AdIntel Insights: Hot Advertiser Alert – Brain Shape – Test IQ

As promised, we are continuing the series and featuring the hottest advertiser every week based on our data. This week it’s:

Brain shape game logo from the apple app store

Brain Shape – Test IQ

This app is relatively new in the ad spending chart and only made it’s entry on last week of December. It popped on our radar this week due to a huge budget increase.

As you can see in the top chart it’s ranked #3 for budget increase in the US for iOS platform. We measure absolute dollar increase so this means that only 2 other apps added more dollars to their budget between the week of Dec 30th 2019 to the week of Jan 6th 2020.

Screenshot from the SOOMLA Advertising intelligence dashboard called Ad Intel. It shows that the app Brain Shape is ranked #3 for Bdgt Change for US/iOS
Screenshot from SOOMLA Ad Intel Dashboard

Ad focused apps fly under the radar

Most likely you have never heard of this app but it’s likely you will hear about it a lot in the future. We will go into the addictive game play and monetization model but let’s just confirm one thing. This app is monetized mostly with ads – it does offer a few items for in-app purchase but playing it for about a minute I watched more than 15 ads and accidentally clicked on 2 of them while trying to find the x button. This is not a user experience that is built for in-app purchases. So because this app monetizes with ads it flies completely under the radar of the standard market intelligence tools such as AppAnnie. Quick search in AppAnnie shows it’s ranked at the place 383 in the Top Downloaded chart – this is way below the ‘interesting line’ for the Top Downloaded chart.

A screenshot from AppAnnie showing the game Brain Sharp - Test IQ in the 383 spot of the top downloaded chart.
Screenshot from AppAnnies dashboard – same app ranked #383

Drilling down on this app ad budget

So we talked about Brain Sharp spending big but let’s try to understand why they are spending big. Under glance at the SOOMLA Ad Intel platform shows that it’s spending mostly in US and the biggest budget goes to Vungle.

Screenshot from soomla ad intel dashboard showing network breakdown and country breakdown for the app Brain Sharp
Screenshot from SOOMLA Ad Intel platform showing where Brain Sharp ads are showing

Performance KPIs – the best conversion rates

More importantly you can see this app is ranked #1 for installs and #5 for IPM (Installs per 1,000 impressions). This means that a big portion of the users who see their ad end up installing. There are only 4 apps that convert ads to installs better than Brain Sharp and all of them are doing it on a smaller scale. This is crucial in apps that monetize with ads as it allows to drive the CPIs down. I believe the guys at Shape Keeper are on to something here and there is much to learn from this game.

Screenshot from the Ad intel dashboard focusing on performance KPIs and the high conversion rates achieved by the game
Screenshot from SOOMLA Ad Intel dashboard showing Brain Sharp is conversion KPIs

Gameplay and monetization

So finally, let’s quickly check what this game is about. It’s a quiz game where each level has several drawings and a question. It’s not so much about math, logic or trivia knowledge. Most questions has a twist or a trick to them. You have to move something, think differently or find the catch. This makes the gameplay quite addictive while the simple style of the app helps the creatives convert well and generate installs. The monetization scheme is quite simple but extremely aggressive. There is a bottom banner at any point in time and most levels take only a few seconds so that gives an opportunity to push a lot of ads between levels – the app is using native ads in the level summary screen. In addition, there is a non-skip video or playable every minute or so at the end of the level and if you get stuck you will need a hint which is offered in return for a rewarded video view. This multi-channel approach to ads is common these days and can generate double digit cent arpdau (so more than 10 cent arpdau) in US and tier 1 countries. Combining the low CPI with solid arpdau and retention makes me believe that this app can scale profitable.

screenshots from the app showing the core game loop including question and answer that usually have a trick or twist and the monetization via ads
Pair of screenshots from the app showing the core loop and monetization

How to find the next big hits

Most of the innovation in games these days are in ad-monetized apps. The only way to learn about the good ones is with SOOMLA Ad Intel. We are offering free 7 day trials at the moment so don’t be shy.


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Raised in the Kibbutz and reborn in the city, Yaniv is a certified entre-parent-neur. When he’s not busy doing SEO, content marketing, administration, QA, fund raising, customer support… [stop to breathe], you can find Yaniv snowboarding down the slopes of France and hiking with his kids. Yaniv holds a B.Sc. in Computer Science and Management from Tel Aviv University. He is also an avid blogger and a speaker at industry events. Before SOOMLA, Yaniv co-founded EyeView


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