In the fast-paced mobile gaming world, maintaining a low CPI is crucial when assessing the potential success of hyper-casual or hybrid games. A low CPI is essential as it indicates that your game can reach scale and appeal to a broad audience. Below, we dive into the best practices that CrazyLabs employs to optimize CPI.
For hyper-casual and hybrid videos to succeed they need to follow the fundamental CPI principles of satisfying to watch and eye-catching, while reflecting trending themes, mechanics, and topics. Typically, the best way to achieve an eye-catching and satisfying video is through creating a ‘wow’ moment, which can help the players continue watching the ad and potentially get them to click on it.
One of the key factors in attracting users is presenting clear and concise gameplay within the first five seconds of the video. Since there are no tutorials, the responsibility of teaching users how to play your game falls on the creatives themselves. Make sure your video showcases the game’s goal, mechanics, and controls in a way that is easily understandable to all of your audience.
Furthermore, it’s essential to maintain the natural speed of gameplay when creating video ads. Avoid speeding up or slowing down the gameplay, as it can lead to confusion or misrepresentation of the actual experience.
Below is an excellent video example from our recent game, Drawing Carnival, that showcases pure gameplay. What sets this video apart is its ability to effectively explain the game of drawing and coloring while also aligning with the popular trend of coloring on a grid.
Note that speeding up the video can be effective for videos that involve multiple steps and aim to showcase the entire process, but it requires a delicate balance. The purpose of speeding up the video is to demonstrate the gameplay while ensuring that the whole process is captured.
“Fail” Pro tip: The “fail” video tactic will explain how to play the game instantly by showing what not to do. Additionally, in specific subgenres (like simulation), humorous videos can be categorized as ‘fail videos.’
Below is an example from our Lash Salon game that illustrates the concept of a “fail video.” In this video, we can observe a humorous situation where the eyelashes are falling off. This video succeeds by tapping into the trend of eyelashes, and the fail moment is strategically placed at the beginning of the video, instantly captivating the viewer’s attention.
Spark emotions early on
To make an immediate impact, strive to evoke emotions within the video’s first three to five seconds. Depending on the nature of the hyper-casual game, consider triggering emotions such as competitiveness, satisfaction, or humor.
For example, in puzzle games, showcasing a scenario with failure can create a sense of “I can do it better.” Simulation games can elicit emotions by including unexpected or inappropriate scenes while incorporating funny failures can add a touch of humor to the experience.
One way to approach strategies to lower CPI is to consider which sub-genre type is more susceptible to lower CPI. For example, in CrazyLabs’ Mystical Mixing game, we merged the simulation sub-genre with idle because simulation typically performs better in the CPI phase. This is why it’s absolutely crucial to combine and test different sub-genres in both the video and the game.
Don’t forget the importance of colors
Below are three fundamental tips for nailing colors:
- Play around with colors to find the winning combination: Colors play a significant role, and it is imperative to explore and enhance various hues in order to find the optimal color that captures the viewer’s attention. To achieve the best results, it is recommended to test different colors for the game’s background, characters, objects, and environments.
- Utilize vibrant and cartoonish colors: This can potentially help captivate a broader audience. Below are some examples of color palettes we recommend using.
- Use green and red to guide decision-making: Utilize green to highlight favorable choices and red to denote bad decisions.
Test, test, & test
To ultimately, find the winning formula for creating a successful CPI video, you need to test relentlessly. Ideally, you should be testing the below to increase the likelihood of achieving a low CPI, enhancing marketability, and enticing the player to play the game:
- Mechanics: Test different types of mechanics and their combinations, as some might be more eye-catching and appealing than others. It’s important to remember that different mechanics can achieve different results.
- Sub-genres: Test multiple subgenres in your videos as mentioned above
- Colors: Test different color palettes and combinations as mentioned above
- Different scenes or levels of a game: Aim to include a ‘wow’ factor as mentioned above; this applies to different scenes or levels within a game
- Fail: Test videos with fail, without fail, and different fail scenarios.
- Camera views: It’s important to test a few videos with different camera angles like zoomed-in, zoomed-out, top-down, side view, back view, or an isometric view
CrazyLabs’ examples of improved CPI & key takeaways
- Show a clear goal at the beginning of the video. We don’t show any specific goal in the first video – just drop the bomb. In the second video, the player understands that they need to drop the bomb specifically on the monster.
- The new video highlights the bad/good options through the red and blue gates.
- Clear the environments to help the player focus on the actual gameplay. We removed all of the city’s buildings and gray background.
- We integrated larger main elements (e.g. the bombs) and this can help the player understand the gameplay.
- In the second video, we removed the animations and glitches seen in the first video.
- Additionally, we showcase smooth gameplay right from the start and have included an end result.
- Lastly, we present a beautiful and satisfying illustration in the second video.
CPI plays a crucial role in driving user acquisition in the hyper-competitive landscape of hyper-casual and hybrid spaces. Applying the abovementioned strategies can attract engaged users and, more importantly, increase the likelihood of scaling your game.