Every year that mobile advertising spend grows, so too does the importance of mobile ads. According to eMarketer, mobile ad spend is projected to reach just under $195 billion in 2023. This represents a 14.5 % year-over-year increase from mobile ad spend in 2022.

How can mobile advertisers leverage their ad spend in 2023 to create highly-engaging, personalized mobile ads? Keep reading to find out.

Best practices for creating performance-driven mobile ads in 2023

Put your mobile ad spend to work in 2023. Here are six best practices for creating performance-driven creatives.

#1: Personalization increases engagement 

The data is clear: ads that are customized to a user’s experience lead to greater engagement. In fact, 70% of consumers say they prefer customized content and ads. What’s more — personalized experiences result in a 20% increase in sales.

Depending on the ad format, personalization can take a variety of forms. For a static ad retargeting a user to come back to their abandoned shopping cart, personalization could be as simple as including a picture of an item they left behind. If you're using a video ad, serving a creative that aligns with the demographic of the user might drive better engagement. As an example, for female-identifying users, serving a video ad featuring a female voice rather than a male voice.

#2: Consider playables

If you haven’t explored the power of playable ads in your mobile advertising strategy, 2023 might be the year. In 2022, playable ads showed the lowest cost-per-install (CPI) of any ad format at a $1.98 CPI.

Playable ads use interactivity and gamification to engage users in real-time with a “try before you buy” experience. For example, mobile games will often serve playable ads to let potential players experience a short clip of game play before downloading the ad. This makes playables an effective strategy for enhancing brand recognition, promoting user engagement, and generating app installs with higher intent.

When it comes to building high-performing playables, there are a few best practices to keep in mind. Creating playables with simple puzzle game mechanics like mixing and matching are successful. According to Applovin, 20% of top-performing creatives in the Card, Casino, and Mid-Core game genres utilized classic game or puzzle formats in their playable ads. Furthermore, playables that feature real-time feedback, dramatic narratives and voiceover messaging, often show high engagement.

#3: Use seasonal creatives

Designing ad creatives with seasonal elements are timely and invoke a sense of festivity. According to Applovin, seasonal creatives contributed to 11% of their top-performing creatives in 2022. In particular, holidays with rich visual elements were more likely to get creative wins such as Easter and fourth of July. This is in contrast to holidays like Father’s Day that have fewer rich visual elements that can be integrated in an ad.

mobile ad creatives

Source: Applovin

Creating seasonally-relevant ads can mitigate ad burnout and keep your promotions fresh. Tweak the background and borders of your creative to match the tone and tenor of the season. This might include using cooler colors and graphics of snow during Christmas and warm tones or falling leaves during Thanksgiving. Align seasonal creatives with holiday-specific promotions or products to enhance the performance of your mobile advertising campaign further.

#4: Use video ads

Video has long reigned supreme in the mobile advertising space. Why? Because attention spans are decreasing while video consumption is rapidly increasing. With the rise of short-form video platforms like Tiktok and Instagram Reels, consumers’ tastes have no doubt shifted towards video. What’s more, with connected TV emerging as a highly measurable and accessible channel, video is fast becoming a key format for marketers. Studies show that mobile video ads have a 3x better click through rate (CTR) than traditional banner or interstitial ads. Furthermore, the average video retention rate is 54%.

The takeaway?

Invest in short-form video for in-app and mobile web channels. In addition to this, consider adding CTV advertising to your marketing mix with longer-form, story-rich video ads.

#5: Avoid clickbait and irrelevant ads

As the quality of ads enhances, users are increasingly less tolerant of clickbait and irrelevant ads in today’s media landscape. According to Applovin, mobile ads that force interaction, make false claims, or sell too hard disrupt a user’s experience and erode their trust. Serving a high rate of irrelevant and/or frustrating ads, or ads that seem like privacy risks can alienate users and lead to ad fatigue.

To avoid this, make sure to serve ads that only include content that is relevant to your app. If this is not possible, adjust other variables. For example, if your brand is in the ecommerce vertical and would like to serve a playable ad, include game mechanics that align with your brand’s shopping experience in some way.

#6: Don’t sleep on generative AI for content creation

Odds are, you’ve probably heard of generative AI large language learning models (LLMs) like Chat GPT. Beyond a new and obscure emerging technology, LLMs like DALL E 2 and Chat GPT 4 are rapidly scaling business processes across the economy.

For mobile advertisers, generative AI will revolutionize content production. From creating ad copy to generating copyright free, high-quality images. In fact, AI-generated voice overs accounted for 29% of Applovin’s creative wins last year.

Don’t wait to experiment with how generative AI can level up your creative production and get left behind. Encourage your design team to experiment with AI tools and explore how they can use them to unlock efficiencies.


Put your mobile ad spend to work in 2023 with these best practices for creative performance-driven creatives.

  • Personalize your ads. Seventy percent of consumers say they prefer customized content and ads. Customize your ad content to meet users where they are in their journey.
  • Consider playables. Interactive and gamified ads like playables saw the lowest CPI across ad formats in 2022. Unlock engagement with this high-performing ad format.
  • Use seasonal creatives. Design ad creatives with seasonal elements to be timely and invoke a sense of festivity.
  • Use video ads. Studies show that mobile video ads have a 3x better click through rate CTR than static formats. Create video ads to tap into the rise of CTV advertising and short-form video content.
  • Avoid clickbait and irrelevant ads. Forgo mobile ads that force interaction, make false claims, or sell too hard. These can disrupt a user’s experience and erode trust.
  • Don’t sleep on generative AI. The AI revolution in content production isn’t near, it’s here. Experiment with how LLMs like Chat GPT can scale your content production.

Build a performance-driven mobile ads in 2023

Reach out to our team of mobile creative experts to design a strategy that aligns with your brand and drives ROI.