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The Whats and Whys of Successful Interstitial Ads

The Whats and Whys of Successful Interstitial AdsVictoria Kensington
Tech Insights
The Whats and Whys of Successful Interstitial Ads

Experienced digital marketers know that sometimes users need to be poked at a service or a product. While the very process of advertising today can be incredibly simple, especially when you have a decent programmatic solution by your side, the publishing platform design can be non-explicit, thus misleading the users. This is exactly where the interstitial ads come into play.

In today’s realm of digital advertising, marketers are continually seeking innovative ways to capture audience attention and drive engagement, and interstitial ads are a method that has recently risen to unprecedented prominence. Therefore, we will today explore the ins and outs of interstitial ads, including their definition, common use cases, best practices, potential penalties, and how to leverage them effectively with the help of an advanced programmatic ad platform.

First Things First: What Are Interstitial Ads?

Interstitial ads - a nowadays ubiquitous feature in the digital advertising landscape - epitomize full-screen promotional content strategically positioned between content pages or seamlessly integrated into natural pauses during user interactions. This versatile advertising format is commonly encountered during transitions between different sections of a mobile application or website, effectively capturing user attention at key moments. 

Exhibiting diverse manifestations, interstitial ads manifest as static images, captivating videos, or immersive interactive rich media experiences. Their transient appearance, often lasting for mere moments, punctuates the user experience, briefly diverting attention to the advertised content before seamlessly allowing users to resume their intended activities, ensuring a delicate balance between engagement and interruption in the digital realm. That is, interstitial ads are essential for seamless user navigation where the next logical steps are not that obvious.

Most Common Interstitial Ads Use Cases

Even though we have already classified that main interstitial ad use case, which is better user navigation and engagement, there is definitely more than meets the eye to both web and mobile interstitial ads. Interstitial ads find application across a range of scenarios, including:

  1. App Install Promotions: Interstitial ads are commonly used to promote app installs, appearing when users engage with related content or actions within other apps.

  2. Content Monetization: Publishers leverage interstitial display ads to monetize their digital content by displaying full-screen advertisements between articles, videos, or other forms of media.

  3. User Engagement and Calls to Action: Brands utilize interstitial ads to drive user engagement and prompt specific actions, such as signing up for newsletters, completing surveys, or making purchases.

  4. Video Advertisements: Interstitial video ads are prevalent in mobile gaming apps, where they appear during natural breaks in gameplay or level transitions, offering an opportunity for advertisers to deliver immersive video content.

As you can see, there’s a lot more applicable scenarios to the interstitial display ads usage than just mere user navigation. In today’s overloaded with information digital space, interstitial ads sometimes might be the only medium of getting in front of your target audience.

5 Best Interstitial Ads Practices for Your Digital Marketing

If you wonder why the best interstitial ad practices are something you might be interested in, take a look at this: the cost-per-mille (eCPM) efficiency of interstitial ads for the Android apps in the United States, reached a staggering 16% (an incredible index for in-app mobile advertising) in between 2022 and 2023. Hence, to maximize the effectiveness of interstitial ads, consider the following best practices:

  1. Timing and Frequency

Ensure that interstitial ads are displayed at natural breakpoints in the user journey, such as between levels in a game or during transitions between content pages. Avoid excessive ad frequency to prevent user irritation and maintain a positive user experience.

  1. Relevance and Context

Tailor interstitial ads to align with the user's context and interests, leveraging targeting capabilities to deliver personalized content. Relevant ads are more likely to capture user attention and drive engagement.

  1. Clear and Compelling Creative

Create visually appealing and compelling ad creative that captures user attention and communicates the value proposition effectively. Use concise messaging and clear calls to action to prompt user interaction.

  1. Optimized for Mobile

Given the prevalence of mobile usage, ensure that interstitial ads are optimized for mobile devices, with responsive design and fast loading times. Mobile interstitial ads should be unobtrusive and seamlessly integrated into the user experience.

  1. A/B Testing and Optimization

Continuously test and optimize interstitial ad campaigns to improve performance and ROI. Experiment with different creative variations, targeting parameters, and ad formats to identify what resonates best with your target audience.

There are surely many more steps you can take to improve your digital marketing with the help of interstitial ads. Nonetheless, the recommendations above should suffice for you to see the very first marketing indexes enhancements. 

Possible Penalties for Using Interstitial Ads

Regardless of how efficient - especially the mobile interstitial ads - may be, it is crucial to understand that we’re talking about quite an intrusive advertising manner. Hence, while interstitial ads can be an effective advertising tool, misuse or overuse can lead to negative consequences, including:

  1. User Disruption

Excessive or intrusive interstitial ads can disrupt the user experience, leading to increased bounce rates and decreased engagement.

  1. SEO Impact

Google has penalized websites that use intrusive interstitials ads that obscure content, as it can negatively impact user experience, particularly on mobile devices.

  1. Ad Blocker Usage

Users may resort to ad-blocking software or settings to avoid intrusive interstitial ads, limiting the reach and effectiveness of ad campaigns.

Leveraging Interstitial Ads with a Programmatic Ad Platform

To leverage interstitial ads effectively, consider partnering with a reliable programmatic ad platform that offers the following features:

  1. Advanced Targeting Capabilities

Choose a platform that provides advanced targeting options based on demographics, interests, behavior, and contextual relevance to ensure that your interstitial ads reach the right audience.

  1. Ad Placement Control

Select a platform that offers control over ad placement to ensure that interstitial ads appear at appropriate breakpoints in the user journey, enhancing user experience and engagement.

  1. Comprehensive Analytics and Reporting

Look for a platform that offers robust analytics and reporting tools to track campaign performance, measure key metrics, and optimize ad campaigns in real-time.

  1. Ad Quality and Compliance

Ensure that the platform adheres to ad quality standards and compliance regulations to maintain brand integrity and avoid penalties associated with intrusive or misleading ads.


Interstitial ads represent a valuable opportunity for marketers to capture audience attention and drive engagement across various digital channels. By following best practices such as timing and frequency optimization, relevance and context targeting, and compelling creative development, marketers can maximize the effectiveness of their interstitial ad campaigns. 

However, it's essential to be mindful of potential penalties associated with misuse or overuse of interstitial ads and to leverage a reputable programmatic ad platform to ensure campaign success. With the right strategy and platform in place, interstitial digital ads can be a powerful tool for achieving marketing objectives and driving business growth.

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