Rewarded video ads are universally popular among advertisers, publishers, and mobile game players, alike. Read our latest blog post to learn more about the most loved in-app ad format, rewarded video.
- Understand different types of in-app advertisements
- Discover why in-game advertising is gaining traction among non-gaming companies
- Find out which in-app ad formats bring in high-value users
Most Loved In-App Ad Format?
In-game advertising among non-gaming companies is gaining notable traction among marketers. According to MarketingDive, major brands such as Unilever and American Eagle are “using gaming to support commerce goals and court favor with hard-to-reach audiences.” Setting aside “gamer” stereotypes, mobile games appeal to hugely diverse audiences and offer marketers an increasingly flexible environment to reach them.
In-game ads have great benefits for advertisers seeking contextual placement, brand-safe environments, and captive audiences. And the market is only growing. By 2027, the in-game advertising market is expected to grow by a healthy 19.5% up from $5.29 billion in 2020, according to Report Ocean. “As marketers contend with the deprecation of cookies and changes to other identifiers, an embedded approach in gaming could have greater appeal. Gamers, after all, are held at rapt attention given the interactive nature of the medium,” says MarketingDive.
Types of Ads Displayed in Games, by Genre
In-App Ad Formats
Among the different in-app ad formats, rewarded video ads are universally popular among advertisers, publishers, and mobile game players, alike. Based on the user experience, players are 64% more likely to engage with an in-game rewarded ad than a sponsored post on social media.
As users playing a mobile game are actively participating in something they enjoy, they tend to accept ads in exchange for a free-to-play (F2P) experience. When interviewed, 82% of users said they’d much rather play free games than purchase paid ones and the higher volume of F2P users makes measurement and tracking at scale more efficiently. Users are accustomed to ad monetization models and generally understand how ads factor into the free-to-play mobile game experience. In fact, players often actively seek out opportunities to view ads if they unlock a reward within the game.
“For media buyers running in-app campaigns, I recommend maxing out rewarded video before anything else. Prioritize SDK networks like IronSource, Unity, and Applovin. Then run banners, interstitials, and rewarded video on Facebook audience network, Google display, YouTube for mobile and TikTok’s Pangle.”
– Bo Jacks, Director of UA, Consumer Acquisition by Brainlabs
REWARDED VIDEO ADS
Players served rewarded video ads receive an in-game benefit for watching, such as hard currency or extra lives. This format is a win-win situation for all parties involved. Because advertisers get high CTRs while developers enjoy the ad revenue. No matter what kind of rewards or apps are being advertised, the opt-in nature of rewarded ads means players are very likely to stick around for the duration of the ad after starting. If a player quits early, they forfeit the reward. Users are generally supportive of this kind of ad, with 77% of them willing to sit through a 30-second ad if it means getting retail discounts. According to eMarketer, rewarded video ads are the most prevalent format, given their high completion rates. Unity Ads calls rewarded video as the “hottest revenue generator” in in-game advertising.
Interstitial ads have been around since the early days of F2P. They take up the viewer’s full screen for a certain period of time, after which the viewer can skip the ad or elect to install the app. While both static images and video can be used in this format, it’s highly recommended to use video content as it provides a more entertaining experience for the user. Compared to rewarded video, players typically don’t get anything out of the experience so they tend to be neutral about interstitials. From a developer perspective, the key to successful interstitials lies in making them as unobtrusive as possible, ensuring the ads are placed within natural gameplay pauses and at predictable locations.
Unlike interstitial ads, banner ads do not interrupt gameplay or app activity since they are designed within the user interface. When executed well, banner ads can even feel like a part of the game’s universe. Portrait-mode apps tend to favor these ads since they are usually discrete and do not take much space. Banner ads benefit advertisers with their cheaper costs and simple production process. This format tends to be less favored by developers and publishers due to lower revenue. So it’s usually better to employ them as part of a comprehensive advertising strategy, rather than as standalone performers.
Similar to rewarded video ads, offer walls allow users to claim a reward for completing a specific activity. For example, engaging with another app or filling out a survey. Offerwalls are often located within an app’s store and provide many options to users. Although offer walls are less popular than they used to be, there are still plenty of reasons to use them. With the promise of high-quality users, advertisers only pay publishers when the target goal is reached. So there’s little risk of wasting an investment.
Playable ads are the most production-intensive type of ad and are specifically for mobile games. They introduce a mini-game that showcases the core features of the app being advertised. Upon completing it, players are prompted to install the application. Users generally perceive playable ads as the most enjoyable of all ad types. Advertisers should note that the CPI for playable ads is at an all-time low ($1.98), making them a highly competitive option even when compared to rewarded ads. This is especially true on Android as the CPI is at $1.41 over there, much lower than the iOS average at $3.66. Playables also tend to acquire high-quality users since players who have tested a game are far less likely to quit after installing it.
HOW WE CAN HELP
Our Creative Studio provides clients with bespoke ad creative driven by Hollywood storytelling and quantitative analysis. Mobile app marketers and web-based performance advertisers come to us for end-to-end, outcome-oriented creative, integrated user acquisition, and creative optimization. Through our proprietary technology AdRules, we make creative and media buying decisions based on our clients’ real-time financial performance.
Our creative expertise comes from managing $150m in monthly ad spend across Facebook, Google, TikTok, Snap, and Apple Search Ads. Creating and testing 100K videos and images each year for clients provides us unparalleled insights into the evolving mobile advertising ecosystem. From our strategic analyses of IDFA loss and media buying automation to tactical guidance for A/B testing, we ensure our clients can adapt and thrive. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to work with our team.