Practical Tips for Making Impactful Creatives
In both hyper-casual and hybrid-casual categories alike, ad creatives play a major role. In our article on both models, we mentioned the importance of maintaining a low CPI and keeping the ad content straightforward. A carefully executed creative video could determine whether viewers convert into dedicated players or if they will ignore it and keep scrolling. It can be tricky to decide how and which unique selling points of your game would be best to feature. In this blog, we will share some tips on how you can leverage your creatives.
1. Diversify Your Creatives With a Range of Scenarios
One of the key purposes of the creative videos is to emphasise to potential players the replay value of the game. The best way to do this is to diversify the scenarios used in those ads and show that it offers multiple level variations, environments, and challenges. By creating multiple creatives, each with a distinctive scenario, you can appeal to a wider target audience.
There are multiple aspects of your game that you can choose to unveil in the videos. For example, “Win” and “Fail” cases are typical scenarios shown in many hyper-casual game ads as they clearly communicate the game rules and conditions. “Fail” scenarios can be especially effective as they build frustration in viewers and challenge them, prompting them to feel that they can do better than as shown in the video and drive them to install the game. On the other hand, showing “Win” cases can help to create anticipation and desire to experience similar victories. Unusual but entertaining obstacles create expectations about the difficulty level and evokes the “just one more try" mentality that makes these games addictive. Characters appearing in unlockable or purchasable skins and clothes can help players explore different styles and understand the level of in-game customisation allowed.
MondayOFF's Mayhem Shooter exemplifies this well. Its straightforward gameplay and simple design is enough to captivate your attention. Yet, the strategic display of various weapons and the showcase of enemies and obstacles such as explosive barrels truly elevate the viewing experience. The creatives made use of the skins and weapons library to combat the feeling of repetitiveness of the main characters presence and level map layouts. By highlighting the most exciting parts of your game and what actions the viewers can take, you are bringing them on a short adrenaline-fueled adventure. Mayhem Shooter has since gone on to achieve nearly 800k downloads and counting shortly after being globally published.
2. Convey the Game's Goal in the First 5 Seconds
A typical ad creative video is usually between 15-30 seconds long. Take into consideration an even shorter amount of time. According toIronSource, the average time-to-engage rate for hyper-casual creatives is only 3.5 seconds! Optimise the content and make full use of the time by clarifying the main goal, general theme and mechanics early into the video. Your ad creatives will often be competing with many others of the same genre, and you will need to show what sets your game apart from the rest. We recommend highlighting the special features of your games, such as interesting rewards, addictive gameplay, or ability to achieve very high records.
Take a look at these examples from MondayOFF and how they explain the gist of the game:
Remember that hyper-casual games are made for the general audience, with gameplay and mechanics usually being straightforward and easy to understand - employ this in your creatives-making process to appeal to the masses.
3. Pick the Right Colour Schemes to Elevate Your Creatives
Bright and vibrant hues in hyper-casual games are always a good idea, but just as with everything, balance is key. Make sure that you can achieve exciting visuals with harmonious and consistent colour palettes that will not overwhelm the players. A clear colour scheme and appropriate contrast can help viewers more easily shift their focus to the most important parts, such as the targets and main character.
Simple does not always mean less! Take for example our game Like a Pizza. The game’s visuals revolve around a few shades that help easily tell apart areas and objects, while keeping the mood light and easygoing.
When looking at these creatives, viewers can immediately identify the most relevant elements. Here, you know who the main character is - while all the characters are of the same shape, it is easily distinguishable with an orange costume. They also know exactly where to go and how much they can earn, since upgrade stations are darkened against the bright yellow floor and indicate simple amounts. The most satisfying part of playing, earning and retrieving money, is also easily spotted as well.
If deciding on colours seems like a daunting task, you can always start out with the simple primary colours of Red, Blue and Green. The RGB theory is already a popular method among developers to enhance visuals by carefully mixing colours to create various hues along with different intensities.
Red is an obvious choice to represent high energy and is usually seen depicted in enemies, or to alert about an incoming danger. Blue is a non-distracting colour that is often used for backgrounds. It makes the area look clean and yet to be explored, compelling players to be interested in what is beyond their play area and new things to unlock. Green is another simple solution to paint environments and to bring attention to positive upgrades or power-ups.
A sleek and “clean” does not always have to be the default choice. However, the main objective should remain the same: to achieve a visual distinction between important areas and help players focus on the main things. Be sure to research and refer to other successful hypercasual ads colour schemes, and experiment with different versions through a/b testing to find what works best for your game,
4. Direct the Audience to focus on feeling an emotion through each creative
It goes without saying that most advertising content aims to elicit excitement and interest from viewers. Many focus on evoking positively associated feelings. What is often overlooked is a whole other range of emotions that hold the power to change the behaviour of a person and prompt them to take some action (in this case, to install and play the game). These are some general concepts that you can tap into and boost the impact of your creatives:
- Curiosity: Bring up the intriguing elements of your game, such as a mystery box or an interesting way to manipulate the gameplay mechanics.
- Surprise: Incorporate unpredictable visuals that catch the viewers off guard, such as unexpected enemies appearing, sudden level failure, or an unexpected plot element.
- Frustration: Display a challenge through a series of struggles to make viewers sense that they may know a better way to complete the level.
- Satisfaction/Confidence: The gist of hyper-casual games is giving players an easy win, so by showcasing very high scores and large amounts of money earned, viewers will have a much higher sense of achievement and confidence in their skills
- Relaxation: Depict gameplay in a calm and relaxed manner, with a smooth flow. Repetitive actions, satisfying transitions and meditative visual effects are common tactics.
- Nostalgia: Include gameplay elements, sound effects or graphics that are reminiscent of classical games or a certain era.
5. Bonus Tips from MondayOFF’s Publishing Managers!
We always remind game developers that you do not need to have professional editing skills to create amazing creatives, but you certainly need a good strategy and vision of what you are trying to relay to potential players. Many assume that adding a ton of effects and packing as much content in is for the better, but we advise to keep the creatives straightforward enough to relay the core gameplay and engage viewers at the same time.
There is no way to “hack” the Facebook Ads algorithm, editing choices can have a massive impact on it. For example, we often see cases where an ad opens with a “fade-in/fade-out” effect that causes the first second of the video to appear as a black screen. The absence of displayed content in the first few seconds causes the algorithm to not allocate the daily budget spending to the ad and affects the overall campaign data.
Making creatives is a tricky process - even the most well-made videos could rack up a high CPI.
What you can control is creating an ad creative that aligns with the overall tone and experience of the hypercasual game. Successful creatives should provide a glimpse into the unique and enjoyable aspects of the game, carefully appeal to viewer’s emotions, and capture their attention with just the right amount of fun visuals. These strategies can help you maximise the impact of your ads by resonating with the right audience.
At MondayOFF, our creative team vigorously tests anywhere between 80-100 creatives per game to ensure that the very best are selected for scale-up. Start publishing with us to gain access to our in-house team’s expertise and support your game development!