Google today launched a new form of expandable display ad that it calls a “Lightbox ad” — it begins as a standard display ad, but expands to a super-sized image after a two-second hover — long enough, the company says, to eliminate nearly all accidental expansions. Marketers pay when users interact with the ad, rather than when they click through.
The company calls it “smart hover,” and says this type of expandable increases engagement by 6 to 8 times over click-to-expand ads. When the ad expands, it appears in the middle of the screen and dims the rest of the page behind it.
The pay-for-engagement model is similar to the “True View” video formats Google offers on YouTube and the Google Display Network (GDN). The company today released new metrics after analyzing 92 different ad campaigns and found that, on average, every $1 spent on YouTube resulted in $1.70 in sales. The company also said that ads on YouTube and the GDN drove a 36% increase in website visits and a 36% increase in brand searches.
Google made these announcements as it courts brand advertisers at Advertising Week in New York City. Additionally, it said it’s set aside a space at YouTube headquarters for its Google Brand Lab, where it will collaborate with brands on using Google’s technologies and properties to achieve brand objectives.