Playable ads have quickly become mobile’s fastest growing ad format. In fact, 69% of app developers said they’ve tested playables, compared to 33% this time last year (Source: Mobile Marketer).

Earlier this year, Animoca Brands believed interactive ads would be a perfect way to monetize its popular Tower Defense game, Crazy Kings. The mobile game has amassed over 1 million downloads worldwide and features 400+ free levels of addicting gameplay and 90+ collectible cards that give you powers in the game. Animoca Brands turned to AppOnboard to help drive revenue with the highest-quality units possible. While in the same space as playable ads, our Full-Fidelity Demos represent the new class of playables (learn why in one of our previous blog posts), allowing users to instantly experience apps in full quality before downloading. Initial results have yielded higher performance for advertisers, which in turn allows us to commit to higher eCPM payouts for publishers looking to monetize their apps with demos. 

Crazy Kings has amassed over 1MM downloads worldwide.


Optimizing for the Best Possible User Experience Possible

We collaborated with Animoca Brands throughout the integration process to not only maximize performance and revenue metrics but also integrate the Full-Fidelity Demos in a way that made the most sense for the Crazy Kings gameplay.

Our demos were initially integrated into a “Rewarded Video” zone that allowed users to watch a video ad or play an AppOnboard demo to unlock a power-up for use in an upcoming battle (see “Before” screenshot below). While the performance from that zone was good, both Animoca Brands’ team and our team felt the experience could be enhanced by creating a dedicated and contextual “Rewarded Demo” zone within the Crazy Kings Shop (see bottom right screenshot). This new zone was accessible in the far left of the shop and allowed users to tap to “Play” an AppOnboard demo to unlock a “Mini Card Pack,” which contained cards of super powers that could then be used in battles. The hypothesis was that this opt-in, stand-out, and transparent zone would yield the best user experience and results.


Key Finding: Rewarded Demo Zones Outperform Rewarded Video Zones

After launching the dedicated Rewarded Demo zone in Crazy Kings, we found that the interactive demos served in the new Rewarded Demo zone averaged install rates 7.9x higher when compared to the interactive demos that were served in the previous Rewarded Video waterfall. This higher performance also led to a 2.6x increase in Animoca Brands’ publisher eCPM in Crazy Kings! We believe that the main reason is because users are given the clear heads up that they will be playing an interactive experience, and thus are more prepared to engage. 

Before & After Comparison: Average Campaign Install Rate and Publisher eCPM

“By partnering with Animoca Brands in Crazy Kings, we were able to prove that to generate the highest performance from these interactive demo experiences, you need to serve them in a dedicated and contextual zone,” said Jonathan Zweig, co-founder and CEO of AppOnboard. “We have seen other publishers initially place us in their standard rewarded video waterfall as well, which is not ideal as these units are very different from linear video.”


Rewarded Demo Zone Leads to Industry-Leading Metrics Across the Board

The new Rewarded Demo integration in Animoca Brands’ Crazy Kings has continued to drive metrics that outperform industry benchmarks. Both Animoca Brands and AppOnboard agree that since the demos allow users to instantly experience apps in the highest quality possible, users are more inclined to engage, install and become high-quality users of them.

We look forward to continuing to work with Anomica Brands to discover and share best practices with the the rest of the industry. “Advertising is the fastest-growing source of revenue for us and the mobile game industry, and innovations like these playable ad units offer better integration with our players’ experience, making them more effective than other types of ads,” noted Robby Yung, CEO of Animoca Brands. “We’re looking forward to continuing our partnership with AppOnboard to refine our execution, measurement, and understanding of the power of these tools.”