Home Mobile This Game Developer Cut Its CPI In Half By Testing Ad Creative Before Launch

This Game Developer Cut Its CPI In Half By Testing Ad Creative Before Launch


Creative often gets neglected by app publishers gunning for installs – but it’s one of the most important aspects of any app-install campaign, said Artur Grigorjan, head of growth marketing at Russian game studio Playrix.

“By this point, most advertisers have enough expertise when it comes to buying,” Grigorjan said. “Now they’re transitioning to the next level, which is how to buy effectively with the same budget, and that’s where the creative kicks in.”

But despite this growing awareness about the influence of creative on campaign success, user acquisition folks generally don’t have the time, the resources or the skill set to create the custom assets they need in-house because they’re focusing on the mechanics of performance.

When Playrix was gearing up to release its most recent title, a puzzle-based game called “Homescapes,” it worked with mobile monetization platform ironSource’s in-house creative studio to develop and test different interactive units, playables and video promoting “Homescapes.”

After several rounds of A/B testing in Canada, Playrix whittled down the creative to just the top performers, which were then used to promote the game during its general launch at the end of September.

Seems simple, but it’s not part of the planning process for most developers, even though optimizing for creative has the potential to boost performance exponentially.

That potential is increased when creative services are nested within the ad network, because the network executes the targeting. It’s closer to the campaign data than an agency or even the developer itself.

“In an old-school campaign, a separate creative studio makes the creative and we’d run it, and there was no real connection between the two,” Dan Greenberg, chief design officer at ironSource. “But if there’s no connection between the creative and the performance data, then there’s no easy way to optimize.”

When Playrix hit play on the global launch for “Homescapes,” the cost per install decreased by 50%, primarily because Grigorjan and his team came armed with creative they knew would work. They were able to excise waste by cutting down on the amount of testing they had to do during the general release, when time is of the essence.

In the roughly two months since its September launch, “Homescapes” has racked up more than 35 million installs and achieved a top-three ranking for free downloads in both the App Store and Google Play.

Playrix plans to incorporate creative soft launches into its planning process and to increase the number of units it tests in a live environment before a general release.

“The first few weeks of a launch is when a game has the highest potential and we want to make sure we start out with the cream, with the best performing creative at the beginning, to help us scale fast and extract the best-quality users possible,” Grigorjan said. “Rather than waiting to figure everything out post-launch, we can gain the momentum we need beforehand.”

Must Read

Advertible Makes Its Case To SSPs For Running Native Channel Extensions

Companies like TripleLift that created the programmatic native category are now in their awkward tween years. Cue Advertible, a “native-as-a-service” programmatic vendor, as put by co-founder and CEO Tom Anderson.

Mozilla acquires Anonym

Mozilla Acquires Anonym, A Privacy Tech Startup Founded By Two Top Former Meta Execs

Two years after leaving Meta to launch their own privacy-focused ad measurement startup in 2022, Graham Mudd and Brad Smallwood have sold their company to Mozilla.

Nope, We Haven’t Hit Peak Retail Media Yet

The move from in-store to digital shopper marketing continues, as United Airlines, Costco, PayPal, Chase and Expedia make new retail media plays. Plus: what the DSP Madhive saw in advertising sales software company Frequence.

Privacy! Commerce! Connected TV! Read all about it. Subscribe to AdExchanger Newsletters
Comic: Ad-ception

The New York Times And Instacart Integrate For Shoppable Recipes

The New York Times and Instacart are partnering for shoppable recipe videos.

Experian Enters The Third-Party Data Onboarding Business

Experian entered the third-party data onboarder market on Tuesday with a new product based on its Tapad acquisition.

Albertsons Takes Its First Steps Into Non-Endemic Advertising, Retail Media’s Next Frontier

Albertsons is taking that first step into non-endemic advertising next week via a partnership with Rokt to serve ads to people who have already purchased groceries.