What Are Interstitial Ads: Meaning, Examples & How to Use Them

Vladyslav Pobyva

Many platforms are incorporating interstitial ads into their websites, landing pages, and app marketing strategies aiming to increase customer engagement. These advertisements are designed to be integrated naturally into the customer experience while keeping the interface separate from the promotional content.

Some marketers like interstitial ads for their larger canvas for advertising messages compared to banners. They are often placed at natural transition points within a mobile app, increasing the chances that a user will see the ad. Others, however, may shy away from using interstitial ads because they can be perceived as intrusive and annoying by users, leading to a negative user experience. Interstitial ads can also slow down the app or website, causing frustration, which potentially results in closing the app or website.

In this article, we break down all the information about this type of adds, starting from interstitials meaning finishing with the best practices of their implementation.

What are Interstitial Ads?

Before we dig deeper, let’s look into what interstitial ads are. Interstitials are full-screen advertisements that appear between transitions of content in mobile apps, websites, or video games. They usually appear after a user performs an action, such as opening an app or clicking a button, and require the user to either close the ad or interact with it before they can access the next piece of content. Interstitials are often used to monetize free mobile apps and can be used to promote products, services, or other apps.

Why do Advertisers Love Interstitial Ads?

Interstitial ads are very popular with advertisers, and here are a few reasons why:

Drive higher engagement rates

Interstitial ads drive higher user activity by providing users with an engaging, full-screen ad experience that captures their attention and prompts them to take action, such as downloading an app, making a purchase, or visiting a website. When used effectively, interstitial ads can increase user engagement and drive conversions. However, it's important to strike a balance between delivering valuable, relevant ads and not disrupting the user experience.

Provide high visibility 

The second aspect of why many advertisers are obsessed with interstitial ads is their increased eye-catching effect. Regardless of what type of mobile app or website you are using, interstitials are displayed in full-screen format on a user's device, occupying the entire screen, which makes them highly noticeable and difficult to ignore. An interstitial ad is typically shown at natural transition points within a mobile app or website, such as between interstitial pages or after a certain amount of time has elapsed. It means that users are more likely to see and remember the ad, as they are not actively seeking it out but rather encounter it while they are engaged in other activities. 

Showcase advertiser’s products in a creative manner

Interstitial advertising can boost product creativity by providing marketers with a unique and eye-catching format to showcase their products. The full-screen format of interstitial ads provides ample space for creative visuals and graphics that can effectively communicate the key features and benefits of a product. This can help make the product stand out from competitors and encourage users to take action, such as making a purchase or downloading an app.

Do not cause much disruption to the user experience

When used appropriately, interstitial ads do not interfere with the user experience but rather enhance it. Although many users will still close the ad, it is widely believed to make a memorable impression on people. After seeing the ad multiple times, your product might evoke certain associations with users, thus increasing their desire to try it out. They ultimately benefit developers who want to monetize their mobile applications or games and marketers who want to boost their product awareness.

Lead to higher click-through rates and conversions

Interstitial ads can contribute to higher CTRs (click-through rates) because they provide a unique, attention-grabbing format that captures users' attention and prompts them to take action. In turn, high click-through rates generate conversion, leading people through all stages of the user journey. 

Support monetization goals

Interstitial ads are often sold on a cost-per-impression (CPM) or cost-per-click (CPC) basis, which means that app developers, website owners, and publishers can earn money each time an ad is displayed or clicked. By using interstitial ads, app developers, website owners, and publishers can monetize their apps and websites without having to charge users for access or use. This increases the user base and adoption of the app or website, as users are more likely to engage with free apps and websites than paid ones.

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Penalties for Using Interstitial Ads

Since the rise of interstitial ad usage, customers have been bombarded with sign-up forms and requests for push notifications and other intrusive advertising campaigns. For this reason, the use of interstitial ads is subject to certain guidelines and regulations set by platform providers and advertising organizations. If these guidelines are not followed, penalties may be imposed, such as:

Google AdSense Policy 

Google AdSense has strict ad guidelines, including size and placement restrictions. If these guidelines are not followed, AdSense may disable ads or terminate the account of the app or website owner.

Apple App Store Review Guidelines 

Apple's App Store Review Guidelines prohibit the use of interstitial ads that cover the content of an app. If an app is found to violate these guidelines, it may be rejected or removed from the App Store.


The Digital Advertising Alliance's AdChoices program requires pop-up ads to be clearly labeled as ads and to provide users with the option to close or dismiss the ad. If an interstitial ad does not comply with these guidelines, it may be subject to penalties from the Advertising Self-Regulatory Council.

By following these guidelines and regulations, app developers, website owners, and publishers can ensure that their use of interstitial ads does not result in penalties or other negative consequences.

Interstitials Ads: Examples & Best Practices

Interstitial ads are full-screen ads that appear at natural transition points in an app's user flow, such as between activities or after completing a task. Here are a few common examples of when to display interstitial ads:

Between game levels 

Players are often required to wait for the next level to load, and this is an opportunity to show an ad.

After completing a task 

If the user has finished using a feature, an ad can appear before they return to the main menu.

On app launch 

Showing an ad when the app is launched can be an effective way of monetizing a free app.

Before accessing premium content 

Users can be prompted to watch an ad before accessing premium content, such as new levels in a game or additional features in an app.

The Adventure Duck is one of the interstitial ad examples that drive high customer engagement with an app. Unlike the majority of banner ads, this interactive ad not only makes an appealing offer but also refers back to the app they are already using. You can gain more lives and keep playing the game when you finish a level (or lose one). 

Interstitials Ads

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Checklist to Avoid Penalties for Intrusiveness

Choose the right timing

Show interstitial ads at natural pauses in the user flow, such as after completing a level or task. If the ad bothers users too much, they might leave your site/app or install ad blockers to ensure uninterrupted workflow.

Set frequency

Limit the frequency of interstitial ads to avoid annoying your users. A good rule of thumb is to show one interstitial ad every 5-7 minutes of use.

Optimize by relevance

Ensure that the interstitial ads are relevant to the user and the content they engage with. This will make them more likely to interact with the ad.

Offer opt-in/out

It is important to give users an option to quickly and easily close or dismiss the ad if they are not interested in it. By making the exit ad button accessible, users are less likely to feel frustrated or annoyed with the ad and more likely to continue using the app or website. 

Think through the context

Consider the context in which the interstitial ad will appear. Avoid showing interstitial ads at crucial moments in the user flow, such as during a payment process.

Put user experience first

Make sure the interstitial ad does not interfere with the user's experience. A well-designed interstitial ad will have a smooth transition and an easy-to-understand call to action.

Do regular testing

Continuously test and optimize interstitial ads to ensure they are delivering the desired results without negatively impacting the user experience.

Make use of penalty exceptions

Cookies policy is a type of interstitial advertisement that might appear shortly after a user scrolls to an interstitial page. You may be required to approve cookie tracking by certain websites and apps in accordance with the GDPR — the EU regulation designed to control the data people submit to websites. You can use it to track and store user location and activity information. A user must agree to the cookie tracking before accessing the main content.

Interscroller Ads: A Good Alternative to Interstitials

An interscroller ad is a type of online advertising format that typically appears as a scrollable strip of content within a webpage. The format allows for multiple ad units to be displayed in a single ad slot, giving advertisers more real estate on a page and allowing users to view several ads in a single interaction. Interscroller ads are often used to promote products, services, or content and can be used in combination with other types of online advertising, such as display ads or interstitial video ads.

Interscroller ads are a newer type of mobile advertising, often touted as a more user-friendly alternative to interstitial ads. Interscroller ads appear as the user scrolls through the content, rather than blocking the entire screen. This allows the user to interact with the content while still being exposed to the ad. This type of ad can be less disruptive than interstitials and can offer better engagement and click-through rates for advertisers. However, it is important to note that the effectiveness of inter-scroller ads can vary greatly depending on the implementation and the target audience.

Key advantages of Interscrollers over Interstitials

Non-disruptive format

Interscroller ads are less disruptive than interstitial mobile ads because they appear within the content flow and do not completely cover the screen. Interscroller ads often appear as banners or native ads that scroll with the content, providing a more integrated and less intrusive user experience.

More subtle

Interstitial ads cover the entire screen and demand the user's attention. Interscroller ads are less noticeable and less likely to be perceived as intrusive or disruptive. The less conspicuous nature of interscroller ads can make them more appealing to users and increase their willingness to engage with the ad.

Ad Load Time

Interscrollers typically load faster than interstitials, improving the overall user experience and reducing the risk of user frustration and bounce rates. Moreover, interscrollers don't require an additional page load, reducing the latency of the ad experience.

Higher CTRs

Mobile interscroller advertising has a greater click-through rate than regular banner ads. This is because they effortlessly integrate the advertisement into the content flow and make, allowing marketers to distribute bite-sized advertising subtly and engagingly for the user. 

Final Thoughts

The impact of interstitial ads on user experience and revenue can be both beneficial and harmful. Despite being considered highly abusive in particular circumstances, they can stimulate high conversion and attract more users. Be aware of Google penalties for neglecting ad rules, and feel free to experiment with making your ads more creative and captivating.

Alex Danchenko


October 13, 2022

Vladyslav Pobyva


August 31, 2022

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