What Do Players Want to See in Video Ads for Mobile Games? [Survey]

By Dillon Becker, Guest Author
Thursday, March 30, 2017 / 1 min read

Mobile game video ads survey

The following is an exclusive guest post by Dillon Becker, a video producer who previously worked at Storm8 and MZ (Machine Zone). The full story can be found on Becker’s LinkedIn.

Video producer Dillon Becker headshotBoth mobile game developers and marketers embrace video ads. And, without question, mobile video ads are the weapon of choice for user acquisition managers.

Social Point, Rovio, and other leaders in mobile gaming have said that players don’t mind seeing video ads in mobile games either. But what do players like to see in video ads for mobile games? Is it gameplay? In-game cinematics? YouTubers or streamers playing the advertised game? Only data can tell us that.

In a survey I conducted, 1,041 gamers shared their feelings on video advertising in mobile games. The survey asked respondents about their general opinion of video advertisements for mobile games, including what impacts their buying decision, what they like to see most in a video ad, and more.

Video ads for mobile games players want to see gameplay

Image via Dillon Becker

Key findings

  • 90.2% of gamers enjoyed seeing gameplay most in video ads for mobile games.
  • A plurality of gamers—89.9%—will watch a video ad if the first thing they see is interesting gameplay, echoing a point I made at GDC 2017 that the first few seconds of a video ad are the most important.
  • Surprisingly, only 12.4% of respondents will consider watching a video ad if the first thing they see is an influencer such as a recognizable and respected YouTuber or streamer.
  • 63.9% of gamers felt indifferent towards mobile game video ads. Only 20.4% of gamers hated video ads, skipping them when they could.
  • How important are app store ratings? Very important. Once a user clicks through from a video ad to an app store, 69.4% of gamers admitted that they rely mostly on user reviews when making a buying decision (irrespective of the game’s price point, i.e. free or paid).

Mobile game video ad conversion app store ratings

Image via Dillon Becker

About the survey

  • 1,041 respondents completed the survey
  • 90.3% of respondents identified as male, 8.3% as female, and 1.4% as neither male nor female
  • 47.4% of respondents were aged 20-29 years, 35.6% were 10-19 years, 14.6% were 30-39 years, 1.9% were 40-49 years, and 0.5% were 50-59 years
  • 49.1% of respondents were from the U.S., 9.1% from the U.K., 7.9% from Canada, and 33.9% were spread across 72 other countries
  • 61.1% of respondents identified as a midcore gamer, 27.1% as hardcore, and 11.8% as casual
  • 91.6% of respondents said they regularly game on a PC (OS not specified), 46.5% on a mobile device (e.g. phone, tablet), 45.3% on a stationary console (e.g. PlayStation, Xbox), 26.2% on a portable console (e.g. Nintendo 3DS, PlayStation Vita), and 1.3% on a type of device that wasn’t listed
  • The survey was conducted from March 3, 2017 to March 9, 2017

Disclosure: Respondents were given an optional opportunity to be randomly selected to win a $50 gift card to a video game marketplace of their choice.

You can learn tips on mobile video ad design by checking out my talk at GDC 2017 earlier this month.

Read the full survey