AdIntel Insights: Hot Creative Alert – Homescapes

This is the fourth article in the series. This time we are doing something a bit different and instead of focusing on a hot advertiser we will celebrate the new feature of SOOMLA Ad Intel platform by focusing on a hot creative.

Image result for homescapes logo


Home scapes have been in the app stores for some time now and is certainly not a new app. It is also not a new genre – as the gameplay is almost identical to Gardenscapes. Both games are a mash up of the familiar match-3 game play that was popularized by Candy Crush in mobile with a simulation genre that provides the meta game element and sense of progression.

This video provides a glimpse into the gameplay

Homescapes is ranked #5 for overall ad spend in iOS over the last 90 days. This means massive budgets and big investment in creatives. Maybe there is something we can learn by looking at their ads.

Screenshot from SOOMLA Ad Intel showing Homescapes ranked #5 for Budget in iOS-US
Screenshot from SOOMLA Ad Intel showing Homescapes ranked #5 for Budget in iOS-US

What’s the best video ad

A few clicks on the Ad Intel dashboard reveals a wide range of video creatives but there is one that stands out. More than 60% of the budget is being spent to show this ad and it generates the highest CTR for Homescapes.

Screenshot from the Ad Intel platform showing there is one video that takes up all the budget and generates the highest CTR
Screenshot from the Ad Intel platform showing there is one video that takes up all the budget and generates the highest CTR

Revealing the video ad creative

This video must be super interesting to learn from, and this is where the Ad Intel platform comes in handy and can help us reveal the video creative.

If the youtube link doesn’t work for you for some reason, you can try the direct link.


Analyzing the video creative

So if you look at the video and compare it to the actual gameplay, you will quickly learn that they have nothing in common. It almost looks like Playrix are promoting another game until you see the logo at the end or follow through on the link that is attached to the ad. The video ad shows a puzzle game where the Homescapes hero is on a mission to help the nice girl escape the evil robber by pulling long keys from a maze like house. I’m not sure if this gameplay even exists in the Homescapes real app but it’s certainly not the main gameplay. What does Playrix know that we don’t?

One thing that is certain is that this creatives provides higher CTR than a video ad showing the actual match-3 gameplay. It’s obvious that any marketer starts by showing the actual product as their first go so switching to something that looks so far off needs to have serious justification in the KPIs. It’s also likely that everyone is already super bored with the match-3 ads that look exactly the same as any other match-3 game and at the same time, more casual puzzles with ads that look like the winning Homescapes video ad are able to command high IPMs.

One might expect that tricking the user in such an obvious way will not pay off in the long run. The user will get to the app store and quickly see that the game has nothing to do with the ad. However, the fact that Playrix is doubling down on this type of ads is a hint that this might not be the case. In most ads, the app store is opened as a dialog in the app and so users are making the download decision based only on little information from the store and once the users get to the app maybe they already forgot the what the ad was about.

At the end of the day, we might not be able to explain why this ad works better than others for Playrix but the one thing we can learn from it is that users might be receptive to ads that show a different experience than the one in the app. The best way to know if this works in your app is to try and see.

Discover new trends and hot creatives

In the competitive world that we live in, it’s critical to gain market intelligence to stay ahead. Ad Intel is exactly the tool to bring you information about the most converting creatives and the best apps. You can get a 7-day free trial.


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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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