Most people know the Finish developer Supercell by their worldwide famous mobile games Clash of Clans, Brawl Stars, and Clash Royale.
Besides action and strategy mobile games, Supercell has published a casual game back in 2012 – Hay Day.
In this article, we’re going to dissect this mobile game and its organic and paid user acquisition strategies to find out how it fights to stay relevant.
More specifically, I’ll look at Hay Day advertising and app store optimization.
Let’s dive right in!
How Successful Is Hay Day by Supercell?
Before we get into Hay Day advertising and the app store page, let’s look at some numbers.
Here’s how many people downloaded this game and how much it earns in revenue according to data.
Unless stated otherwise, the data in this article comes from an internal source.
All Time Hay Day Downloads By Country
Overall, Hay Day got more than 300 million downloads since 2012 when it was released. Peak downloads happened in January 2014, reaching more than 8 million. After that, downloads were lower, between 2 and 4 million. In 2020, they were the lowest ever. This begs the question, is the massive popularity of Hay Day over, or is this game still relevant?
All Time Hay Day Revenue By Country
We see a similar trend with revenue as with downloads. Peak revenue was in 2014, reaching more than 25 million in the middle of the year. In 2020, it never went above 10 million, which is still quite successful. The majority of Hay Day’s revenue comes from the US. However, Germany, Japan, Great Britain, Canada, France, Australia, Switzerland, and Demark are also among the top markets for this game.
Hay Day ARPDAU
Back in 2016, ARPDAU for Hay Day was about $0.10. By 2021, it grew significantly and reached more than $0.40 in January.
Just to put this in perspective, according to GameAnalytics’ Benchmarks+, the average ARPDAU in 2020 for top 10% casual games was about $0.20. For the top 2% of games, it ranged from $0.50 to $0.60.
If you want to learn more about how this game is monetized, you should read our Hay Day monetization dissection.
Hay Day App Store Ratings (US)
According to AppAnnie, the average App Store ratings for Hay Day in the US is 4.67, which is very good. There’s 82% of 5-star ratings (270k), while there’s only 3% of 1-star ratings (10k).
Reviews: What Users Have to Say About Hay Day
Top comments/reviews of Hay Day on Google Play are quite positive. However, most offer some advice for improvement. Here’s an example.
“Great game have been playing for many years, just think there should be more items available to buy in the catalogue, as it gets a bit boring the same things over and over, maybe every month add something new to buy say as a market day and add things that are new to everyone just to make it a bit more exciting, that would be great. Keep up the good work with this game.” – Raelene.
App Store Optimization Dissection (Organic User Acquisition)
If you have searched for farming games in the app stores, you most certainly came across Supercell’s Hay Day. It’s one of the Editor’s Choice games on Google Play.
In the Apple App Store, it is categorized as a family game. However, on Google Play it’s in the casual games category. One could also say Hay Day is a simulation game, considering it’s based on farm simulation.
In any case, it attracts a large number of players in both stores.
Let’s see why.
The game title for this Supercell game is as simple as it can be – Hay Day. It’s two words, it’s short, and it rhymes. Furthermore, it’s catchy, recognizable, and easy to memorize.
There are no additional keywords and description words like we see with many other games.
Even though an animal is on the game’s icon instead of a human face, it follows the same formula as another Supercell game – Clash of Clans.
You know the drill – face turned sideways with an animated facial expression. However, Hay Day’s icon is not as aggressive looking – the chicken is cute and smiling. Behind it, we see nature – a background of green fields and blue sky. All of it looks very inviting.
Above, you can see a more detailed analysis of the Hay Day icon from GameRefinery. The main object of the icon is an animal/mascot/character that’s happy/smiling. The art genre is very modern and polished while the art style is cartoonish. The main colors are blue, grey, and red.
On the right side, you can see how prevalent each of those elements are in the top 200 games and outside the top 200 games.
Another good way to know whether an icon is good and boosts installs is to check whether other games are copying it.
Lo and behold, there’s a publisher that literally copied not only the Hay Day icon but the game itself. This is how you know for sure you’re successful.
Hay Day App Promo Video Breakdown
When it comes to app store optimization, a key factor is the app promo video. It is without a doubt the most important ASO element.
It’s simple – the video format is the best way to present any mobile game. It’s hard to explain what the game is about using only words and images. When users watch an app promo video, they can see how the gameplay looks, what are the game’s features and benefits, and even how to play the game. It makes people click that install button.
However, app promo videos don’t just boost downloads, they also attract high-quality users, which is important long-term.
Players who have watched an app promo video prior to installing a game have a much better understanding of it. Plus, they’re more interested right from the get-go. Furthermore, they have a better idea of how to play it and what’s the goal of the game. Those types of players tend to stick around longer and spend more on in-app purchases. This results in better user retention and higher revenue.
But what makes a good app promo video? Let’s see how Supercell presented Hay Day.
The 30-second app promo video for Hay Day starts with clouds parting and revealing beautiful crop fields. As the camera pans out, we see different types of crops growing and the full scope of the farm, along with different buildings, roads, and resources.
This shows players how their farm could look like and the different types of buildings one can build.
Then the app promo video moves on to highlighting multiple game features. “Care for your farm” shows pigs, sheep, and cows getting fed. “Join a neighborhood” shows where you can move in and interact with neighbors. “Explore new places” shows unique places in the Hay Day world.
All in all, this app promo video does a good job of explaining what the game is about and what players can expect if they download it. The only thing it lacks is a call to action at the end of the video that invites players to install the game.
Screenshots and graphics are another way to showcase important game features. Hay Day is very successful at this. Each graphic is nicely designed and represents the game in a very good light.
Highlighted features include things like the ability to trade with neighbors and friends, decorate and grow your farm, and explore new areas. Furthermore, the graphics represent the Hay Day world as a very joyful place where “sunshine is never-ending” and “happiness is everywhere you turn”. All of it is very colorful and inviting, just like the game itself, which is known for being visually pleasing.
This type of messaging tells us Hay Day is suitable for both kids and adults who want to relax and enjoy a game that’s not too aggressive or dark.
Note that there are plenty of graphics for Hay Day, not just a few, and they come in different formats for different devices.
Hay Day description is separated into different sections – intro, features, media mentions, ratings, and support. This is a nice way to organize information in the description so that users can easily find the part they’re interested in.
The reality is that not many people read the description, but it’s important to have one for those that do. Some might get interested in a game by looking at screenshots or a promo video but want to get more info in the description. In those cases, it becomes very useful.
Hay Day ASO Keywords
Above you can see Hay Day keywords for Google Play (AppAnnie). There are the expected keywords like “hay day”, “farm”, “farm games”, and “farm game”. However, some keywords are Hay Day mispronunciations like “hey day”, “hayday”, and “payday”.
The Hay Day keywords for Apple are quite similar. Interestingly, some keywords are the names of competitor’s games like Township from Playrix. Furthermore, there’s “clash of clans” as a keyword, which is another popular Supercell game.
For most of these keywords, Hay Day ranks as number one. In other words, Hay Day comes up first in the search results when someone uses these keywords in app stores.
Paid User Acquisition: Hay Day Advertising Strategies
While good app store optimization is incredibly important for organic user acquisition, a smart advertising strategy is essential for successful paid user acquisition.
To give you a better idea of what types of techniques Supercell uses to advertise Hay Day, I have dissected top ads for this game.
Dissection of Top-Performing Hay Day Ads
These are currently the top-performing Hay Day ads. All are, as expected, video ads since this format has the highest conversion rates.
Hay Day Facebook Ads
This Hay Day Facebook ad starts with the Supercell logo.
Here’s the thing about including logos at the beginning of ads.
This might be a smart thing to do if you’re a super famous publisher and brand like Supercell. However, it’s not recommended for most other developers.
Next, there’s the recognizable Hay Day intro with the clouds parting, revealing the farms, and a “Welcome to the Valley” title.
The music is quite cheerful, which goes well with the vibrant visual style of the game/ad.
Furthermore, the ad is focused on very specific features – the ability to explore the valley in a custom truck, help friends/neighbors repair their truck, and earning tokens by making deliveries.
In essence, players need to accept a delivery request and deliver the goods in a certain period. Once the delivery is completed, players get tokens which can then be used to purchase items in the Valley Shop.
By focusing on such specific gameplay aspects, this ad does a great job of showing players what it’s like to play the game. Moreover, it serves as a tutorial for the game, which is also a smart idea. That way, players already know how the game works and what they need to do before they even install it.
At the end of the ad, there’s a “Jump in & Play” CTA, along with the Hay Day logo.
If you want to learn how to write a script for a social media video ad like this one, go here. I teach you everything you need to know about it.
As you might notice, this top-performing Facebook ad for Hay Day is the same as the app promo video. So, either an app promo video is used as an ad or an ad is used as an app promo video.
Neither is good.
An app promo video should not be the same as a video ad, even though they’re similar in some respects.
The former should be more like a game trailer and showcase all main features and gameplay, which is recommended by both stores. The latter is usually focused on only one or a couple of features and doesn’t always include gameplay.
Furthermore, an app promo video is used for organic user acquisition via app stores while video ads are used for paid user acquisition on social media and ad networks.
In any case, it’s better to differentiate between the two.
Hay Day Instagram Ads
The top-performing Hay Day Instagram ad is a very cinematic one. It looks more like an animated movie trailer than a mobile game ad. This same ad is also among the top Hay Day YouTube ads.
There’s no gameplay footage, only animations.
But here’s the kicker.
This can be a double-edged sword. On one hand, this type of ad is very appealing and obviously attracts a large number of players.
The downside is, it creates a big discrepancy between the ad and the game. What people see in this ad is not what they get in the game.
That often leads to player dissatisfaction and consequently, low retention rates.
For that reason, publishers should be careful about using fully animated ads with no gameplay footage whatsoever. At least do a mix of both.
This Hay Day Instagram ad is quite similar – it also comprises solely of animations and depicts no actual game footage.
It’s all about pigs. Eating cake and getting fat.
No, seriously, that’s it.
However, while it’s very simple and silly, it’s quite entertaining and instantly grabs attention. And that’s what makes it good!
The only issue, as stated before, is that we don’t see any gameplay footage.
Hay Day YouTube Ad
This is another animated Hay Day ad that has a very high production value. However, this one is for YouTube.
We see the cutest sheep ever walking along a dirt road. The sun is shining, and everything seems perfect.
But then the sheep trips and falls. As it tumbles down, it picks up a crab and a chicken along the way, both of which get stuck in its ample sheepskin.
Finally, it stops rolling and is laying upside down in the middle of the road.
But then we see a pair of legs emerging from the sheepskin – it’s the chicken. It starts walking and carrying the sheep, while the crab’s head and claws also appear from the sheepskin.
It’s silly and funny, which is what attracts players, especially younger ones.
5 Things You Can Learn From Hay Day User Acquisition Strategy
Even though we can’t have full insight into the details of Supercell’s user acquisitions strategy for Hay Day, one thing is certain – it’s working.
Here’s what you can learn from it.
1. Double Down on Video Ads
This is fairly simple advice, but a very effective one. When we look at top-performing Hay Day ads, all of them are video ads.
The reason for that is simple.
Video ads have the highest conversion rates because this format allows publishers to showcase their game in the best light and persuade users to install it.
With video ads, publishers can include gameplay footage, highlight different game features & benefits, and explain to users why they need to download the game right now.
Plus, video ads allow publishers to get creative and stand out from the crowd, which is important considering how saturated the market is.
However, keep in mind that good video ads are not easy to produce and you need lots of them in constant rotation to acquire a significant number of players. For that reason, it’s best to outsource creative production and marketing.
2. Know Your Target Audience
When you look at ads for Hay Day, it’s obvious they speak to certain types of gamers. Primarily, I’m talking about casual gamers, since Hay Day is a casual game. Casual gamers play to pass the time and like simple games, unlike midcore gamers for example.
Furthermore, Hay Day is suitable for younger players as well, which is reflected in the ads. Many of them are cute and fun, which is appealing to kids.
3. Reflect the Game’s Tone and Atmosphere in Ads
This one is simple, but it’s worth mentioning. The emotional tone and atmosphere of the video ad need to correspond to the tone of the game. This is what Supercell does well.
Here’s what I mean by that.
Let’s say you have an action FPS game that’s all about dangerous missions and adrenaline-fueled combat. Ads for that type of game need to be dynamic, fast-paced, and full of excitement, just like the game. An ad with relaxing, slow-paced visuals and music would not work.
The key is to recreate the gameplay experience in the ad and give people a real taste of what it’s like to play the game.
4. Advertise on Multiple Ad Networks
Publishers who want to bring user acquisition to another level need to advertise on more than one ad network.
I’m not talking just Facebook, Instagram, Google, and Snapchat, but ad networks like ironSource, AppLovin, UnityAds, Vungle, etc.
However, keep in mind that you can’t use the same ad for every ad network. Each has unique requirements you need to follow.
For a full list of top ad networks for acquiring mobile gamers, click here.
5. Create a Unique App Promo Video for the App Stores
As it was mentioned before, an app promo video is the most important element of a game’s app store page. This is the piece of content that can persuade players to download a game.
For that reason, don’t use a random video ad as your promo video. Instead, create a unique app promo video that you carefully plan and craft.
If you need help with creative production, don’t hesitate to reach out.
That’s It, Folks!
Hopefully, you found out everything you ever wanted to know about Hay Day advertising and ASO strategies.
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