16 Rewarded Video Ad Placements in Top-Notch Mobile Games
(This article was originally published on Udonis’ blog.)
Rewarded video ads are the most popular ad format in mobile games.
There are many reasons for that.
They are unobtrusive, optional, and a lot of players actually like them.
Nowadays, rewarded video ads appear in all sorts of different genres, games, and placements.
In this article, I’m bringing you 16 rewarded video ad placements from different games that rule the top charts.
How about we jump right into it?
This endless runner game by Kiloo and SYBO Games has been on the market for nine years already.
In Subway Surfers, players need to get the highest personal score possible.
The better they do, they earn more of the game’s soft currency — coins. Keys are the game’s hard currency. They are more valuable than coins, and players have a harder time earning them.
Both of these are sold as in-app purchases.
At the same time, both can also be earned by watching rewarded video ads. Let’s go over some of the game’s numerous rewarded video ad placements.
Ad Placement #1
The first placement that players see appears very early in the game. It comes up at the end of their first run.
This way, the game tries to monetize players as soon as possible. After all, most of them are not going to stick with the game for a long time.
The placement comes with a clear Get Rewards description and a Watch Video CTA. Players can also clearly see the reward they can win by watching the ad — three keys.
When players stumble upon an ad like this, they are completely aware of the benefit. They know exactly what they need to do and what they will get in return.
After watching the ad, the game displays the reward.
This is a good practice because some players like to be 100% sure they received the reward. Oftentimes, we can see app store reviews from players who complain about not receiving the rewards from ads.
With this approach, there is no room for confusion.
Ad Placement #2
This placement appears in the same end-of-game screen as the first one.
In it, players can see how many coins they’ve earned from the run. Right underneath, they can see exactly how much more they can get from watching a rewarded video ad.
Quite a good incentive to watch the ad.
Equally important, the ad comes with a clear value proposition.
It does not just say “extra coins” or “free coins”. If this were the case, some players would maybe end up disappointed with the reward. Instead, players are fully informed about the reward they will receive for watching the ad.
Ad Placement #3
Subway Surfer players are always looking for ways to improve their skills.
One of the things that help them with that is boosters. For example, hoverboards and score boosters.
Usually, players can get extra boosters by spending coins. They can also get some of them by watching rewarded video ads.
As you can see in the image above, the game puts a choice in front of players. They can get boosters either by spending their precious coins or just by watching an ad.
This is done on purpose.
When players see these comparisons, they are most likely to conclude that watching ads is the better option.
Ad Placement #4
In this endless runner, the players’ main goal is not to screw up the run.
Once they fail, they have to start all over again.
For this reason, one of the players’ favorite features in the game is the revival option. Usually, they need keys (hard currency) to do this.
In other cases, they can come back to life with rewarded video ads. This placement appears as a pop-up, inviting players to continue playing the game.
On top of this incentive, the game includes another one. In the pop-up, players can see how many points they are missing to beat a certain player.
This should boost the players’ competitive spirits.
When players first start playing the game, they can commonly see this placement. Later in the game, it’s not that frequent.
With this placement, the game shows players the value of the revival feature. Hence, later on, there is a better chance they will make an IAP to revive their characters.
Trivia Star is one of the most popular trivia games in the world. It attracts trivia addicts and quiz heads looking to challenge their knowledge.
Now, how do you monetize such an audience?
To do this, Trivia Star relies on an increasingly popular strategy — hybrid monetization. Thus, it includes a blend of in-app purchases, in-app ads, and a subscription.
Some of the things players can purchase in the game are gems, coins, a VIP subscription, a “no ads” offer, etc. The game also includes different ad formats: interstitial ads, banners, and rewarded video ads.
Quite diverse, right?
For this reason, it’s especially interesting to see how rewarded video ads blend into the mix.
Rewarded Video Ad Placements #1 and #2
Right after players finish the first level in the game, they unlock a daily rewards feature.
In it, they can choose between three boxes to get a random reward. These boxes contain different amounts of coins and expert cards.
Once players get their rewards and claim them, two rewarded video ad placements appear.
One allows players to double up their coins, while the other can grant them an extra expert card.
Both of these placements are types of daily reward multiplier placement.
Their benefits? Pretty straightforward.
For players, it’s a chance to regularly get extra rewards without much effort. For developers, it’s the opportunity to monetize active players every single day.
Ad Placement #3
Some players find forced ads very, very annoying.
Game developers are aware of this.
For this reason, Trivia Star offers players a chance to get rid of these ads.
This option pops up on the players’ screens after they have played a couple of levels. It presents them with two different “ads control” options.
The first is a one-time IAP that allows players to play the game-ad free forever. This is something we can commonly see in different games.
However, the second one is quite original.
If players watch five rewarded video ads, they can enjoy a 24-hour ad-free experience. This refers to interstitial ads and banners.
While it can seem weird to ask players to watch ads to get rid of ads, this placement makes perfect sense. Rewarded video ads have higher eCPMs than interstitials and banners. Therefore, these five ads cover up the cost of not displaying them.
On the other hand, this makes players feel in control.
Besides this, players might get used to ad-free gameplay. Therefore, there is a better chance they will pay for it in the future.
Ad Placement #4
This game tracks their players’ moves and reacts to them. Perhaps the best example of this is the game’s next rewarded video ad placement.
It appears when players enter the in-game store, check out its offerings and then exit. The moment they leave the store, they get a pop-up to “earn free gems”. Of course, by watching a rewarded video ad.
The pop-up makes it clear exactly how many gems the players can get by watching. Once the ad finishes, the players need to collect the reward they won. This is another good strategy for assuring players that they’ve received their rewards.
This rewarded video ad placement caters to the players’ needs.
If players are checking out the store, they are probably looking for more hard currency. Since they exited the store, they had possibly given up on a purchase. Therefore, the game gives them a chance to earn small amounts of it for free.
8 Ball Pool
Rewarded video ads have found their way into the world’s top-grossing sports game as well.
In this game, they also appear as a part of a hybrid monetization strategy.
In-app purchases are the game’s bread and butter. The game makes money from coins (soft currency), cash (hard currency), mini-games, loot boxes, etc. 8 Ball Pool also has a battle pass offer which brings some extra revenue to the table.
Now, these only leverage the payers.
If non-payers want a better and more rewarding experience, they can choose to engage with rewarded video ads.
Here’s where and how they can do it.
Ad Placement #1
The game’s lobby consists of different in-game features.
One of them is particularly hard to miss.
It is a coin icon with a sign Free Rewards and a notification mark. Both of these entice players to check this feature.
This takes players to a section where they can claim or earn rewards. This includes daily missions, social media connections, and two rewarded video ad placements.
Oh, and if players are playing on iOS, this is where they will get their ATT prompt.
The first placement gives players what they were promised — free coins. The first time they engage with it, players get an informative description. This is great because it makes them completely aware of the benefits.
Another good thing is the choices the game puts in front of players.
Notice how it’s not just “yes” and “no” or “yes” and “exit”.
Instead, the players’ choices are “yes” and “later”. This shows the game pays special attention to monetization messaging. It gives players the option to give up, but the “later” choice doesn’t mean a definitive NO.
After watching the ad, players get a congratulations message with the displayed reward. This works as a confirmation they got what they wanted.
In case they want more, they have the option to watch another rewarded video right away.
Ad Placement #2
The other rewarded video ad placement appears in the same section as the first one.
It brings the game’s hard currency — one stack of cash.
When it comes to the value of the reward, this placement brings more value than the first one. This is also the reason why it’s limited to one view per day.
Everything else about this placement is similar to the prior one. Before watching, players also get an informative description and a congratulations message afterward. But here, if players want more cash, the game guides them to the store.
This placement has a strong correlation with the game’s IAP strategy.
It gives players a strong incentive to watch ads every day. Moreover, it shows them how it feels to have hard currency and how to use it. Therefore, there is a better chance they will decide to buy even more.
Ad Placement #3
8 Ball Pool also included the “free coins” feature in their in-game store.
Well, if players are exploring the game store, they are probably thinking about making a purchase.
However, a lot of players will decide they are not going to spend on IAPs. Therefore, this placement is a great way to earn at least some money off them.
Shadow Fight 3
Rewarded video ads are not only reserved for games in the casual category. There is a large number of mid-core games that reap their benefits as well.
Shadow Fight 3 is just one of 76% of hardcore and mid-core games that use this ad format (DeltaDNA).
Here’s how they work in this fighting RPG.
In this game, players need to learn how to fight and collect weapons and other equipment. The game’s currencies — gems and coins help them to do this more quickly.
Naturally, they are available for purchase. The game also has a battle pass offer in place.
However, the game doesn’t leave non-payers high and dry.
These players can speed up their progress by engaging with rewarded video ads and offerwalls.
Ad Placement #1
Unlike a lot of mid-core games, Shadow Fight 3 doesn’t hold off on introducing rewarded video ads.
Right after players finish level one, the game introduces them to daily rewards. In this game, players collect cards, so this is what they get as daily rewards. After players claim them, a mysterious bonus card with a play sign appears.
This is another type of daily reward multiplier placement. This placement is great because it meets players where they are — on the lookout for rewards.
Not all about it is perfect, though.
Sure, the play sign is a familiar symbol for rewarded video ads in mobile games. However, there is no explicit explanation that says — hey, this is an ad. Hence, there is a possibility that some players will click the card by accident.
This is not necessarily bad.
The thing is, a lot of players might just go along with it after they have already opened it. Yet, a lot of them might bounce too.
Ad Placement #2
Players don’t have to wait long to discover the game’s second rewarded video ad placement.
This one is a type of an end-of-the-game multiplier.
Let me explain.
This ad placement appears upon mission or level completion. In this game, it comes up once players finish a level. They can then see all the rewards (cards) they’ve earned. On top of them, they also have a chance to earn a bonus card.
End-of-the-game ads are one of the most popular rewarded video ad placements.
After they finish levels, players want to be rewarded as much as possible. They might think to themselves, “I worked so hard to finish this level, so I deserve all the rewards I can get.” For this reason, a lot of them engage with this placement.
Choices: Stories You Play
Now let’s cover a completely different genre, but with the same monetization strategy as most games on this list.
I’m talking about hybrid monetization.
Choices: Stories You Play is an interactive story game. In it, players play different chapters and make choices that affect their progress.
The game’s economy consists of two currencies — keys and diamonds. With keys, players can prolong their sessions. With diamonds, they can pick premium choices.
Both of them are available as in-app purchases. The game also offers players a VIP subscription to purchase.
On top of all this, it allows players to earn currencies by watching rewarded videos.
Let’s go over this game’s rewarded video ad placements.
Ad Placement #1
One of the sections Choices players have on their home screens is called Rewards.
In it, they can see different challenges and daily ads.
Daily ads are, of course, rewarded video ads. Here, players can watch up to three ads per day.
Each time they watch an ad, players earn one diamond. Hence, they can earn a total of three diamonds in a day. After watching, the game displays the reward. Players need to collect it, so there is no questioning whether they’ve received it.
How about the value of the reward?
If players watch all three ads in a day, this is the equivalent of spending roughly 30 cents in the game’s store.
With these rewards, non-payers can get a glimpse of the premium gameplay experience. For example, they can occasionally pick premium choices.
This placement probably has a lot of returning visitors.
The thing is, visiting this section and watching these ads is completely optional. Therefore, the players probably have a strong incentive to watch ads in the first place. Plus, since it comes with daily limitations, a lot of players come back to it.
Ad Placement #2
The other rewarded video ad placement in this game is quite different.
This one is as direct as can be.
It pops up on the players’ screens after finishing a chapter. The pop-up brings players the chance to earn one diamond by watching an ad.
This is a good placement because it is a natural gameplay break.
In this situation, players will either proceed to the next chapter or exit the game. If they are about to continue playing, there is a better chance they will engage with the ad.
Sure, since it’s a pop-up, this placement is riskier than the previous one. However, it doesn’t pop up frequently, so it doesn’t significantly interfere with the user experience.
Think strategy games don’t utilize rewarded video ads?
Castle Clash by IGG is just one of many games that deny this claim.
Just like in most strategy games, Castle Clash’s primary monetization strategy is IAPs.
On top of that, the game also uses two types of opt-in advertising: rewarded video ads and offerwalls.
The game’s premium currency is gems. While offerwalls can help players earn them, rewarded video ads bring them different benefits.
Rewarded Video Ad Placement
This game brings players one rewarded video ad placement. It appears early in the game, so players are aware of the option from the start.
It appears as a small icon in the players’ bases.
More precisely, next to their “heroes altar” building. In this building, players can hire heroes. Usually, this costs them gems.
However, once every 24 hours, they can get a hero for free — by watching a rewarded video ad. This way, the players are motivated to come back to the placement daily.
The placement comes with a “collect free” sign, so the players know exactly what it’s about. After they finish watching the ad, they find out about the hero they’ve earned. Since the reward is random, this should be a thrilling experience for players.
All of this is well done.
Another good thing this game does is balancing out ad formats — rewarded video ads and offerwalls.
These two can coexist together, but it’s necessary to be careful. For example, it’s desirable if they have different purposes. This way, they shouldn’t affect each other negatively .
In Castle Clash, they both bring different rewards. Also, the rewards from rewarded video ads are less valuable. Since their eCPMs are lower, this makes complete sense.
This farming game by Supercell falls into casual and simulation genres.
Hay Day’s gameplay consists of planting crops, feeding animals, harvesting crops, selling products, etc. In this process, players need currencies and resources.
This game’s economy includes two currencies: diamonds (hard currency) and coins (soft currency). They can both be purchased in the game’s store. Another thing players can buy in the game is a battle pass subscription.
What about those who don’t want to purchase anything?
They can watch rewarded video ads.
Noticing the pattern already? Yup, another game with hybrid monetization.
Rewarded Video Ad Placement
Hay Day only features one rewarded video ad placement, and it is reserved for engaged players.
Here’s the thing.
The ability to watch rewarded video ads unlocks when players reach level 10. At this point, players should be very into the game.
However, the game doesn’t notify players about this placement.
Instead, they need to find it themselves.
It appears in the form of a cinema ticket next to the farm’s mailbox. It takes players to a Night at the Movies where they can watch a Trailer. Of course, the trailers are ads for other games.
Before watching, the game displays rewards players can win. They are randomized, so this brings an excitement factor to it. After the ad finishes, players find out which reward they won and claim it.
This placement comes with a daily limit.
Players can only watch four ads a day. Therefore, they have a good incentive to come back the next day.
Interestingly, not all players can see these ads in Hay Day. The thing is, the game separates payers from non-payers.
After they make their first purchase, players aren’t able to watch ads anymore. Yet, this doesn’t mean they are denied rewards. They can get them with zero hassle — all they need is to come and claim them.
Rewarded Video Ad Placements: That’s It?
If you want to check out how some other games handle rewarded video ad placements, I’ve got you covered.
In our mobile game dissections category, you can find monetization analyses of many popular games. This includes plenty of rewarded video ad placements as well.
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