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Credit by IAB

1. What are Playables Ads?

Playable ads, “playables” for short, are premium ad units and are typically opt-in. They are predominantly built in HTML5 which allows the unit to load quickly, for the consumer to engage immediately and for the consumer to take an action.

Playables are typically comprised of three creative elements:

  • Tutorial Prompt (Instructional cue or demo showing interactivity)

  • The Game/Interactive Experience

  • End Card

2. What’s Driving Growth of Playables?

3. Benefits

Playables are a form of content and immersive marketing built for optimal mobile engagement. This interactive, consumer-first ad format is growing in popularity among consumers, brands and publishers alike. With increasing distribution and scale, playables offer value to all parties.

3.1. For Consumers

According to Statista, there are over 200 million mobile gamers in the US alone. A recent report by Activision Blizzard and Newzoo states that in 2019 there will be 2.4 billion mobile gamers globally, and 50% of mobile app users played mobile games in the past seven days. It is clear that people like to play mobile games!

Playables combine both gamification and interactivity – all the core mobile gestures like touch, swipe, flip and tap – making them an ideal ad unit for mobile and one that resonates with consumers. Why such receptivity to playables by consumers on mobile? Playables are:

  • Interactive & Fun

  • Frictionless & Ephemeral

  • An Opt-In Experience

  • Performant

  • Content Rich

3.2. For Brand Advertisers

Media consumption on mobile is all about tapping, swiping and interacting with content on the device. Unlike typical static banner and video ads, playables deliver a complete sensory connection; sight, sound, motion and active touch. The resulting lean-in effect enables advertisers to capture undivided attention, earn time and create a 1:1 consumer relationship with lasting impact. Playables can change the equation for brand advertisers on mobile, and here are some of the reasons why:

  • Consumer-First

  • Brand Safe

  • Effective on Mobile

The following case study highlights the benefits playables can provide to brand advertisers:

In a recent global campaign, New Balance leveraged a playable ad to raise awareness among its target audience, 13- to 24-year-olds, about New Balance’s new line of Fresh Foam sneakers. New Balance partnered with TreSensa, Inc. to create a playable called “Fresh Foam Cloud Jumper,” where consumers bounced “Newbie the Bunny” from cloud to cloud. The playable’s end card had the call-to-action to shop the sneaker or play again. The playable was distributed programmatically in-app and on leading social platforms.

3.3. For Publishers

According to LifeWire, as of February 2019, there are 2.2 million apps in the Apple App Store alone with around 100,000 added every month. Publishers are not only fighting for consumers, but for time spent once there. Poor ad experiences can derail the consumer/brand/app relationship.

The consumer experience and revenue are critical for publishers, and they must find ways to strike the right balance between the two. As described earlier, playables offer enjoyable consumer-first experiences as well as quality engagement time that drives performance for brands, which, in turn, generates revenue for publishers.

Playables fill publishers’ needs for premium, high-quality ad revenue streams that better monetize inventory as well as boost favorability and keep consumers in-app or on site. As Facebook, Google and many ad exchanges have adopted playables as an ad unit, an increasing number of publishers are supporting playables within their apps and sites.

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