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Anime fans battle in 3D.
wins downloads.


In DRAGON BALL LEGENDS, players enter an iconic anime world and battle live with friends anywhere in the world. With Apple Search Ads, the European team for BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment Inc. (BNEI), the app’s Japan-based publisher, expanded acquisition into new markets and reengaged former players, driving higher downloads and return on ad spend (ROAS)
than other platforms. 

The Results

53% reduction in cost-per-install after campaign optimization.
2x higher day 7 ROAS after keyword optimization.

The Challenge

Based in Spain, the regional team at BNEI needed to reach an engaged audience that included fans of traditional role-playing games as well as the popular anime Dragon Ball saga. To extend acquisition growth beyond Japan to all available markets, they needed to increase app visibility with potential players searching on the App Store for action-packed gameplay. Reengaging former players of any Dragon Ball–branded apps — particularly during key seasonal moments — also emerged as a valuable growth opportunity.

Performance for Apple Search Ads is consistently simple to maintain and scale across markets to
find new audiences.

The Solution

Scale growth with keyword optimization.

With Apple Search Ads, the team at BNEI created separate campaigns for each market. This let them quickly test new markets, analyze performance, learn how to localize their strategy, and optimize for efficiency. Brand keyword campaigns drove the strongest ROAS, capturing searches for their globally renowned brand terms.


“The way we divided our Apple Search Ads campaigns allowed us to capture interest from the right players and pace our budget,” says BNEI Performance Marketing Manager in Barcelona Tony Clementin. The team also actively monitored campaign performance, removing inefficient keywords and adjusting bids on the top-performing search terms. This optimization helped them “control the volume and profitability of keywords” in their main market, the U.S., “as well as key ones like France, Germany, and Italy,” according to Clementin.

Reengage former players.

With a passionate potential customer base, reengaging former players became a strategic priority for the BNEI team. As new characters were added and gameplay grew richer over time, the team wanted to reintroduce the app to gamers who had previously downloaded any game across the Dragon Ball universe of brands. The team created separate campaigns for new users and returning users, which included ad groups structured by top-performing keyword themes to reach the widest possible audience. 


“Our expansion strategy is divided between acquisition and reengagement. With Apple Search Ads, we managed to scale our investment in a few months, driving excellent return on investment that was consistently better than our targets with both new and returning players,” says Clementin.

Capitalize on seasonal interest.

The team plans to continue investing in Apple Search Ads to drive expansion, particularly during key seasonal and brand moments. They’ll optimize bidding to capture increased demand around holidays and marketing events, like the game’s anniversary. “Apple Search Ads is the most efficient way to reach the right audience as well as gain insights about your players around the world,” says Clementin. 

Company Snapshot

  • BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment Inc. (BNEI)
  • Games category
  • Founded in 1955
  • Based in Tokyo, Japan
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