Some examples are Jackpot Party, which used Zeus, a prominent and popular theme in Vegas, for their playable game, or House of Fun, which decided to go for an Egyptian theme, which is available only in advanced levels of the game.

Creating effective playable ads is about designing relevant, fun and engaging experiences with a clear objective. They are effective forms of advertising for any brand across any industry.The added reach of playable ads and its potential to be frequently seen in social media can make previously successful promotion strategies become even more successful.

Playable Ads in 2021 

Without a doubt, we have seen an amazing increase in popularity over the last couple of years, and in 2021, with the new normal that the world is currently experiencing, they’re only going up. It’s all about telling a compelling story that the user can relate to, and they help do that by creating a unique brand experience that has been proven to be very effective. 

If you would like to know more about how Playable Ads can help your marketing efforts and take your brand to the next level, feel free to contact us for an initial discussion.



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