Rethinking Interstitial Ads

Joey Flores - 9 months ago

One of the biggest challenges in mobile advertising these days is getting your audience to notice of your ads. Mobile has become crowded overtime due to the steadily increasing number of advertisers competing over space and screen real estate.

In order to grab that sought after impression, the interstitial was introduced as a solution. For the uninitiated, interstitials are ads that take over a large portion of the screen of an app or a webpage in the form of either an image, rich media, or a video. Now how can one ever miss that? A 2013 InMobi study has shown that mobile interstitial ads delivered 25x increase in video views, 7x increase in conversion, and 9x increase in eCPMs. That’s pretty impressive.

However, using interstitials as a medium is like walking on thin ice. You could either successfully communicate your brand or risk annoying your customers. To avert the latter, you really have to find the delicate blend of time and frequency. Ads shouldn’t run for too long so as to avoid detracting customer activity; while the number of times your ad show up, likewise affect browsing experience. If ads run extensively long or pop up way too often, you may start irking some people and this could definitely hurt your brand.

Let’s look at a couple of cases on how interstitials can be used to effectively.

Gaming is often a use case for interstitials. According deltaDNA, in a study for Free-to-Play (F2P) mobile games in 2015, interstitial ads are the most popular ad medium at 67%. Best practice would be short videos of 10-30 seconds in between levels, keeping the ads expected but as unobtrusive as possible.

Content is another usage. Free story writing and sharing platform, Wattpad, is now adopting interstitial placements. Video interstitials between chapters are provisioned for advertisers looking to tap its highly engaged audience. Ad serving is designed in a way where the readers anticipate when they’ll see the ads; and more importantly, see the implied support for the authors. Given such, the ads are seen as part of a seamless reading experience.

It’s time to rethink including interstitial into your digital ad mix. Given the right execution, it can definitely add value to your digital marketing campaigns.

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