European and American Advertising Insight in 2021 Q1: Analysis of Top-advertising Creatives in Puzzle games and News Apps

6 min readMay 28, 2021


Compared with 2020 Q4, the 2021 Q1 overall advertising in European and American markets has decreased. In the Top-advertising games, except for the small increases in the proportion of Casual and Strategy games, the proportion of other categories has declined. Among the Non-gaming Apps, the advertising proportion of News Apps has dropped evidently. Some reduction can also be seen in that of other top-advertising categories such as Social, Entertainment, and Book & Reference in Q1. The advertising proportion of Shopping Apps, however, turns out otherwise — — an increase of over 15%.

Based on the mobile advertising intelligence tracked from January 1st to March 31st, 2021, App Growing Global released the “European and American Advertising Insight in 2021 Q1”. The statistical area covers 42 countries/regions and the data covers 19 global mobile advertising platforms.


Overall Advertising Trends in European and American Markets

Compared with the data tracked in 2021 Q1 and 2020 Q4, mobile game Apps have a larger share, 54.08% in Q1, and enjoy an increasing proportion. At the same time, Non-gaming Apps account for 45.92%.

Source: App Growing Global

In terms of the number of ads from 2020 Q4 to 2021 Q1, the proportion of Gaming apps’ advertisements drops from 46.03% to 38.24%, while that of Non-gaming Apps rises by 7.79%, to 61.76%.

In 2021 Q1, the overall Gaming advertising markets in European and American regions have cooled down. Puzzle, Casual and Strategy are the top 3 in Gaming advertising list. Puzzle, though, undergoing a slight decrease of 0.42%, still manages to maintain its first place during the period. The proportion of Casual and Strategy games increased by 1.03% and 2.98%, respectively.

Source: App Growing Global

The largest decline falls on SLG games, at 1.35%. The proportions of other types float within 1%, giving stable performances.

On the other hand, significant changes have taken place in Non-gaming apps advertising of each categories. What is especially worth mentioning is the top players on the list have seen some fluctuation on the proportion of ads and rankings. Among the top 3 are News, Shopping and Social Apps.

Source: App Growing Global

News Apps falls the most on the list, from 59.13% in 2020 Q4 to 32.04% in 2020Q1, namely a 27.1% decline. The second-ranked Shopping App is on the opposite. Its advertising proportion increases by 15.4% to 21.44%, making itself the Non-gaming player with the largest increase in the regions. Its ranking has also risen several places.


Top-advertising Games & Advertising Strategy in Creatives

2–1 Top-advertising Puzzle Game List

In 2021 Q1, 3 of the top 10 Puzzle games are from China. Both Project Makeover and Matchington Mansion come from Magic Tavern, ranking first and ninth respectively. Word Connect, the fourth on the list, is one of the representative games of ZenLife Games.

Source: App Growing Global

In addition, some old players in Casual game, such as Playrix and Zynga, are also on the list.

2–2 Top-advertising Gaming Creatives

2.2.1《Project Makeover》

Project Makeover is a match-3 game based on makeover entertainment. The gameplay and themes are extremely popular in the European and American markets. Since its beginning to strengthen advertising in November of last year, the advertising channels have been mainly platforms under Facebook, and almost all of the creative have been shown as videos.

Source: App Growing Global

Project Makeover has a high level of production of video ads. While the style is cute and attractive, the frequently-shown interactive button also gives the audience an immersive experience.

Creative 1:

Copywriting:YOU define what beauty is!


Copywriting:This is a makeover emergency!

2.2.2《Word Connect》

Word Connect is a classic word spelling mobile game from ZenLife Games. As one of the hits under ZenLife Games, it still often can be seen in different overseas Gaming lists, although its peak period has gone.

Source: App Growing Global

The creatives of Word Connect are also almost exclusively presented as videos, with the proportion as high as 99.92%. The content of the video advertisement is mainly to show word spelling, while attracting users through highly interactive content.

Creative 1:

Copywriting:Train your brain and vocab for FREE! Challenge your ultimate Word Skills!

Creative 2:

Copywriting:I do this for 1–2 hours a day, and it makes my brain sharper.


Top-advertising Non-Games Apps & Advertising Strategy in Creatives

3–1 News Apps Top-advertising List

Among the Top 10 News apps in European and American regions in 2021 Q1, most are from local publishers.

Source: App Growing Global

However, the top 3 of the list are News Break from China, News app Smart News from Japan, and Opera News of Chinese publisher Kunlun Tech.

3–2 Top-advertising Non-gaming Creatives


Since its launch, SmartNews has quickly become a widely-reputed News application and expanded its user groups from Japan to the world. In European and American markets, the advertising strategy is in a relatively simple manner, putting its focus on In-feed Ads images.

Source: App Growing Global

Its ads are mainly presented as images, which displays popular news headlines, traffic conditions and other content that are highly attractive to target users.

Creative 1:

Copywriting:Auburn Community Hospital fighting against spike in COVID-19 cases. Install SmartNews for free to read more.

Creative 2:

Copywriting:⚠️ Plan your travels with SmartNews.🚨 Install now to avoid traffic, accidents, and road closures on your next trip. 🚧

3.2.2《Opera News》

Opera News is a News app from Chinese publisher Kunlun Tech. The advertising in European and American regions also uses Facebook, Audience Network, Instagram, and Messenger as the main channels. In-feed advertisements are the main form and there is also a small part in the form of Native and Interstitial.

Source: App Growing Global

As a News app, Opera News ads also take advantage of the latest hot news, as the main means to attract users. In addition to using images of key news figures to enhance the appeal, the ad copy is also relatively concise, highlighting the key points while retaining a sense of suspense.

Creative 1:

Copywriting:The Globalists Are Gonna Need A Bigger Virus As Economic Fraud Is Exposed. Come to Opera news to see the details!👉👉

Creative 2:

Copywriting:Already 50 millions people have chosen Opera News. Don’t miss out on the best app of 2021.


Suggestions for Advertising in In European and American markets

  1. As the largest traffic pool in the European and American markets, the United States has a high commercial potential and is a must-see area. Its unique user preferences and acceptance of different types of creatives are worthy of in-depth study by advertisers.
  2. For Gaming advertising in the regions, video creatives are the first option and interactive videos will also help gain popularity.
  3. The local Non-gaming publishers in the regions, especially in the United States, should not be underestimated, since they own a home field advantage. When foreign publishers enter the markets, advertising strategies should better be well-planned, besides the quality of Apps.
  4. The advertising methods of various types of applications have shown a certain homogenization trend: The promotion channels are more concentrated on Facebook’s platforms and In-feed advertisements are presented as the main form. Consider what is mentioned above. When designing creatives, advertisers can adopt a reverse thinking — — do research the popular ads first and then design.

The above is “European and American Advertising Insight in 2021 Q1”, log in App Growing Global now to get more mobile advertising information.

*The above-related advertising creatives are sourced from App Growing Global, which are only used for research and analysis. All Rights Reserved.




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