Comment & Opinion

Why you should be giving thanks with rewarded mobile video ads

Dale Carr on seasonal treats

Why you should be giving thanks with rewarded mobile video ads

Dale Carr is founder and CEO of mobile monetisation and UA platform Leadbolt.

Autumn leaves are changing, renewal is in the air, and we're looking at things differently.

As the US Thanksgiving holiday approaches, it got us thinking about the opportunities for game developers and mobile advertisers to show appreciation to their users and mobile audiences.

Given the size of the mobile gaming market - in 2015, over 50% of the US population became mobile gamers, according to eMarketer - showing thanks to mobile audiences is an art you'd be wise to practice generously.

When you act with a generous spirit, everyone wins - and when it comes to in-app mobile ads, nothing says 'Thank You' as well as Rewarded Video Ads.

What is a Rewarded Video Ad?

Also referred to as an Incentived Ad or Video with Points, this mobile video advertisement format offers the app user an opportunity to earn premium in-app experiences, perks or privileges, in exchange for viewing the ad.

There are several "rewards" that can be offered, depending on the type of mobile app or game. There are virtually endless ways to reward your users in a creative way, and here are just a few examples:

  • Revealing a secret gameplay maneuver
  • Extending game play with an extra life
  • Level up with game level advancement
  • Train your player with expert advice and strategy tips
  • Give away a bit of behind-the-scenes trivia or inside peek at the making of the app
  • Make them rich with in-game Coins
  • Offer monetary credit toward an in-app purchase
  • Grant a special skill or weapon to the game character

There are just as many reasons to practice the art of thankfulness, and mobile makers and marketers are sure to reap the rewards of doing so.

An attitude of gratitude

An in-app reward shows that you appreciate your player's time and attention.

We've all come to accept that exposure to advertising and lending attention to an in-app ad is the true "cost" to the player of free-to-play (F2P) games.

Is your game providing a horn of plenty for your players?

In fact, recent industry polls reveal that more than 75% of mobile users prefer to access mobile content that is free, which means ad-supported.

Offering a reward you know they'll enjoy in exchange for the ad view acknowledges your player's willingness to accept the ad as part of their app experience, and demonstrates tangible gratitude for their valuable time.

More quality time together

Game players compete with themselves and want to push the limits - they are aiming to score higher, run longer, and get to a higher level than their last play.

When you act with a generous spirit, everyone wins.
Dale Carr

Enabling their success by offering a perk allows the player to go farther in your game, and stay longer playing it. Expect the next play session to be a little longer than the last, as the player tries to achieve their personal best.

Surprisingly, the average amount of time Americans spent playing mobile games dropped by 30% this year. Game makers would benefit by finding creative ways to keep players engaged longer, to offset the threat of this disappointing trend.

A premium experience, worth paying for (eventually)

It's the modern twist on product sampling. Reward perks such as coins, extra lives, sneak peeks, bonus tools and weapons, or level advancement give the user a taste of the good life.

In My Talking Angela, players are rewarded for watching an ad with a diamond

Better yet, app makers can offer players a credit or bonus toward their next in-app purchase as the reward for viewing.

These gifted trials of premium experiences demonstrate the full potential of the game or app and set the stage for future in-app purchases (IAPs). There's truth to the old advertising adage, "Get 'em hooked early."

Ad partners are grateful too

Marketers want to engage their audience and leave a positive impression on the user. When all goes well, their ads are perceived as a welcome message that is also relevant to the user's interests.

Rewards do both: they ingratiate the presence of the brand into the user's app moment - at precisely the right time of their gameplay - and contribute to the ad's immediate relevancy in users' lives.

What a great way to keep app users happily involved in your app.
Dale Carr

Mobile Video Ads are already resonating with audiences. A study by IAB reported that twice as many users recalled mobile video ads than display ads, with 57% of users recalling mobile video ads.

By offering a reward in conjunction with the video ad view, the advertiser further demonstrates that the brand wants to help, and is a champion of the user. What a great way to be remembered! And what a great way to keep app users happily involved in your app.

Additionally, eMarketer data revealed that 83% of users find videos to be helpful toward making a purchase decision. Mobile video ads are highly effective vehicles for storytelling that can enhance an app experience rather than intrude on one.

With so many benefits to utilizing rewarded video ads, Thanksgiving is a great time to offer in-app privileges with video ads.

They are the ad format that is Rewarding for user acquisition and monetization: giving back to your users, your ad partners, and empowering your app's success. regularly posts content from a variety of guest writers across the games industry. These encompass a wide range of topics and people from different backgrounds and diversities, sharing their opinion on the hottest trending topics, undiscovered gems and what the future of the business holds.