· 7 min read

How MondayOFF increased IPM by 57% with playable ads

The playable ad format has become a crucial tool for Japanese and Korean developers looking to acquire high-quality users at a local and global scale. Here's how one such developer achieved amazing results, from East to West.

Editors note: This article was originally written and published by Mindworks, a leading self-service creatives platform from Mintegral. You can find their original version here.

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The success of playables in Asia

In Japan and South Korea, where banners and video ads dominate, the emerging playable ads have significantly changed people’s perception of ads, thanks to the immersive, highly interactive ad experience they provide. At the same time, these playable ads are also helping the games break out and make a splash on the global market.

According to UA data from Mintegral:

  • Playable ads increase IPM by over 85% on average in Japan and Korea, and 40% in mature markets such as Europe and the US;
  • In Japan and South Korea, the Day 2 retention rate of users acquired via playable ads is 10-13% higher than those who are converted by regular video ads; in Europe, the US, and China, that number is 5-9%.

Based on insights showing the remarkable strength and ROI of playable ads, MondayOFF, one of Korea’s leading hyper-casual game publishers, partnered with Mindworks to use 3D playable ads. This partnership revolved around promoting a number of games including Sneak Out 3D, Time Walker 3D, Agent Twist, Tiny Run 3D, and Wacky Jelly, with some of them reaching the top of the charts in the US, Japan, South Korea, China, and other countries.

On top of that, to maximize their campaign efficiency, MondayOFF also iterated and optimized the ads using Playturbo, our playable ad creative platform, which allows advertisers to create multiple variations of playable ads in a matter of seconds.

How did Mindworks help MondayOFF build those high-quality playable ads? What were the secrets behind their success? Read our Wacky Jelly case study to learn more.

Customized playable ads to acquire high-quality players

MondayOFF is a leading hyper-casual games developer and publisher in South Korea, with over 3 million MAUs in the US market soon after its launch in 2018.

Growing at such a fast pace, MondayOFF has quickly become a leading company in South Korea’s hyper-casual gaming industry. The company currently has nearly 50 hyper-casual games around the world and has had its games ranked among the top 10 free games downloaded on iOS in 33 countries and regions so far.

Wacky Jelly, one of Monday OFF’s top hyper-casual mobile games, has won the hearts of many players with its cute design and innovative gameplay since its launch. To attract more users, MondayOFF decided to use playable ads as a booster to help it ramp up in the global market.

When building custom ads for MondayOFF’s Wacky Jelly, we developed a complete set of creative strategies based on in-depth research, combined with the game’s core gameplay elements to quickly engage players and reach strong conversion rates:

1. Pick the game’s most fun and eye-catching levels

After an in-depth research into the game, we made “eye-catching” and “fun” as the core elements to showcase, so as to cater to the target players’ game preferences. Based on that, we selected 2 levels from the game as the base for the creative.

Compared with other levels which included various objects, the “bald bodyguard” image stood out more, not to mention it was a great gag, enough to get people’s attention in no time and get them interested. The “Coke bottle cap” level is easy to play, and compared to the more complex and difficult levels, this one effectively lowers the entry bar for people willing to give it a try, thus improving the retention and conversion rates.

2. Add “bullet screen” effect to reinforce positive feedback

As we wanted to reduce player churn and improve the playable ad’s retention rate, we also added some improvements to level 1 while keeping the original level design, just to make it more fun and let players get a better feel for the game:

  • Add a “bullet screen” and facial expression effects to improve the user experience: In the original level, whether the player passes or fails, the bodyguard remains expressionless, whereas in our creative, we added facial expression effects to respond with a smile or an angry face depending on different outcomes. We also added a “bullet screen” effect to reinforce positive feedback that will keep players engaged and reduce bounce rates;

  • Add background music and amplify the relaxing “jelly effect”: The jelly-like bump and bounce effect is at the core of this game. To emphasize it, we amplified the wig’s bump sound effect and chose some background music to go with it. This audio-visual combination provides a relaxing and immersive user experience.

3. Clever level design set to peak players’ interest

In order to avoid player churn, we set the number of playable levels to two across all our ads:

As tested by Mindworks, putting two levels in the demo allows advertisers to fully showcase the gameplay while keeping the game fresh at the same time. This helps reduce the churn rate and maximize conversions while keeping the players interested and excited about the game.

Taking UA performance to the next level with the power of Playturbo

With the high-quality playable ads produced by Mindworks generating tangible user acquisition results, MondayOFF decided to further unlock the potential of these ads with our playable ad creative platform Playturbo, in order to optimize and iterate the custom playable ads we provided.

With Playturbo, MondayOFF optimized and iterated the wig spinning speed and other parameters, and quickly output multiple versions of the playable ads for A/B testing. This not only saved a significant amount of production costs and time, but it also improved the UA results as it enabled the advertiser to quickly identify the creative combinations that best meet their target users’ expectations.

Thanks to the creativity of the Mindworks team, compared with regular video ads, Wacky Jelly’s playable ads saw a 57.48% increase in IPM as well as a CTR of 62.11%, and helped the game enter the Top 10 Casual Games download charts in the US, acquiring massive quality players across different regions and markets, including the US, China, Japan, and Korea.

Top tips from Mindworks

  • Know what players like and get their attention: Knowing what players like is the no.1 rule in creating good ads. Whether it’s the ad design or the game level selection, they should all be based on solid user research – that’s the only way you can produce great ads that appeal to your target users.
  • Fun ≠ complex; reducing churn is key: the ultimate goal of playable ads is to get users to download, so advertisers should find a good balance between many elements including gameplay difficulty, level settings, and interaction mode. Don’t make the level design too complicated or you will lose players.
  • Make the best of your ad through constant iterations: Having fresh ads is becoming increasingly important in the fight for user acquisition. This is why you need to consider tools like Playturbo to iterate your existing ads, which will reduce costs and improve your ad effectiveness, while not needing to produce dozens of new ads from scratch every time.

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If you would like to try the Playable Ad Editor and Playable Templates from Mindworks, then make sure you register your interest and our team will get in touch with you as soon as possible. And if you want to learn more about Playable Ads, have a read through how ‘On Ice’ got 95% of its installs from a single playable ad.

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