In today's rapidly evolving world of mobile gaming, innovative tech has completely changed how we experience digital fun. Mobile games now have the power to draw us in and take us to a world of incredible imagination.
A lot of the success of these games is down to the huge user acquisition campaigns that come with each mobile game's development.
How do advertisers try to grab our attention and how many can actually pull it off?
Mobile games user acquisition campaign is not just about promoting products, but it's about creating experiences that fit right in with the gaming world and enhance the user's experience. From interactive story-driven ads to cleverly designed in-game placements, mobile game advertising has become an art form in its own right.
We'll look at some of the most entertaining and successful user acquisition campaigns for mobile games that we see on our phones, and how they tap into our emotions to convince us to install the game.
- Royal Match
- Project Makeover
- Candy Crush
- Monopoly GO!
- Words of Wonder: Crossword
- Color Water Sort
- King's Choice
- Tower War
- User acquisition strategies for mobile games
Starting with one of the top-grossing mobile games of the year, Royal Match is a puzzle game that challenges players to match and connect various items and solve puzzles related to a kingdom setting. Behind the simple mechanics of the game, there is a charming plot that follows the main character, King Robert, in his attempts to restore his castle’s glory.
We found the ad particularly amusing, as we're quickly introduced to the main characters of Royal Match and then a short video explains how the puzzles can help us save him. We afterwards get to experience them for ourselves in a short playable, that has the goal of making us connect with the character.
After we successfully rescue King Robert in the Royal Match’s playable, we feel a sense of accomplishment and would definitely want to continue it by downloading the mobile game.
Project Makeover is a popular mobile game in which players help transform the lives of characters with complete makeovers, making decisions on a variety of aspects that go from clothing and hairstyles to home design. In the game the user, working as the new Director of Project Makeover, must cooperate with the other characters to prove that their show is a success.
In the video ad, the sad events of the protagonist’s life make you sympathize with her and feel bad for the catastrophes that happen in her life. The gameplay of Project Makeover shows a fail scenario that is so surreal that it becomes funny, amusing the viewer and making them feel “I can do better!” so that they install the mobile game. The unserious nature of this ad is what made us pick it.
It can also evoke a sense of nostalgia in some players, because it is similar to makeover games that, especially girls, used to play when they were young.
Moreover, many different characters coming from all walks of life with different backgrounds, experiences, and personalities are presented. This means that anyone watching can relate to one of them and really feel for what they're going through.
Gardenscapes is a casual mobile game that combines match-3 puzzles with garden design. Players need to restore a neglected garden by solving puzzles and creatively choosing how to upgrade it.
The ad, besides showing the mechanics of the game with a playable, makes the viewer acquainted with the storyline and the characters in it. The puzzles by themselves are quite simple, so as to not discourage the player, but the main focus is the reward at the end of the playable, which can be used to improve the garden. This fills the user with gratification and prompts them to install Gardenscapes.
Candy Crush is a popular puzzle game in which players match colorful candies to complete objectives and progress through a sweet and challenging world. Released in 2012, it is considered one of the first and most successful uses of a freemium model and has reached a total revenue of over $20 billion.
Candy Crush’s success is due to the simple but effective mechanics of the game, which can easily elicit a sense of achievement in the player when progressing, as well as frustration when facing difficult challenges, and that can capture the attention of the gamers from time spans that go from a few minutes to even hours.
All the most popular games know the importance of a successful user acquisition campaign, and Candy Crush is no exception.
The ad takes a different and new approach than what was examined before and immediately made us interested in looking into it .
Being Candy Crush one of the most popular games of the last decade, almost every person knows how the game works. So they chose an ad that could remind the viewer of the game, while explaining a little bit of Candy Crush’s history, focusing on its popularity and prestige.
Ultimately, with a simple memory game playable in which the cards are fun facts about Candy Crush, like the overall rating or the number of installs, the user is reminded why it is such a good game and is compelled to install it.
A similar take has been followed by the Monopoly GO! user acquisition campaign. Monopoly GO! is the mobile version of the classic board game Monopoly in which players can buy and sell properties to build their real estate empires.
The mobile game’s brand image is strong and easily recognizable. This is why Monopoly GO!’s ad is a very simple playable in which the user has to complete a puzzle that reveals the Monopoly GO! logo.
The mechanics of the playable are completely unrelated to the gameplay of the mobile game, this is why we chose to analyze this ad, but since everyone knows how Monopoly works, the ad just needs to make the players aware that a mobile version of their beloved childhood board game exists.
Township is a city-building and farming game where players can create and manage their town, grow crops, raise animals, and trade goods with other players. As the town grows, the player feels more and more satisfied and develops a strong bond with his virtual property.
Township’s ad is characterized by a very long playable in which the gamer has to start building his farm. Being it quite long and complex, a storyline starts unfolding, with goals and upgrades to reach, and the attention of the user is completely captured by the mechanics of the game. We got so caught in the playable game that we decided to pick its ad for this article.
As the player starts getting excited for the objectives that he is achieving, he realizes that by installing the game he will keep experiencing this satisfactory feeling.
Words of Wonder: Crossword is a word puzzle game where players connect letters to form words and progress through objectives and standpoints.
The strength of this mobile game is the intellectual challenges that the word puzzles provide. Its ad can successfully depict this and this is the reason why we liked it so much. Without an introductory video, the user is immediately challenged to solve a crossword puzzle, making his experience a real sense of gameplay.
The crossword that has to be completed requires some effort, as it is not incredibly easy, so the player feels a real sense of accomplishment and, proud of his achievements, will want to install the game.
Color Water Sort is a puzzle game where players must sort colored water into containers to match specific patterns or colors.
The lack of a storyline makes it the perfect game to play for brief periods of time or while multitasking.
The ad is straightforward and simple. The playable displays a colored water puzzle that has to be solved so that the gamer can try it and decide whether he likes the mobile game’s structure or not.
The strength of this user acquisition campaign resides in its simplicity, which we really appreciated: the user either finds the puzzles exciting and worth his time or not. But the more time the player spends trying the game in the ad, the higher the possibility that he will install it.
King's Choice is quite different from the previous mobile games. It is a strategy game where players take on the role of a medieval monarch, making decisions about diplomacy, warfare, and the future of their kingdom, in a sort of interactive novel setting.
Just like any RPG games, the main focus of the experience is the intriguing and exciting storyline that connects all the characters and makes you feel immersed in the game.
A lot of emotions are evoked by the eventful plot, ranging from empowerment from making important decisions to the sadness caused by the weight of consequences of choices.
We chose this particular user acquisition campaign since it highlights all these winning aspects and shows in a video ad how the user will be able to guide the lives of the characters through choices in a complicated and often sad scenario. This heightens the connection that the gamer feels with the story and makes them wonder what will be the fate of the characters.
Tower War is a tower defense game where players strategically place defensive towers to protect their base or kingdom from waves of incoming enemies.
As the storyline of the game progresses, the player becomes more and more involved with his kingdom and, with a proper sense of pride, happily faces the challenging enemy attacks.
The ad tries to show exactly this: how easily the user can build his kingdom and the rush of adrenaline that comes with the knowledge that you are protecting and expanding it, feelings that we also also experienced and chose to share in this article.
The player can try the defense and attack mechanics in a long playable ad that ends when he has managed to conquer all the enemies’ towers.
From "Royal Match" to "Monopoly GO!" and "Candy Crush," mobile game advertising has become an art form. These user acquisition campaigns know how to get people emotionally involved and achieve this by making them accomplish goals or build connections with the characters of the mobile game, so they have no choice but to install the games and get lost in these awesome gaming experiences.