Google Search Ads in the Play Store emerge as Nordeus’ cheapest user acquisition channel

March 2016

Founded in 2010, Nordeus is an independent game developer that is now one of Europe's fastest growing companies in the field of video games. The company’s first app success was Top Eleven, Football Management simulation. Since its release in May 2010, the game has grown to over 10 million monthly active players, 3 million daily active players and more than 140 million app installs.


Stimulate uptake of Top Eleven, Football Management simulation app


Implemented Google Search Ads in the Play Store in 17 different languages

Targeted consumers in both existing and new markets

Used Target CPA and uncapped daily budgets


892% more app installs in first 30 days of campaign

51% higher retention rate

68% higher average revenue per user

To promote the Top Eleven game, Nordeus uses acquisition channels including YouTube, AdMob and Google Search. Always keen to test new solutions, the company immediately saw the release of Google Search Ads in the Play Store as a great opportunity to reach new potential users. Nordeus believed that no other channel offered the opportunity to approach a potential player in the most important moment, when they were actually searching apps in the store with the intent of downloading a new mobile game.

Nordeus used Google Search Ads in the Play Store to reach new customers globally in 17 different languages at scale. The campaign targeted consumers in the brand’s key markets of the UK, Italy and France, as well as in markets where Nordeus had not been actively present before.

Nordeus used Google’s Target CPA (cost per acquisition) feature to save time on optimisations, scaling it across both Search and Play. A major benefit of Target CPA bidding is that advertisers don’t need to worry about wasted budget, so to maximise the Play opportunity Nordeus uncapped daily budgets. This tactic ensured that the ads served on any many queries as possible.

"Search has been a key component of our app promotion strategy to reach high-quality users. With Search Ads on Google Play, we have an even bigger opportunity to connect with people in the moments they’re looking for new apps to download. For our game Top Eleven, we are already seeing nine times more app installs from Search with the addition of Google Play inventory.”

— Tomislav Mihajlović, CMO, Nordeus

The new ads quickly became Nordeus’ most profitable acquisition channel, achieving phenomenal incremental app installs for 59% lower CPI compared to other Google acquisition channels. In the first 30 days of the campaign, the brand generated 892% more app installs at 59% lower CPI. To date, Google-acquired users deliver a 51% higher retention rate, while the average revenue per user over the first seven days after download is 68% higher than customers from other Google channels.

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