Leveraging Video Creatives for Success in Casual Gaming

By Kevin Ford, Principal Manager, Marketing, Mobvista

Casual games dominate the global mobile gaming ecosystem. Meanwhile, the United States reigns supreme as the most competitive market in 2023. To compete in this volatile arena, high-quality and compelling creatives are a must for attracting the biggest players, known as “whales.” The most successful companies turn to video and interactive ads, known as playables, to continue to perform best among their peers and reach their most-valued users.

What Elements Make for a Great Casual Gaming Ad?

Successful casual game creatives typically highlight core gameplay. Many top-performing video ads concentrate on showcasing gameplay over intricate storylines. The simplicity and fun aspects of casual games are often emphasized, reinforcing these games as the thing to play, right now. Furthermore, video creatives help accentuate simple gameplay to strengthen positive feedback, and swift progression tends to resonate well. When a player wins, rich sound and visual effects amplify the sense of triumph.

Visually, successful ad creatives incorporate elements like emoji stickers, confetti effects, and guiding finger animations to grab attention. For audio, catchy hit songs serve as background music in popular creatives. Synchronizing creatives to the rhythm significantly enhances audience engagement. Regarding call-to-action (CTA) methods, top-performing video creatives send users to app stores.

Playing To Our Emotions

According to an analysis conducted by Mindworks, Mintegral’s in-house creative studio, on successful casual game creatives, emotional triggers are found to be crucial in increasing conversion rates. By incorporating emotionally evocative gaming scenes, developers stimulate positive or negative feelings within the audience, increasing their desire to play. This effect can be achieved through the use of in-game feedback and the amplification of audiovisual elements to enhance excitement from progression, discovery, and achievement. However, exercising caution and selecting visual effects wisely is important to ensure the message remains concise and straightforward.

In addition to highlighting positive aspects of gameplay, showcasing fail-state gaming is effective in creating disappointment or dismay, another feeling that surprisingly drives downloads. By presenting obvious wrong choices or demonstrating the difficulty of the game, developers encourage audiences to test their skills and strive for improvement.

On the other hand, incorporating win-states and showcasing the concept of “leveling up” demonstrates clear progression throughout the game’s levels and highlights how the storyline evolves as a result.

Three Quick Creative Tips

First, regardless of the specific approach taken, capturing the audience’s attention within the first three seconds of an ad is essential. By showcasing the most attractive aspects of the game upfront, developers maximize engagement and encourage potential players to explore further.

Second, to create a more immersive ad experience, many successful creatives have integrated live-action elements such as voice-overs, narration, and role-playing ads. These elements contribute to a more engaging and interactive advertisement, capturing the audience’s attention and drawing them into the game’s world.

Third, incorporating social proof through testimonials, ratings, and download numbers has proven to be a solid strategy. This approach helps reassure potential players about the game’s quality and popularity, motivating them to try it.

To ensure continuous improvement, it is vital that developers A/B test and iterate their creatives. By analyzing the performance of different ad versions and making data-driven decisions, developers optimize their campaigns for better results and higher conversion rates.