8 Types Of Winning In-Game Ad Formats For Mobile Games

by Game Marketing Genie, on 22-Dec-2021 12:05:58

Advertising has become a key part of the mobile gaming experience, with developers of F2P games using it to generate revenue for their games. However, the ad formats you choose to deploy in your game will determine if users continue playing or abandon your game forever. 

Players aren’t opposed to seeing ads in the games they play, but the ads should be high-quality and fit seamlessly into the gameplay experience. Otherwise, they will quit your game and move to other video games that serve the right ad formats.  

To help you avoid this unfortunate scenario, we have created this article that highlights the best mobile games ad formats you can implement to generate additional revenue for your game without damaging the user experience. 

Let’s get started. 

Importance of ad formats in advertising

In a world that’s saturated with ads, most people have found ways to tune out the ads they see. They will mindlessly close pop-up ads that show up on their screens and skip past video ads without thinking. This creates a problem for marketers who depend on ads to inform consumers about their products and services. So, how can marketers grab people’s attention in today’s ad saturated online market? Through innovating ad formats. 

Innovative ad formats help marketers break through the clutter and inform consumers about their products. Such ads quickly grab user attention and encourage engagement. In addition to piquing consumer interest and increasing engagement, innovative ads retain customer attention for longer. Moreover, when you give your target users a positive ad experience, your chances of creating a loyal customer are much higher. 

Innovative ad formats also have a good track record when it comes to delivering the desired performance for marketers. Some mobile ad platforms have recorded a 123 percent increase in conversions with interactive ads compared to static ad formats, according to data from Pocket Gamer. With interactive ads outperforming their static counterparts, you need to actively consider the ads you display in your video game since they set the expectations people have about your game. You want to have more interactive ads that complement the game and encourage engagement. Your game monetization depends on how effectively you display ads in your game, and you need to get innovative with your ad formats and placements if you want to generate a large number of impressions and clicks. 

Kid on mobile

Different types of ad formats to use your game's advertising

Now that you need the importance of innovative game advertising to your company’s bottom line, here are the best game ad formats you may consider to boost your revenues. 

Playable ads

One video game ad format that has become very popular with developers is playable ads. Playable ads merge interactivity and gamification to provide viewers with an enhanced ad experience. These ads allow users to play a game and get a sense of the gameplay experience before installing it. Compared to spammy and intrusive ads, playable ads are less likely to ruin the user experience, and users tend to like them. 

playable ad

Figure 1: Playable ads. Source: Smartyads

This is great news for advertisers because playable ads reach high-quality users who would continue using the advertised app after downloading. On the other hand, mobile game publishers can generate more revenue by serving the ads to the right audience. 

There are three things a playable ad should contain for it to be effective. They include;

  • An introduction on how the game is played
  • A short demo for the user to experience the gameplay
  • A CTA to invite users to install the game after the demo

Interstitial ads

Interstitial ads are full-screen ads that are displayed at natural breaks in the game. This can be during organic transitions in the game such as during pauses or when a player completes a level and is ready to move to the next one. Interstitial ads don’t interrupt the user experience and take advantage of natural pauses in the game. 

Interstitials offer advertisers a full-screen ad experience that can be complemented with interactive rich media and animated content. They generally generate high impressions, conversions, and a good monetization rate. 

Rewarded ads

rewarded ad

Figure 2: Rewarded Ads. Source: Game Analytics

Everybody loves rewards and that’s why rewarded ads are popular with players. Rewarded ads reward players for interacting with an ad. The players can receive virtual currency, in-game assets or extra points for watching the ad to the end. 

Because of their design, rewarded ads have the highest view rates and show positive traction for advertisers. Rewarded ads are less intrusive and players actually look forward to them to earn valuable in-game extras that will help them progress through the game. 

When incorporating rewarded ads into your game, make sure to give great rewards that incentivize users to engage the ad. Also, find appropriate instances to show the ads without disrupting the gameplay. 

Push notification ads

Another effective mobile game marketing strategy is to use push notifications ads to distribute advertising messages to players. Push ads are delivered to users’ mobile devices in a manner resembling push notifications. The ads offer a non-intrusive, highly engaging, and user-friendly way for advertisers to expand their audiences. 

To enable push notification ads on your mobile game, join a traffic source platform to supply ad inventory for advertisers' demand.  

Expandable banner ads

Expandable banner ads are interruptive ads that take over the entire screen when a player taps on them. Sometimes, the taps happen accidentally depending on how the ad has been positioned, so advertisers shouldn’t assume every tap equates to positive user interaction. 

banner ad

Figure 3: Expandable video ads. Source: Game Analytics

While expandable banner ads aren’t everyone’s favorite when it comes to the player experience, they do offer an immersive ad experience that can be successful if the ad is deployed wisely. To start with, inform viewers that the ad will expand when they click it. This way, a player wouldn’t be mad when the ad takes over the entire screen and disrupts their gameplay. 

Story-based video ads

Story-based video ads have a full-fledged scenario that unfolds when they play. The scenario usually combines visual, audio, and text-based information that users interact with at the same time. The ads are usually full-screen and must be shown at the start of the game or at some logical intervals in the game such as transitions to a new level. 

Static in-game banner ads

Static in-game banner ads are inserted into a game during the development phase and cannot be updated in the future. Static ads are a lot like product placement in films and music clips. When integrating static advertising into your game, make sure to insert the ads organically into the storyline to ensure players can make a realistic connection with the ad in question. 

in game ad

Figure 4: Static in-game advertising. Source: Business of Apps

For example, if you have a racing game, you can incorporate static banner ads along the race track as is the case with real-world races. The billboards in a FIFA game are a great example of how static ads can be implemented in a game. Ads in the game have been contextually placed in a manner that’s similar to the way users experience ads in a real soccer game. 

Dynamic in-game ads

Lastly, you can consider dynamic in-game ads for your mobile game advertising. Dynamic ads are placed across game elements but can be updated in real-time. The ads are similar to display advertising ads on other online properties that can be scaled, targeted geographically, and traded in the programmatic ecosystem. The ads can be shown in a 3D environment or on objects within the game such as posters and billboards to help brands with their game marketing strategies. 

Ad networks serve dynamic in-game ads using an ad server in the same way banner ads are delivered on websites and blogs. Work with a game marketing agency to leverage this technology to dynamically place ads in your game to earn additional recurring revenue. 

Old man on phone


With an estimated 3 billion gamers in the world, video games provide an effective advertising channel to reach consumers. One issue though for most developers is not knowing how to execute an effective in-game advertising campaign. As a developer, you should be wary of the in-game ad formats you deploy as they affect how people perceive your game. However, you should bear in mind that different games demand different types of ads and there’s no one size fits all. 

Game Marketing Genie is here to help you incorporate the right mobile game ad formats into your game to generate additional revenue.

 Get in touch to talk to our marketing experts today.

Topics:Mobile Game MarketingApp Store OptimizationVideo Game Marketing StrategyVideo Game MarketingDigital Marketing StrategyApp Marketing Strategy

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