Advertising can make or break the launch of a new game. Good marketing shows players why they should be interested in the game quickly and efficiently. However, when it comes to mobile games, it seems that many of them have taken a complete opposite approach. There’s no shortage of mobile game ads that are weird, wild, or just plain misleading, but they all seem to avoid showing the game.
The idea of not showing the game may seem strange at first, but it certainly seems to work. marvel snapfor example, you have ads that focus on your card art or developer interviews, rather than showing actual gameplay. marvel snapThe ads aren’t as weird as other mobile games, and yet they don’t try to present the game as something it isn’t. survival status, lilly’s garden, Change of image of the projectY evertale they are particularly notable for their ads, especially when considering how they compare to actual games. The vast majority of the announcements for these four games show very little, if any, actual gameplay. What’s even stranger is how often the ads display impactful content to try to generate interest. Looking at these four games, a trend begins to emerge that may explain why mobile game companies have gotten so weird with their ads.
Some mobile game ads show stories instead of actual games
One of the most common types of mobile game ads are those that feature some certainly impressive CG animations. survival status Y lilly’s garden they fall into this category with their story-based ads set in the world of their games. lilly’s garden it tends to oscillate between tricky and creative, as elements of what happens in the ads appear in-game in the form of character dialogue between levels. However, the actual gameplay of lilly’s garden it’s mostly just match-3 puzzles with some light home design elements, which is nothing like the soap opera story the ads tell.
survival status it also has some animated ads, though many of the more recent ones have been live-action shorts that focus on the people playing the game. A survival statusTo the credit of, these ads often focus on the game’s central hero and city-building mechanics by having two people argue over which characters and shelters in the game have the most power. They’re actually a bit reminiscent of the “Settle It in Smash” ads that ran to promote Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 3DS and Wii U.
the animated survival status the ads, however, highlight small stories and feature characters that players can unlock in the game. For example, an ad might feature one character saving another from zombies, only for the two of them to run into a house and fortify it for shelter. While there may be similar strategy mechanisms in survival status, the game never gets as deep as these animated ads try to make it out to be. However, to the game’s credit, the ads focus on what real gameplay prioritizes.
Other mobile ads sell out with surprises or are misleading
Change of image of the project it has ads that almost always venture into the absurd with gross images that are meant to shock viewers. most of Change of image of the projectThe ads show someone with disheveled hair, smudged mascara, and other similar features. The fake player in the ads tries to give them a makeover, only to have it go horribly wrong. Certain aspects of these ads are exaggerated for impact, such as one in which there is a river of mud flowing down the client’s body.
One might assume that Change of image of the project it’s a makeover simulator game, but actually it’s almost identical to lilly’s garden. In other words, it’s another tic tac toe game. A mobile title that takes a similar approach is evertalewhich seems to present itself as a version Pokemon but with a touch of terror. While the ads often feature brutal murder, dismemberment, and genetic experimentation, the actual gameplay is a pretty standard mobile RPG that doesn’t really stray from the formula.
Nevertheless, evertaleAds dives into some of the darker aspects of mobile game advertising. Many of the images, assets, and even stories in these ads are heavily inspired by, or copied directly from, more popular games. Many players have even pointed out that some evertale the ads appear to copy scenes from the indie RPG OMORÍ. While the other mobile games mentioned so far blur the line between creative advertising and lying, evertale it’s an almost completely different game than what the ads show.
Mobile games don’t actually advertise their game
Mobile game ads really only have enough time to highlight what the developers think will appeal to the most viewers. There are a lot of marketing practices at play with these ads, but the main one to note is how they grab the attention of your target audience. survival status focuses on the gacha mechanic to level up specific characters, as it showcases both a gameplay mechanic and character art from the game. Change of image of the project try to grab the viewer’s attention with shocking images to get them to download the game and see if it’s really like what the ads show.
The wildest part about mobile game ads is that they actually work. Change of image of the project is a perfect example of this. Disgusting as some of its ads can be, the game skyrocketed in popularity within four days of its initial release. The ads caught people’s attention and made them want to know more. If someone downloads a game like lilly’s garden but ends up not playing it after watching the game, it’s still a download. More downloads mean an app is more likely to be recommended to other users, which leads to more players trying the game.