3 Best Performing Mobile Game Video Ads

Insights & Best Practices

April 24, 2015


min read

Everyday, millions of players on the Chartboost network engage with our mobile video ads. Some laugh, some cry, and most just wait until the ad ends so they can download the game from the app store. Success of these game promotions depends not just on the publisher's placement but also the quality of the ad-creatives.With myriad creatives on the network, we love to highlight the top-notch creatives that raise the bar for ads on our platform. Whether it be for cross promotion or network advertising, you want to ensure that your ads have the highest completion rate. This is indicative of higher engagement and a greater likelihood of generating an install, a key ingredient in mobile game marketing.Use the following examples as guides on building the best video ad-unit for your game. With completion rates of 95% or greater, these are significantly higher than the average rate on our network. We get pretty in depth with each ad, so feel free to scroll down to the bottom for our tl;dr.

Game: Agent Alice

  1. Developer: Wooga GmBH
  2. Completion Rate: 98%
  3. Length: 15 Seconds
  4. Download: iOS | Google Play

Agent Alice is a puzzle solving crime thriller set in the swinging 60?s. It?s no surprise that the ad opens with a swirling mass of smoke and a shot of the lead characters. The focus on lead characters underscores the narrative aspect of the game. The bulk of the ad is a montage of gameplay and titles describing the unique features - giving players a clear understanding of Agent Alice?s unique brand of fun mystery solving. The video ad concludes with a clear shot of the icon, helping players distinguish the app from competitors vying for attention on the app store. There?s no mystery as to why this ad succeeds where others fail.

Game: Township

  1. Developer: Playrix
  2. Completion Rate: 95%
  3. Length: 30 Seconds
  4. Download: iOS | Google Play

In Playrix?s freemium hit, Township, players have an opportunity to fashion a vast, untamed world into a civilization of their liking. This isn?t an ordinary city builder/farming simulator, so Playrix uses the full length of their 30 second ad spot to showcase the features and mechanics exclusive to their top-ranked title. Firstly, the ad opens with a loading screen. This touch allows players to adjust to the fact that they are watching an ad instead of trying to cram in important information in the first few seconds. It also sets up the rest of the ad like an actual game play session, tantalizing players with allusions to the type of fun they can experience with just a few clicks.The ad continues with an animation of the ?grow/harvest? mechanic familiar to players of farm simulators before embarking on a jaunty pan through a demo-city. Expansion and construction of the demo city is accelerated: roads unfurl, buildings sprout like weeds, and a quaint country town abruptly transforms into a megalopolis. This acceleration of gameplay is key because it capitalizes on the joy of creation and collection, sans the waiting period for construction and capital accumulation. Players want their cities to grow, and Playrix gives them a taste for this.The ad takes a detour from the city to a nearby island, introducing an unusual (and cool) sailing mechanic. We return to the city, finding it is now dotted with familiar landmarks such as the Petronas Towers and Empire State Building, enticing players with a collector mindset to download and ?catch ?em all.? Throughout the ad, players with their headphones on are treated to lush diegetic sounds reflecting the visual environment; cows moo, airplanes accelerate, waves crash, all on cue. This audio complements the ad by making it more immersive. While not easy to construct such a successful ad, Playrix has provided quite a blueprint to follow.

Game: Best Fiends

  1. Developer: Seriously
  2. Completion Rate: 98%
  3. Length: 15 Seconds
  4. Download: iOS | Google Play

Best Fiends, by Seriously, challenges players who are familiar with traditional tile-matching games by layering a compelling RPG mechanic over the game. Player?s don?t just solve puzzles, they need to solve them expertly to defeat enemies and upgrade their characters. This ad opens with a bold title screen and an auditory invitation to ?Travel to Minutia.? While the audio hints at a deeper narrative, the visuals mirror the actual game?s opening, familiarizing players with what to expect. Next, gameplay elements are demonstrated through screenplay footage embedded in a mock-up of an iPhone. In between gameplay footage, the game?s ?fiends? level up before our eyes, reinforcing the RPG elements of the game.Meanwhile, the audio narrates the puzzle in context of the broader story. This works because the story, while interesting, is not essential. Rather than cloud the ad visuals with non-essential elements, the audio part of the ad can deliver that context to players who enjoy it. ?The ad concludes with the app name and icon prominently displayed, making it easier to remember for those who plan to search later. The minute details of this ad ensure that it is fiendishly effective at planting a bug in your ear.tl;dr? We?ve got you covered. Here are the main conclusions:

  1. Display gameplay features prominently. If your mobile video advertising strategy includes explanatory titles, be sure to localize them. Less essential information can be explained with audio.
  2. Use the intro to your ad carefully. Establish a tone and don?t try to cram in too much information, lest it get lost on the viewer.
  3. End with a prominently displayed icon and logo to ensure players know what app is being advertised. Depending on the network, this final screen might be your de facto ?end-title? card after the ad, so treat it like the piece of the ad that will get the absolute most eyeballs.