A look at video ad creatives from top casino & slot games

Mobile action posts

January 4, 2019

In this second post of our series focusing on ad creatives used for different kind of apps, we take a look at how slot games advertise when running app install campaigns on in-app ad networks.

Because the casino category is very competitive (probably the most competitive), slots game use tons of different creatives and have been testing for years.

Note: here is the first post where we took a look at ad creatives from top tv streaming apps

To do this analysis we use data shared by the Mobile Action platform. This data gives us a sense of what kind of ad creatives they used on 7 different networks: Facebook Audience Network, AdMob (so UAC ads), Unity, Vungle, IronSource, AdColony and Chartboost.

The casino apps analyzed

The ad intelligence data from Mobile Action is especially strong for Android, so we focused on some of the biggest advertisers for the Android apps (a lot of the creatives are “universal”, not targeting Android or iOS users specifically). Here are the apps we looked at and their rank in the Casino category :

Casino Slots Games Rankings

Let’s get started!

Where they advertise and with which ad creatives

General stats about their advertising

Ad Counts by in-app ad networks
A lot of different creatives on Facebook Audience Network, but more impressions on Vungle (see further down below) Source: Mobile Action Ad Intelligence

Like for TV apps ad creatives, Facebook Audience Network clearly dominates. Unsurprisingly, looking at ads on the Facebook feed for these different apps (here is how to spy on your competitors’ ads) we see that it is also a main acquisition channel. The other networks are each used by several apps, with Chartboost being the least used.

Keep in mind that the chart above shows the Ad Count by network: it’s possible that a lot of budget is used on one video ad on a given network and less budget spread across several creatives on Facebook Audience Network.

When taking a closer look at the “impressions” percentage that Mobile Action indicates for each creative, we realized that Vungle was a major acquisition channel when it comes to slot games with about 80% of impressions when taking into account the 5 most used creatives for each app.

App install ad networks

From this data, it seems that Vungle might very well be the ad network of choice for top casino game publishers.

Let’s not forget here that we have not analyzed data from the Facebook feed ads, that all these apps are using (often with the same creatives as on the Facebook Audience Network, and that’s why each app has so many video ads on FAN).

Depending on the app, the number of ad creatives used and the distribution between images and videos vary. On the networks analyzed, an app like Scatter Slots has run campaigns with 6 ad creatives when Billionaire Casino has run more than 200!

Ad creatives image vs. video

Image ads vs. Video ads
Source: Mobile Action Ad Intelligence

When comparing all the creatives used to the currently active creatives, we can see that each app is actually not running that many different creatives at the same time. The average of total creatives is about 90 per app yet the average of currently active creative is about 6. This illustrates how casino apps fight ad fatigue by often updating their video ads.

Video ads more than image ads
Percentage of Images vs Videos in the currently active Creatives (Source: Mobile Action Ad Intelligence)

Whether we’re looking at all ad creatives or just the ones that are currently active, casino apps advertise much more with video. Video ads indeed seem like a great way to convey the excitement and thrill of playing casino and slots game in an app install ad.

Ad creatives ratios
Percentage of aspect ratios in top 5 video creatives (Source: Mobile Action Ad Intelligence)

Landscape 16:9 is still the most used ratio amongst the top 5 ad creatives on the networks analyzed. This can most likely be explained by the fact that in-app ad networks like Vungle and Unity display ads in other related casino apps, which are often in landscape.

There are 3 main types of ad creatives that we found when analyzing the top 5 ads for each of these casino apps:

  • Longer-form overview of the app, always with flash wins and bonuses throughout;
  • Slot-specific content;
  • Bonus or big wins “loops”

A majority of these apps have at least one of each, with longer form content being most used on Vungle and Unity (vs. Facebook).

Most videos have sound effects (when showing wins, jackpots, etc.), most have sound bites (a few words) and a couple have an actual voice over.

Our favorite creatives from the most used video ads

After this overview of slot games’ advertising strategy on the networks analyzed, let’s have a look at the creatives themselves.

Amongst the top 5 video ad creatives that are the most used by each of the apps (by number of impressions), we selected the 3 that we like the most and are representative of what seems to perform well.

Video ad – Slots Era

This video is a great example of the longer-form game overviews that are often used on the in-app ad networks like Vungle and Unity. Playtika uses this kind of video a lot as well.

The ad starts with an eye catching visual of the wolfs’ eyes which brings us to one of their famous slots.

What’s interesting to notice is that even though this app install ad is showing gameplay, there are several added visual effects and movements to make it even more dynamic. There is also of course no time lost: the big win arrives directly, we move on to free spins and a coin multiplier in a record time!

The second part of the video puts the emphasis on graphics, more big win and getting a jackpot.

The call to action, like many for slots app install ads, mentions the number of free slots available if users download the app.

We like: 

  • The attention-grabbing intro
  • The visual effects to give make the gameplay more dynamic
  • The sound effects

Video ad – Pop! Slots

With a length of 30 seconds, this is another “longer-form” video.

In this ad POP! Slots leverages very well the fact that they are the official MGM partner: the ad starts by showing iconic Las Vegas MGM casinos visuals along with copy mentioning the partnership and official logos.

It then shows a couple of the bonus games (not slots) but with additional game assets in the bottom corners to illustrate the casino themes.

After a giant cash explosion (vault cracked), we are presented with the slots gameplay (here too with additional casino-themed visuals in the corners).

No time is taken to show an actual spin: the ad focuses on a sequence of mega/huge/big/epic wins effects from different slot games, with coins flying everywhere and the bank increasing. This kind of “fake” sequence is something we’ve seen in a few other ads and definitely a great way to convey to potential users the excitement of playing and winning slots game.

The last part of the video before the call to action plays on the MGM partnerships by showing the kind of real rewards that users can get from playing, a nice differentiator on which they also focus in other ads.

We like: 

  • The emphasis on the MGM partnership and real rewards
  • The impressive mega/huge/big/epic wins sequence

Video ad creative – Vegas Downtown Slots

This is a good example of a “slots-focused” video ad. Here Playtika focuses on the Despicable Wolf slot and created a simple yet polished ad.

The first seconds set the atmosphere of the slots game with a wolf running at us in the forest until we see a 3D visual of that specific slot.

The video being in portrait mode (2:3 ratio – perfect for Facebook), they do not show the full gameplay but only the spinning part. Of course here too no time to lose: we immediately get a win which is reinforced by some special visual effects, zooms and sound bite.

This is followed by 2 other wins: one with a coin explosion from the text and the other with fireworks.

Before the call to action another “Big Win” text comes and takes the full screen.

In that spirit, this a very simple video ad creative that focuses on one value proposition: Free movies and TV shows. Along with very clear copy, they show the diversity of content through movie posters.

We like: 

  • The additional visual effects and zooms on the gameplay
  • The polished text designs and animations
  • The sound design (sound bites, sound effects, etc.)

We hope this post gave you some good insights into what kind of app install ads some of the top slot games use to advertise.

If you’re interested in seeing more ad intelligence data like this, check out the Mobile Action platform.

You have comments on these advertising strategies, the creatives or you want us to take a look at a specific niche? Leave us a comment below!

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