Improve Creatives’ Performance for Mobile Gaming Ad Campaigns

6 min read

To stand out in the crowd and capture the short attention span of mobile game users, advertisers must master the art of creating captivating ad creatives.

Eye-catching visuals are crucial since they are users’ first impression of the game. Similarly, striking imagery, vibrant colors, and attention-grabbing animations pique curiosity and entice users to explore further. Additionally, a compelling call-to-action serves as a guiding beacon and helps direct users toward the desired action – whether downloading the game, registering, or making an in-app purchase.

Of course, none of this is enough if you don’t have a clever use of storytelling and narrative to create an emotional connection with your audience. Offering a sense of anticipation and excitement in the gaming experience is crucial for success. In this blog, we delve into the essential elements that can elevate your mobile game creatives’ impact, leading to improved user interaction and campaign success.

This is a guest blog written by Smadex.

End card: From engagement to action

The appearance of the end card is that crucial moment when the user is presented with options after viewing the ad. It’s a make-or-break moment that can lead to downloads, clicks, or in the worst case scenario, a lost opportunity.

End card of June’s Journey campaign for connected TV (CTV) with a clear CTA
End card of June’s Journey campaign for connected TV (CTV) with a clear CTA.

The end card holds such importance because it serves as a decisive point where engagement can turn into action.

  • With a well-crafted end card, advertisers can show users a clear path to follow, such as downloading the game, and capitalize on the interest created after captivating them throughout the ad.
  • End cards significantly optimize the user’s journey and directly impact conversion rates by acting as a transition point between the ad and the expected action. By making the end card visually appealing, concise, and purposeful, mobile gaming advertisers can unlock the full potential of their creatives and turn passive viewers into active players. This, in turn, will drive tangible results for advertising efforts.

By analyzing the performance of end cards in Smadex campaigns, we learned that videos displaying an end card different from the final video frame exhibit a threefold increase in IPM (installs per mille) compared to videos featuring the same end card as the last frame. When we further compared rewarded and non-rewarded creatives, we noticed a lift of 26% in IPM when the end card was different from the last video frame.

If we compare the type of end card, we also see that playables end cards have seven times better IPMs and 47% better CTRs than static ones.

Playables: Delight & convert with interactive experiences

Unlike traditional static ads, playables provide users a dynamic and interactive experience, allowing gamers to sample the game before downloading. They have emerged as game-changers in the mobile gaming advertising scenario, directly impacting the way users interact with ads.

By involving users in the ad experience, playables capture their attention for a longer time, creating a deeper connection with the game’s mechanics and gameplay. After experiencing the game firsthand, users are more likely to download the game and become long-term players. Users who choose to install after interacting with the ad have a clearer expectation of the gaming experience.

This leads to a reduced risk of uninstallations and higher user retention, ultimately translating into more valuable and loyal players. The importance of playables in mobile gaming advertising lies in their ability to create an engaging, informative, and conversion-driven ad experience. This helps attract genuinely interested users to the game and ensure a more favorable outcome for developers and players alike.

Check out these 7 actionable ASO tips that will help set your mobile game apart

Hold rate: Fine-tune for optimal performance

Hold rates are a key indicator of the effectiveness of ad creatives. The hold rate measures the amount of time users spend engaged with an ad before deciding to close or skip it. This metric is crucial when analyzing creatives’ performance, as it offers advertisers insights of the level of interest of their creatives to their target audience.

A high hold rate indicates that the ad has captured and retained users’ attention. On the other hand, a low hold rate is a sign that the creative might need improvements. By closely monitoring and analyzing this metric, advertisers can identify areas of improvement and optimize their creatives accordingly.

A well-optimized hold rate directly impacts creatives’ performance, since it can significantly impact conversion rates and the overall success of a mobile ad campaign. Analysis of hold rates emphasizes the importance of having a good and impactful creative from the start to the end of the ad. Users that don’t skip ads are highly more likely to end up installing the game than those that skip them.

Analysis of the proportion of players who opted to skip versus stay
Analysis of the proportion of players who opted to skip versus stay.

Custom product pages (CPPs): Enhance user experience

Custom product pages are tailor-made landing pages that provide a seamless transition from the ad to the game’s store page. They align the product page with the creative’s theme and style, offering a more cohesive and personalized journey for the user.

An example of a custom product page
An example of a custom product page. Source: Apple

This immersive experience leads to higher user engagement, as players can get a comprehensive understanding of what the game offers before even downloading it.

With CPPs, advertisers can also create personalized experiences for mobile gamers using screenshots, icons, and videos in their ad campaigns. For example, if your game has both strategic and action-packed gameplay, they can create two sets of screenshots with CPPs – one highlighting strategic decision-making and the other showcasing intense action scenes. When users click on the custom product page, they’ll find more information about the gameplay style that interests them.

By aligning the product page with the ad, advertisers can reinforce the brand and the message and set user expectations. This increases the likelihood of downloads and conversions. Ensuring a smoother user journey can ultimately drive more qualified and motivated players to install your game.

Find out how you can improve your app’s engagement by leveraging CPPs in Apple Search Ads


In the current competitive landscape of mobile gaming, mastering the art of creating captivating mobile game creatives is essential for success. Every element – from storytelling to call to action – plays a crucial role in driving tangible results.

  • Leverage end cards in your ads to transform user engagement into meaningful actions
  • Attract engaged users and improve long-term retention with playable ads
  • Design impactful creatives in your ad that have a high hold rate to captivate users
  • Employ custom product pages that provide a seamless transition from your ad to the game’s store page

Mafe Roig
by , Product Marketing Manager at Smadex
Mafe Roig is a dynamic and passionate Product Marketing Manager focused on helping brands to find their voice in a fast-paced and ever-evolving world.