Playable Ads vs Traditional Ads: Which is Better?

The image shows a stylized graphic of a smartphone surrounded by various symbols representing digital communication and financial transactions. On the phone screen, a hand holds a megaphone, symbolizing outreach or promotion. Surrounding the phone are icons of money coins and a stack of cash, suggesting monetary transactions or rewards. Speech and thumbs-up icons float around, indicating social interaction or approval. The overall theme appears to focus on referring or promoting something via the smartphone for rewards or recognition. Playable ads

Are you struggling to decide between playable ads and traditional ads for your business? This blog post is your ultimate guide to understanding the strengths and weaknesses of both. We will dive into real-world examples, detailed benefits, and crucial statistics that highlight why playable ads have surged in popularity, offering higher engagement and conversion rates. However, traditional ads still hold their ground with credibility and trustworthiness, especially among older demographics. This post will equip you with the knowledge to choose the best advertising method tailored to your business needs.

Based on the latest data, playable ads have been shown to convert at a higher rate than traditional ads. Additionally, playable ads can be more cost-effective, providing a better return on investment for advertisers. However, traditional advertising, such as television ads, is noted for being more scalable and having higher recollection rates. Ultimately, the effectiveness of playable ads versus traditional ads may vary depending on the specific goals and target audience of a business.

The Rise of Playable Ads

Playable ads have been making waves in the digital advertising space, but what exactly are they? These interactive ads allow users to engage directly with the advertisement, often in the form of mini-games or interactive experiences. Unlike traditional ads, which simply present a message, playable ads invite users to interact, making the experience more engaging.

Benefits of Playable Ads

Playable ads offer several key advantages over traditional advertising methods. According to a study by Purple, these ads result in higher user engagement and interaction rates, better brand recall, and improved conversion rates. For instance, playable ads have shown a 3x higher conversion rate compared to traditional video ads. This makes them an effective tool for grabbing user attention and driving action.

Examples of Playable Ads

Example 1: Mobile Games

Three smartphones displaying screenshots of a mobile game advertisement for "Gardenscapes."

The first phone shows an in-game task with the text "Tap to add the fountain!" and a yellow "PLAY NOW" button.
The second phone displays a match-3 puzzle game where the player must "Match apples to earn stars!" with colorful fruits on the screen.
The third phone shows a congratulatory message "Fantastic! Continue building your garden" with the same character from the game and a "PLAY NOW" button.
Each screen features a cheerful character in a white shirt and bow tie, guiding the player through different stages of the game. The background shows garden-themed elements, emphasizing the gardening and puzzle-solving aspects of the game.

Imagine you’re scrolling through a social media feed and come across an ad for a new mobile game. Instead of just watching a video or looking at an image, you’re given the chance to play a mini-version of the game right then and there. This gives you a taste of the actual game, making you more likely to download it.

Example 2: E-commerce

Three smartphones displaying a playable ad for New Balance Fresh Foam sneakers.

The first phone shows the game start screen with the text "TAP TO START" and a character holding a balloon, ready to jump onto a trampoline with the New Balance logo.
The second phone shows in-game action where the character collects power-ups labeled "FRESH FOAM" while floating in the sky.
The third phone displays the game’s end screen featuring the New Balance Fresh Foam sneaker with options to "SHOP FRESH FOAM LAZR," "PLAY AGAIN," and the player's score at the bottom.
The overall design is vibrant and playful, emphasizing the soft and comfortable theme of the Fresh Foam shoes. The background includes clouds and soft, rounded graphics, aligning with the "Science of Soft" campaign.

Consider an e-commerce brand promoting a new product line. Instead of a static image, they offer a playful, interactive experience where users can mix and match items. This not only entertains but also engages potential customers, making them more likely to make a purchase.

The Enduring Strength of Traditional Ads

While playable ads are gaining traction, traditional ads still hold significant value. These include print ads, TV commercials, radio spots, and even billboards. Despite the rise of digital media, traditional advertising methods have their own set of strengths that can’t be ignored.

Benefits of Traditional Ads

Traditional ads are often seen as more credible and trustworthy. According to Lucid Advertising, traditional marketing establishes credibility from a psychological standpoint, giving companies a more dependable image. This can be especially important for brands looking to build long-term relationships with their customers.

Additionally, television advertising is far more scalable. According to a study by Bain & Company, TV messages are recollected at a higher rate—as high as 60%. By repeating the same ad, a brand using traditional media gains incremental reach and increases its recallability, making traditional ads highly effective in creating lasting impressions.

Examples of Traditional Ads

Example 1: Print Ads

A close-up image of several colorful snack bags from Keogh's, fanned out on a white background (traditional ad). The packaging displays different vibrant designs, each representing a unique flavor. The bag in the front has a green theme and reads "TOM KEOGH." The other bags behind it feature a mix of yellow, blue, and red colors with various illustrations. The Keogh's logo, "Grown with love in Ireland," is prominently displayed on each bag. The Kaizen Print logo is in the bottom left corner of the image, indicating the packaging was printed by Kaizen Print.

Think about a beautifully designed magazine spread that catches your eye. The tactile experience of flipping through pages and seeing a high-quality image can create a lasting impression that digital ads might not.

Example 2: TV Commercials

A couple is sitting on a couch watching a Coca-Cola commercial on a flat-screen TV (traditional ad). The screen displays a close-up of a Coca-Cola glass with the Coca-Cola logo prominently featured. The room has a cozy atmosphere with a blue wall in the background and some decorative items on shelves. The couple is seen from behind, focusing on the TV, with a bowl of snacks placed on a table in front of them.

TV commercials can be incredibly impactful, especially when they tell a compelling story. Consider iconic ads that have aired during the Super Bowl—these commercials often become a part of popular culture, providing brands with massive exposure.

Playable Ads vs. Traditional Ads: A Head-to-Head Comparison

Now that we’ve explored the benefits of both playable and traditional ads, let’s compare them directly.

User Engagement

Playable ads win hands down when it comes to user engagement. Interactive elements keep users hooked, making them more likely to remember your brand. Traditional ads, on the other hand, are more passive and might not hold attention as effectively.


Traditional advertising methods, such as TV commercials and print ads, often involve higher production and placement costs. Playable ads, while sometimes expensive to develop, can be more cost-effective in terms of placement, especially on social media platforms.


Traditional ads often appear more credible, especially to older demographics who might be skeptical of digital ads. Playable ads, while engaging, might not always convey the same level of trustworthiness.

Real-World Impact: Data and Statistics

Data is essential for making informed decisions. According to PlayableFactory, playable ads have a 46% higher effectiveness rate compared to other ad types. Moreover, Chartboost found that impressions for playable end cards increased by 53% per month, converting 2.6x better than static end cards.

When to Use Playable Ads

Playable ads are particularly effective for businesses looking to drive user engagement and interaction. They’re ideal for mobile app promotions, gaming companies, and e-commerce brands looking to showcase their products in a fun and interactive way.

When to Use Traditional Ads

They are best suited for businesses aiming to build credibility and reach a broader, possibly older audience. They’re ideal for established brands, local businesses, and companies looking to make a significant impact through TV or print media.


Are playable ads effective?

Yes, playable ads are highly effective. According to Chartboost, 28% of US agency professionals found playable ads to be the most effective in-app ad format, with impressions increasing by an average of 53% per month.

Which type of advertisement is more effective for a business?

Word-of-mouth advertising is often considered the most effective form. However, when comparing playable and traditional ads, the choice depends on your business goals. Playable ads are great for engagement, while traditional ads are better for credibility.

Why is traditional advertising better?

Traditional advertising is often seen as more credible and trustworthy. According to Lucid Advertising, it gives companies a more dependable image, which can be crucial for building long-term customer relationships.

What is the conversion rate for playable ads?

Playable ads have shown impressive conversion rates. According to Deconstructor of Fun, these ads can lead to a 700% increase in conversion rates compared to traditional video advertising .

Are traditional ads still relevant?

Yes, they are still relevant. They offer credibility and can reach audiences that digital ads might miss. They’re particularly effective for established brands and local businesses looking to build trust and long-term relationships.


So, which is better for your business—playable ads or traditional ads? The answer isn’t one-size-fits-all. It depends on your business goals, target audience, and budget. Playable ads are excellent for engagement and interaction, while traditional ads offer credibility and reach.

Thank you for taking the time to read this article. We hope it has provided you with valuable insights to make an informed decision for your business. Goodbye, and good luck with your advertising endeavors!

Don’t forget to check out our other articles to learn more about the world of playable ads!

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