I have been experimenting and yes advertising vs posting in forums and hoping that someone is going to get you to the top wins hands down. Here is a solution to get the advertising you need at a substantial lower cost than using google ads etc. Form a syndicate of developers, pool your intended promo dollars and negotiate and buy a game that has a huge following. Then use that game to promote your games and ripple your promoted games to promote your new games. Once you get on the upper rungs of the ladder you will have staying power.