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Use playable ads to boost user engagement and lifetime value

At Adikteev, one of our most successful ad types is our playables. These immersive, engaging creatives allow users to get a taste of what they might be missing in an app. We’d like to share a few more details about how our playables work, why we develop them, and what you can expect from their performance.

First, what is a playable? We define playables as ads that allow user interaction. Their aim is to give the user a taste of the app in ad format. We want to encourage them to reopen the app and complete an action. For example, a playable might mimic a level in a game, and then offer an incentive to bring users back at the end of game play.

Why do we use playables

Our playables often introduce “twists” for the user by offering something that they haven’t yet experienced in the app. The end goal is to entice the user back to the app with new offers, levels or features that they have not seen during their time using the app. However, we don’t want to recreate the entire experience of the app. A playable should be a short, enjoyable experience that leads users to reopen.

Gaming apps most commonly use playables and interactive creatives, but not exclusively (Read more here about how to streamline your creative strategy). At Adikteev, we enjoy developing playables when possible because along with video, they drive extremely high engagement from users.

Types of playables

In theory, any ad format can work as a playable, but interstitials make the most sense. The format must be large enough to accommodate the moving parts that go along with an interactive ad. Most other ad formats are too small.

Playables do come in a number of different varieties. It all depends on the app’s needs and the allowances of the operating system.

Five examples of our playable ads, left to right: Scrabble Go, Hidden City, Mahjong Journey, War Dragons, and Solitaire

Some of our most popular playable types include finding hidden objects, drag and drop, puzzles, and replicas of actual gameplay. At the end of each creative, the user is invited to reopen the app.

Stills from the game Bunny Bunny. Still one: image of a small white rabbit in front of a bean stalk, text reads, "The rabbit is in search of food!" Still 2: Same image, text reads, "Swipe your screen to follow the carrot cake trail." Still 3: Shows the rabbit jumping up the bean stalk, following a trail of carrot cake slices. Still 4: Rabbit sits in front of a gold gate with two large carrots behind it on top of a cloud; text reads, "Welcome to Bunny Paradise!"
Click here to try playing it yourself!


In this example, users must swipe their screen to follow the trail of carrot cake. After they enter Bunny Paradise, a prompt appears. It encourages the user to go back to the app and play the game.

Our creatives automatically adapt to whatever OS the user runs. For example, Android allows for a gyroscope to be embedded in creatives to maneuver through labyrinths or mazes, while iOS does not. The language also changes based on the device geo.

Playable benefits

Playable ads deliver high performance and engagement, but there are other bonuses. As the playables offer a wider range of clickable areas and interactive elements, we can use them to collect insights about user behavior. A/B testing can determine which playable layouts drive the most user engagement. Instead of simply evaluating color and wording, we can also derive information about button placements and actions.  Playables can also provide insights about gameplay or app preferences as a whole. We can figure out which actions or objects are more interesting and engaging for users. For example, if a carousel ad displays three different products, such as a green shirt, a red shirt and a blue shirt, we can track which users have clicked on what products. This data allows us to see which products users are most interested in.

Our mission

Our playables follow the same format as the rest of our business model: the process for developing a playable ad always puts the client’s needs first. There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to retargeting, and you can read all about how to adapt your re-engagement strategy here.

All the work we do is highly customized in order to get the most out of a campaign. We aim to showcase new levels, new features, and every highlight possible in order to drive re-engagement and user retention. 

Learn more about our success in the world of retargeting, and how we got in the top 3 of the Appsflyer Performance Index!

Adikteev logo on a blue background. Text reads: "Searching for ideas for your next playable ads? Get inspired here"