Menlo Park, Calif.—Google Inc. has made available a new expandable display ad format, Lightbox. Advertisers using the format will only be charged when viewers specifically engage with the ad.
A Lightbox ad, which Google said is the first of a new family of display ads it is developing, appears at first like a typical display ad. But when a viewer hovers over it for two seconds, it expands to a much larger size, prompting advertiser compensation to Google. According to Google's AdWords blog, “users only engage with the ads they really want to see, and brand marketers only pay for truly engaged views.”
Google said that tests have shown the new ad unit eliminates almost all accidental expansions and increases engagement six to eight times over standard click-to-expand ads.