High Impact Creatives, Industry News & Events, User Acquisition

Fall in Love with These SparkLabs Creative Predictions for 2023

Feb 8, 2023
SparkLabs report part 2

SparkLabs – AppLovin’s in-house creative team – has created and iterated on tens of thousands of mobile ad creatives. Using data about these creatives collected from across 200+ distinct mobile apps, we identified a range of concepts and strategies associated with top-performing creatives, then analyzed how numerous variables impact the creative success for each mobile app advertising initiative.

In addition to the best practices provided in our recent mobile creative trends report, the SparkLabs team combined this data with observations of emerging tech and creative trends on the market to produce our forecast of the mobile ad creative landscape in 2023.

Check out our key predictions below to keep your creative production on the cutting edge and sweep users off their feet in 2023!

Prediction: Generative AI will transform creative production

AI-generated voiceovers were associated with nearly 29% of creative wins last year at SparkLabs. But that’s not all – AI-generated content is growing in popularity and accessibility across the board. For example, visual and interactive applications, such as graphics, videos, 3D, chatbots and more are becoming more advanced and efficient. These tools are already being used to accelerate content production and data processing at numerous stages of the production process, and we predict that they will eventually make it to the UI level for mobile advertising – think ad creatives with embedded AI chatbots or art generators that create a unique outcome for each user interaction in real time.

Prediction: Further adoption of diversity and representation will improve engagement

Diversity in mobile app advertising
Visually diverse characters will engage a wider, more diverse user base.

The data doesn’t lie: representation matters. Users want to engage when they feel a sense of identification or connection to game characters, themes, and storylines, so developers can reach a wider, more diverse user base by introducing characters of various genders, ages, ethnicities, body types, sexual orientations, and socio-economic statuses through their mobile app advertising. Be sure to include visually diverse characters, and when using AI or recorded voiceovers, consider accent and tone of the person speaking, being careful to avoid stereotypes or caricatures. The content should create a sense of identification on the part of the user.

Prediction: Live action creatives will continue to expand their reach and popularity

Relatable and realistic, live action creatives with the look and feel of user-generated content create a casual and inclusive vibe. Mobile UA creatives will also branch out into higher-budget productions to grab users’ attention and pull them in with more polished live action content. You can work in elements like immersive narratives and character diversity to further strengthen your live action content.

Prediction: Constructing immersion and providing value will be the next steps after attracting attention

Amp up how creatives provide users with entertainment and trigger curiosity. Tutorials presented as voiceover alongside gameplay were a huge hit in 2022, and showed us how ads that provide value and assist users in understanding gameplay are more likely to succeed. We expect this trend to continue. Complex creatives inspired by new, exciting interactions, such as chatbots, AR/VR elements, gyro, and voice recognition will help to create immersion and incentivize users to go further down the funnel after the creative attracts their attention.

We weren’t surprised to learn that users continue not to be tolerant of mobile app advertising that forces interaction, makes false claims, or sells too hard at the cost of user experience and trust. Negative user experience due to poor UX, high ad fatigue due to too many irrelevant or frustrating ads, ads that seem like privacy risks, and other frustrating or seemingly disingenuous creative content can alienate users. We recommend avoiding content like this. If you choose to serve ads with content that isn’t as relevant to your app, consider adjusting other variables. For example, try mechanics that align well with gamer motivations – if a user liked the puzzles in your ads, likely they’ll also like the puzzles in your app.

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