PocketGamer.biz does not need to express how vital user acquisition is to the mobile games industry. With IAPs driving less than 50 per cent of revenue, and privacy changes from Apple and Google disrupting the ad monetisation landscape, bringing more players onboard is only becoming more vital.
This means thinking creatively, strategically, and sometimes even misleadingly. Claire Rozain, UA team lead at Rovio, casts her expert lens on the latest user acquisition strategies in her new weekly column, UA Eye.
The latest push in user acquisition is a strong creative strategy. For too long, UA was consigned to financial markers and payback ratio, but with advertisers firmly aware of the rising priority that is data and user privacy, the importance of a consistent and data-oriented creative strategy has never been more vital to capitalise on your CPE/CPI.
But, does creative strategy follow performance or the yearly seasons? I'm on Team Performance, and I found few examples to justify my thinking, but Team Summer would also argue that the known quality of sea and beach/swimming pools ads usually lowering the CPI. Let's take a look at a collection of current campaigns that utilise both summer and winter qualities.
Landscape holiday: Supercell choose the summer vibe with a brand new trailer for Clash of Clans that is steeped in summer imagery – still in landscape, as Supercell are wont to do.
Inspired by Playrix: While on the puzzle front, Peak's Toy Blast also goes for a swimming pool-summer vibe with its blast-to-advance mechanic, which reminded me of the pull-the-pins ads mastered by Playrix (editor's note: what kind of swimming pools are you visiting, Clare?).
Team Christmas: IGG has been doing some interesting creative iteration on Lords Mobile, using not only the slingshot mechanic but also ice; this definitely – on top of adding a nice eye-catching contrast – is a peak winter strategy during summer!
Summer lovin': Funplus's Call of Antia has instead embraced the seasonality with a remastered family island-like creative choice that is really well designed. The outline gives clear gameplay guidance and the narrative is really well told. One bold approach is to include the langages of the game, highlighted at the bottom of the ad.
Grandma in a bathing suit: Metacore definitely is Team Summer, with the rush from last summer's top creative: that of Merge Mansion's notorious grandmother in the swimming pool, re-iterated with the current narrative they advertise on to build their brand awareness and IP.
Snow day: Lily’s Garden also keeps it fresh with a remastered concept deployed in some Homescapes campaigns, using snow, winter fire, woods, and high contrast. Just as the sun performs strongly, here we have a narrative creative using a top performing element that also provides some visual contrast – the snow.
It's a fake!: Jigsaw Puzzles by Easybrain adopted the same approach as Lily’s Garden, with a fake gameplay narrative creative inspired by winter!
Winter cabin: Team Bigger Games is clearly Team Winter, as they go for a 3D character with home decoration elements in winter while we are in summer for Mergedom: Home Design. The ad performance seems to show the clear appeal of snow! We often say opposit attract each other – perhaps users have a strong desire to see snow during summer? Either way, it's refreshing advertising!
Birds fly for the winter: Last but not least, at Rovio we weren't entirely sure which way to go for Angry Birds, so we decided to stay classic with an emphasis on black and white contrast, with the new year sunny celebration with fire and the summer yellow on the 2022 text color! However, we did add a bit of fire on Red to keep him warm!