Google is developing new ad formats that are designed to take over the entire screen of a smartphone or tablet — ads that will no doubt irk many users, especially those with fat fingers.
Some brand advertisers aren’t as keen on mobile ads as the majority of ads on offer tend to be small banners — which are often only clicked on by accident and are sometimes so tiny they are ignored by users altogether.
These new full-screen ads, known as “interstitials”, are designed to pop up at a “logical break point” between tasks or levels in an app, Google’s director of product management for display ads, Jonathan Alfterness, told AdAge. That could mean clicking into an article on a news app or entering the next stage on a game, for example.
A new form of mobile video ad is among the full-screen newbies. Just like YouTube, users can choose to skip the ad after a few seconds if it’s not to their liking. This format had previously just appeared in games but now, given the phenomenal growth in videos viewed on mobile, Google plans to launch it across a wider range of apps that partner with its AdMob advertising network.
Also taking over the screen will be large, premium-looking text ads, that are designed to look like the expensive ads found in glossy magazines — simple, sophisticated and without those off-putting flashy buttons.
There’s also a new “engagement” format that can take over the screen, but only if the user asks for it to. The ad begins as a small “invitation” atop the screen. When clicked, it expands into an interactive full-screen ad offering videos, galleries, maps and more (as demonstrated by the Kate Spade New York ad above).
Google is also rolling out a smaller ad that stays on the screen even when the user scrolls down the page called an “anchor” — although, again, they can choose to dismiss it if that proves too annoying.
The company’s also launching a suite of tools designed to make it easier for brands to build better and more “beautiful display ads that just work, regardless of screen or device, ensuring a better experience for both consumers and brands” across AdMob, the Google Display Network and its DoubleClick platform, Google says in a blog post.
Last month Apple, ahead of unveiling its two new bigger models of the iPhone – the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus — launched its own ads designed to take over the entire screen: full screen interstitial banner ads and pre-roll videos. Previously ads running on Apple’s iAd platform required users to interact with the ad before they took over the entire screen.
Mobile advertising is growing apace. Researchers at eMarketer forecast that global mobile ad spend will grow 91.7 per cent year on year to reach $US36.46bn in 2014 – some 26 per cent of the total predicted to be spent on digital display ads.
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