Maximizing Your ROAS with Playable Ads

The image depicts the concept of "ROAS" (Return on Ad Spend) with visual elements including dollar signs and symbols related to advertising. The background features a purple color with interconnected circular lines and various orange and blue icons representing financial and advertising elements.

ROAS, or Return on Advertising Spend, is an important metric for measuring the effectiveness of a company’s advertising investments. Playable ads are an effective tool for optimizing this metric, offering users an interactive experience. By allowing potential customers to try a product or service before purchasing, these ads increase engagement and purchase intent, attracting a more qualified audience and maximizing the efficiency of advertising spend, resulting in an increase in ROAS.

Introduction to Playable Ads

The second image features a minimalist design with a green background. It shows a white rectangle resembling a smartphone or a tablet with various geometric shapes (triangles, circles, rectangles, and ovals) arranged in a grid. A hand icon is pointing towards one of the shapes on the grid. There is also a pink "X" symbol at the top right corner of the white rectangle, possibly indicating a close or delete action.

Playable ads, also known as playables, are a type of an interactive advertisement that allows users to engage with a scaled-down version of an app or game before downloading it. These ads offer an experience in which you can try before you buy, which has proven to significantly increase user engagement and conversion rates.

According to a recent report, playable ads can boost total user acquisition results by 40-60% across key metrics like Cost Per Install (CPI), Cost Per Thousand Impressions (CPM), and ROAS (Nothing2Install). With such promising statistics, it’s no wonder more and more marketers are turning to playable ads to enhance their campaigns.

The Mechanics of Playable Ads

How Do Playable Ads Work?

Playable ads are designed to give users a sneak peek into the app or game, providing them with an interactive experience that highlights the core features and functionalities. This engagement not only captures the user’s attention but also sets a clear expectation of what they will experience if they download the app.

Creating Effective Playable Ads

Creating an effective playable ad involves a mix of creativity and technical know-how. There are two main approaches to developing playable ads:

  1. Interactive Video: This approach integrates video footage with HTML code to create a seamless interactive experience. It’s ideal for 3D or cinematic ads.
  2. HTML Video: This method involves building the ad from scratch using HTML5, making it perfect for more straightforward, less graphically intensive ads (AppSamurai).

Benefits of Playable Ads

Playable ads offer numerous advantages over traditional ad formats. Here are a few key benefits:

  1. Higher Engagement: Playable ads engage users by allowing them to interact with the content. This active participation often leads to higher retention and conversion rates.
  2. Better Quality Leads: Since users get a firsthand experience of the app, those who convert are more likely to be genuinely interested in the product, leading to better-quality leads.
  3. Improved Metrics: Playable ads tend to perform better across various metrics such as CPI, CPM, and ROAS. For instance, a study showed that the qualified traffic from playables improves nearly every key metric (Pocket gamer).

Strategies to Maximize ROAS with Playable Ads

To truly harness the power of playable ads, it’s essential to implement effective strategies. Here are some proven tactics:

Optimize for User Experience

The image shows a person standing in front of a whiteboard, with their back to the camera. The whiteboard contains various red diagrams and sketches, suggesting brainstorming or project planning. Surrounding the person are floating icons representing different aspects of a project:

A green icon with a chat bubble, indicating communication.
A purple icon with a gear, symbolizing settings or configuration.
A gold icon with a dollar sign ($), representing finance or cost.
A teal icon with an envelope, indicating email or messaging.
A purple icon with a smartphone, symbolizing mobile or technology.
A teal icon with a group of people, representing teamwork or collaboration.
These icons illustrate the various elements involved in project management or development.

Your primary goal should be to create a seamless and enjoyable experience for the user. The ad should be intuitive and straightforward, allowing users to grasp the app’s core functionalities without confusion.

A/B Testing

The image depicts a computer monitor displaying an A/B testing scenario. On the screen, there are two sections labeled "A" and "B". Section "A" is highlighted in blue and has a speech bubble next to it labeled "Baseline", indicating it is the control or original version. Section "B" is highlighted in orange and has a speech bubble with an upward arrow and "22%", indicating a 22% improvement or increase compared to the baseline.

This illustration visually represents the concept of A/B testing, a method used to compare two versions of a webpage or app to determine which one performs better in terms of user engagement or other metrics.

Conducting A/B tests can help you identify which versions of your playable ads perform best. By tweaking elements such as the call-to-action (CTA), graphics, and interaction mechanics, you can optimize your ads for maximum engagement and conversions.

Target the Right Audience

The image shows a person holding a red marker and circling icons of people on a transparent surface or screen. The background is dark, and there are multiple white icons of people, some of which are blurred. The red marker is used to highlight specific icons, indicating selection or targeting.

This visual likely represents the concept of targeting or selecting individuals for a particular purpose, such as marketing, recruitment, or customer segmentation.

Leveraging data to target the right audience is crucial. Playable ads in rewarded inventory can drive ROAS significantly, as they help maximize access to in-ad data, leading to better-targeted campaigns (Business of Apps).

Real-World Examples

Example 1: A Mobile Game Developer

The image shows a smartphone displaying a colorful puzzle game. The game interface features a grid filled with various shapes and colors, including red hearts, yellow triangles, green squares, blue circles, and orange stars. There is a hand icon pointing to one of the shapes, indicating a move or selection in the game. At the top of the screen, there are game-related icons and a counter showing "10".

This image represents a mobile puzzle game where players match shapes and colors to progress, commonly found in casual gaming apps.

A mobile game developer used playable ads to showcase a mini-version of their game. Users could play a level and experience the game mechanics before deciding to download the full version. This strategy led to a 50% increase in ROAS and a 30% higher retention rate.

Example 2: An E-commerce App

The image displays a smartphone screen with a promotional game for the store "Ross Dress for Less." The game interface features a blue background with a Ross shopping bag at the top. Below the bag, there are various clothing items (jeans, shirts, shorts, skirts, etc.) arranged in a grid. A hand icon is pointing to an orange shirt, indicating a selection action. At the top of the screen, a timer shows "00:15," suggesting the player has limited time to complete the task.

At the bottom of the screen, there is a text prompt: "How many styles can you bag for less?" followed by the Ross Dress for Less logo.

This image represents an interactive game or advertisement encouraging users to engage with the brand by selecting various clothing styles quickly.

An e-commerce app created a playable ad that allowed users to browse a virtual store and add items to a cart. This interactive experience helped potential customers understand the app’s usability, resulting in a 40% increase in conversions and a significant boost in ROAS.

FAQs About Playable Ads

1. What is a playable ad?
Playable ads, or ‘playables,’ are a type of ad format that allows users to try a scaled-down version of an app before installing it. They provide an interactive experience that engages users and improves conversion rates (Singular).

2. How to make playable game ads?
You can create playable ads in two main ways: through interactive video, which integrates video footage with HTML code, or HTML video, which is built from scratch using HTML5. Both methods have their advantages depending on the complexity of the ad (AppSamurai).

4. What is playable creative?
Playable creative refers to interactive HTML advertising designed for mobile devices. It engages users in a fun and entertaining way, acting like a “test drive” before downloading the full version from app stores (Clickable Agency).

5. What are the benefits of using playable ads?
Playable ads offer higher engagement, better quality leads, and improved performance metrics such as CPI, CPM, and ROAS. They provide a hands-on experience that can significantly enhance user acquisition and retention.


Playable ads are a powerful tool in the digital marketing arsenal, offering an interactive and engaging way to showcase apps and games. By focusing on user experience, leveraging data for targeting, and continuously optimizing through A/B testing, you can maximize your ROAS and achieve impressive results.

We hope this article has provided you with valuable insights and practical strategies to enhance your advertising campaigns. Thank you for your time, and happy advertising! If you have any further questions or need assistance, feel free to reach out.

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