Which In-App Gaming Formats Perform Best? Study Finds It Depends On Whom You're Targeting

Are all mobile in-app video ads created equal? A detailed new study says they are not. 

Today, Liftoff and Vungle, with a partnership between mobile performance advertising platforms, published a report aimed at helping mobile game marketers grow their user bases with high-performance ad campaigns. 

The new report, “Mobile Game Video Ads Analysis: Optimal Video Lengths and End Cards,” examines performance data from Vungle’s ad platform of over 1 billion devices in order to provide game marketers with guidance in various gaming genres.

Analyzing 3.7 billion ad impressions and the resulting installs, the report attempts to understand how different advertisement parameters such as end-card type and video length appeal to specific gaming audiences.

For example, full-screen video ads with video end cards performed best among hyper-casual gamers -- currently the largest audience in mobile gaming.

More specifically, the study found this particular ad type should be about 37 seconds, which is around the length of a hyper-casual game round. 

Key takeaways from the report also focus on role-playing games, social casino games, strategy games, and puzzle games. 

To best capture an RPG audience –– gamers who are eager to dive into detail-rich experiences –– advertisers should stick with long-form ads exploring specific game mechanics. According to the report, 46 seconds in the ideal length, while looping video end cards drive the best performance for the end card.

Social casino games, on the other hand, favored concise ads that mirrored the quick cycle of a slot machine. Ten seconds was the ideal ad length with standard end cards. 

Ad duration was more fluid among strategy gamers. Strong results were reached with ads spanning 20 seconds to 40 seconds.

However, according to the data, 33 seconds was the most suitable time mark, accompanied by end cards that automatically redirected players to the app store. 

Lastly, gamers who love puzzles responded best to ads that were 22 seconds in length and clearly illustrated the puzzle’s mechanics. Like strategy games, the best end card was an app-store link. 

“To thrive in the highly competitive mobile environment, app marketers have to understand how to build and run successful campaigns, and that all starts with effective ad creative,” says Si Crowhurst, vice president of Creative Labs & Brand, Vungle.

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