100% Legit Creatives with High IPM and CTR

In previous posts we highlighted some of the tricks that ad creatives and ad vendors are using to inflate clicks and even get users to convert with UX that is not 100% clear to the user but is still proving effective. The problem with this type of performance is that it might be short lived. It’s possible that users who install the app due to a trick may not be the most valuable users and actually contribute to reducing the average LTV. It’s also likely that with time, publishers are getting better tools and are gaining more awareness to practices that are not fully transparent with the users and may block them on their side. From this reason, it’s in the best interest of all sides involved to promote ads that have high performance by leveraging compelling visuals and story telling rather than with sophisticated UX. In this post we will try to find exactly these ads.

Playspot – Playable ad by Ironsource – 77 IPM

This app and ad creative have been dominating the charts for quite a while. You can see the experience here.

With IPM of 77.3 and CTR of 43% you might expect that there will be some tricks here but this ad is converting mainly on the power of it’s creative, the playable experience and the message being compelling.

No tricks and shticks

The first thing we need to check is the heatmap. Some ads have tricky closing experience and users are generating click-out events when trying to close the ad. In this case we can see that most of the clicks are concentrated in areas that indicate high intent to click.

2 phones displaying ads and a heatmap of click patterns on those ads

Another way to look at this data is that more than 80% of the clicks are in the quality zone while less than 5% are close attempts.

donut chart with 3 colors - quality zone, boderline zone, close attempt. The quality zone area is about 80%

When looking at the click distribution over time we can see that click-out events in various times and the pattern indicates human clicking. As a reminder – the click-out event is when the user is triggering the opening of the app store as opposed to clicks that are playable engagement.

bar chart representing distribuiton of click-through over time from the beginning of the ad.

The last thing to check is what triggered the click-out event. With other ads we identified 3 patterns:

  • Click-out triggered by touch
  • Click-out saved for later
  • Click-out triggered with no touch

In this case we can see that over 95% of the clicks are triggered by touch which is obviously the best scenario.

donut chart showing what triggered the ad - “click triggered by touch” being over 95%

Bottom line – this ad has high performance based on creative quality.


Chapters – video ad by Vungle – 56.4% CTR

56.4% CTR means that for every two users that see the ad one will click on it on average and actually slightly more. This type of high CTR might get you suspicious of how the clicks are being generated. You can see the Full ad experience here.

Also – if we look at the rest of the funnel we can see that the ad is generating a high number of installs as well – 74 installs for every 1,000 impressions.

table showing a single line of data about chartpers by Crazy Maple and an ad by Vungle - the IPM is 74.1 and CTR of 56.4%

Is it Kosher?

To understand if the ad is using some misleading tactics, we can look at the heatmaps. Here we can see that most of the clicks are generated from the quality zone but there is some clicks on the top right corner.

2 phones displaying ads with interactive ad content and heatmpas layered over them showing click distribution.

We can quantify the amounts in a chart to see if the ratio is big or not. The chart below shows that about 80% of the clicks are in the quality zone and while some attempts to close the ad where interpreted as click-throughs overall the ad is converting based on the creative.

donut chart showing click distribution to zones

The 2nd piece is to understand click distribution over time and determine if actual users are doing the clicking.

bar chart showing click distribution over time

The chart above shows us that clicks are distributed through out the timeline and starting from the 5th second to the 55th. The pattern doesn’t show a strong spike but rather a half-bell curve.

In addition – as the chart below suggests – the clicks-throughs are generated mostly by touch events of actual users.

donut chart showing click distribution based on what triggered the clicks - touching of the finger on the screen is the biggest area with about 80%

Bottom line – this secret sauce of this ad is the creative

Word Connect – Video ad by Unityads – 40 IPM

Finally, the last ad we will show is a video ad with no playable experience that is yet able to command IPM of 40.7.

table focusing mainly on a single ad for the app Word Connect. The ad was served by Unity and commands 40.7 IPM

To see the full ad experience – Click Here

Heatmaps and click distribution checks out

Looking at the click distribution there is nothing out of the ordinary on this one. The sample is quite small but no clicks near the x button is a good start here.

two charts side by side - donut chart for click distribution to zones an heatmap on the right side.

When looking at the click-through distribution over time and the correlation with touch events the ad also looks fine with red flags.

click distribution over time presented as a bar chart
click triggering displayed as a donut chart. In this case it’s 100% triggered by touch

Webinar style

This content is also available in an audio+video format if you prefer it that way.

Try it yourself

These are just 3 ads from about 200,000 that we have in AdIntel. If you want to learn from your competitors AdIntel is the place to be. You can be live in the platform in 15 seconds and with no credit card needed.


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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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