California, USA – By analysing trends across four key app verticals, namely gaming, e-commerce, finance, and entertainment, playable ads have the most affordable cost-per-install (CPI) at $1.98, well below the average of $3.79 from all five ad formats for gaming, making them an attractive format for game marketers. This is according to the fourth annual Mobile Ad Creative Index report of Liftoff, a growth acceleration platform for the mobile industry.

With Apple eliminating access to IDFA and Google pledging to do similar privacy-first moves on Android, app marketers need better, more relevant creatives to reach and retain new audiences. Liftoff has analysed billions of data on impressions and clicks and has arrived at a conclusive option for mobile marketing.

Playable ads rise as the clear choice for mobile marketers. Through a ‘split-by-platform’ view, CPI on Android comes in at $1.41 compared to $3.66 on iOS. These interactive ads are also a clear boost to audience engagement, ultimately driving user acquisition. Not only do they cost twice as less on Android than on iOS, but playable ads, along with banners and interstitials, fall well below the most expensive native ad which shows high costs on both Android, with $4.82, and iOS, at $7.38.

Throughout 2021, playable ads remained the most cost-effective ad format month-to-month, other than in September, where they tied with banner adsand of course, the release of iOS 15. This makes playable ads, valued at $1.98, followed by banner ads at $2.82, an attractive format for mobile gaming marketers looking to unlock the full potential of the mobile experience without shelling out to accommodate high costs.

Playable ads have a lot to offer not just for gaming apps. Introducing an interactive element to an e-commerce ad drives real engagement without compromising the brand. Playable ads allow users to play before they buy. Those who view the ad can interact with it as a preview of what they could do in the app, and, according to Liftoff data, is the most cost-effective ad format.

Mark Ellis, CEO and co-founder of Liftoff, said, “Understanding what motivates your target audience is key for marketers to get ahead of the curve, and the data shows that playable ads are where it’s at. As mobile marketers look at the big picture this year, it’s important to factor in platform needs when it comes to engaging, interactive ads to pique the interest of your custom industry audience.”

Meanwhile, affirming year-over-year predictions in continuation from 2021, Android continues to win ad creative with cheaper costs and higher value across ad formats. In gaming, Android devices are less expensive across all ad formats.

The research notes that mobile marketers should continue to target Android to pique the interest of potential audiences for value. Additionally, CPI rates are higher across the board on iOS than on Android—but nearly every ad format saw a CPI increase within the year. Video ads nearly doubled from $3.44 to $6.09.