How to make a video ad to get app downloads

Are you wondering if it’s time to make a video ad for your mobile game to get more app downloads, and what creating the right type of video takes to make it work? Then we’ve got lots to share with you!

You probably don’t need us to tell you that video is the current consumer’s preferred choice for content consumption. But not just for entertainment and news but for marketing too. Here’s just some of the research:

  • 72% of people said they would rather learn about a service or product by watching a brand’s video
  • 79% of customers claim that they’ve been convinced to download or buy a piece of software by way of watching a video
  • Viewers retain (on average) 95% of a message when watched in a video, compared to a mere 10% when read in text

So, if you’re not using video as part of your mobile game paid user acquisition marketing strategy to increase app installs, you should be!

To help inspire you, we’ll take you through our step-by-step process for how to create a high-performing video ad by sharing how we did it for our gaming client, a new casino-based mobile game called Coin Splash.

Overview of app video ad creation process

The Video Ad Planning Process

1. Research competitors

After conducting market research, we identified a variety of competitors. Some of which included: Spin Voyage, Coin Master, Coin Beach, Coin Kingdom, Coin Trip, Island King. We looked at how these coin-centered competitors marketed themselves, and what they were highlighting in their advertisements on social media, and any relevant trends.

We then took a look at the types of categories the ads were highlighting:

  1. Gameplay (showing how the game works)
  2. Influencers (celebrity endorsements)
  3. Seasonal (Halloween, Christmas, etc holiday themes/characters)
  4. Promotion/Offer (free spins)

Examples below are of Influencers (Coin Master), Promotion/Offer (Coin Master), and Gameplay (Spin Voyage and Coin Trip)

2. Communicate the game’s UVP (unique value proposition)

As Coin Splash is a free, single player, casual mobile game that is based on accumulating coins, we wanted to feature winning coins using the slot machine.

Another important feature to highlight was Hacking – which is unique to the game. This is where you can Hack or steal coins from other players.

3. Identify user motivations based on your target personas

Based on our knowledge of Coin Splash and their competitive landscape, we identified key target personas for the game.

Keeping these personas in mind, we identified specific user motivations that we could use to set the tone for our video creative:

  • Thrill, excitement
  • Escapism
  • Boredom

The Video Ad Creative Ideation Process

4. Prioritize gameplay features you want to highlight

We wanted to highlight the winning/rewards as much as possible to simulate thrilling and exciting experiences for the end user and our target personas.

Because Coin Splash was a new game, we established early on that we should use gameplay in the video ads to introduce users to the look and feel of the game itself.

We then needed to establish what elements of gameplay were important to highlight in our video ads.

Based on our competitors, there were a few different categories within gameplay that we could feature: 

  • Winning (using the slot machine to get a large amount of coin winnings)
  • Building (new developments)
  • Attacking/Raiding (destroying other’s developments, getting revenge on other players)

5. Create storyboards for your chosen feature(s)

Based on competitor trends, our target persona user motivations and our unique value proposition, we decided to highlight Win and Hack features within the game.

We created storyboards that visually explained what would take place in each scene.

6. Incorporate all approved elements to produce your final videos

After we received client approvals, our talented video editor/motion graphic animator created the video concepts from the storyboards, creating new animations to highlight game features, and emulating animations from the game.

We then finished the video using upbeat music and sound effects to match the high energy of the game.

The Video Ad Creative Output

Based on the process outlined above, here are the final approved video ads that were used for paid media and tested for performance:

Hack Concept: 

Win/Slot Machine Concept:


From the creative and marketing side, we tend to think that all of our ideas are winners! But it’s important to test your video ads to see what the consumer thinks by closely tracking ad performance.

After running both video ad concepts for a few weeks, it turned out that the Win/Slot Machine concept yielded the best results.

Final Thoughts

Video ads can be an effective way to increase app installs through your paid user acquisition efforts. The key is making sure you’re taking the proper time and steps to produce a video that captures the audience’s attention, clearly communicates a focused message, and inspires the viewer to download and play the game.

To do this you must:

  • Research the game app’s niche and its competitors
  • Communicate the game’s UVP
  • Identify your target personas
  • Prioritize game play features you want to highlight
  • Create storyboards
  • Incorporate all final elements into video production (editing, animation, music)
  • Test!

The truth is that creating a gaming app video ad the right way takes a lot of time and effort. At AGN, we take the lead on this entire process to produce high-performing creatives for our clients from start to finish.

For a free consultation on how we can do the same for you, don’t hesitate to contact us!


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