Google has launched its lightbox display ad format, which it calls the first of a new family of display ads that “allow marketers to pay only when a user engages.” The lightbox starts as a standard display ad, but after a two-second hover, expands to a “super-sized canvas.” The expanded ad appears in the middle of the screen and dims the page behind it.
Google claims that in internal tests, this smart hover feature eliminates nearly 100% of accidental expansions, and increases engagement by 6-8 times over standard click-to-expand ads.
Advertisers pay on a cost-per-expansion basis and can include any type of rich-media content within the expanded format, such as YouTube videos, games or a product gallery linked to an e-commerce site.
This pay-only-for-engagement model is similar to Google’s True View video ad formats on YouTube and on the Google Display Network (GDN).
The unit is initially only available to run online, but the spokesperson said Google is considering rolling it out to smartphones and tablets.
Read the official Google blog post here