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Five popular ad formats for mobile games

Author: John Z.
by John Z.
Posted: Jul 13, 2021

Mobile game ads are advertisements that display inside games when people play those apps on their mobile phones and tablets. Gaming apps have one of the highest installs and engagements in app stores. This popularity makes gaming ads very important for both game publishers and advertisers. Most game publishers monetize their games with in-app advertising and in-app purchases. For the most effective ad serving in mobile games, ads should be high quality, just enough and placed at strategic locations. We will discuss multiple advertising options that are suitable for gaming ad serving.

Banner adsBanner ads are still the most popular one for several reasons. First, it’s one of the first ad formats on the market, many years before mobile apps even got popular. It became the standard for many years and is still very popular. Second, it is simple to understand, buy, and sell for publishers, advertisers, agencies, ad servers, ad networks, ad exchanges and all other ad vendors along the supply chain. Third, it’s flexible and can be served in many places. An in-game banner ad is typically a simple teaser that encourages viewers to click on it to learn more about the offer or open the install page of the advertised app. One consideration is to make sure the ad placement does not interfere with the user experience. Often the bottom or top of the screen is an acceptable location.

Interstitial adsInterstitial ads, also known as splash ads, transitional ads, are served when a user opens the app or moves from one page to another. The ad is often an image or video that takes up the whole device’s screen. This is great to capture the user’s attention but at the same time, it can be distracting. The ad should always have an option to skip or close so the user can control their own experience. Interstitial ads are most suitable for games that have natural breaks between episodes or levels as users are more likely to take their mind off the game temporarily during these breaks and might even welcome a little distraction or something that can enhance their game-playing experience.

Rewarded adsSpeaking of enhancing the player experience, ads can also be rewards. This is useful and popular with games because players are willing to exchange their time and attention for in-game items that help with their gameplay. These items could be coins, points, extras, bonuses or event-specific items. To make it more attractive and interesting, you can give them multiple choices. With this approach, the viewers do not have a negative perception of the rewarded ads and other in-game ads in general.

In-game ad placementSpecific product placement can be embedded during the game development or dynamically served in real-time while the users are playing. The latter approach is more desirable because it is flexible and opens up more ad inventory than just a single static ad placement. Players get to see different and more refreshing ads. For dynamic ad serving, a mobile ad server is needed because each player might see a different advertisement depending on the ad targeting criteria like geo-targeting, ad pricing, or campaign scheduling. It is still important to be selective about the ads because high-quality and relevant ads that connect to the game play at that particular moment in the game will make the ads more organic and natural.

Playable adsThere are many casual gamers that enjoy playing multiple games and not dedicate themselves to a single game. They are willing to explore new games. That is a great opportunity for other game publishers. Playable game ads are very interactive. It might begin with a quick video of an actual game play and encourage viewers to give it a try. If the viewer clicks on the ad, they can play a demo version without registration or payment. If they like the game, they can choose to download and install it onto their device. For this ad type, the conversion funnel is optimized, quick and often very effective.

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About the Author

Writes on adserver software, involved with Adspeed advertising platform & Adspeed ad serving software

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Author: John Z.

John Z.

Member since: Nov 10, 2018
Published articles: 51

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