Google announced the beta test launch of a new ad format called Expandable Ads just two days ago. As the name clearly suggests, these ads can expand up to twice the size of the original ad to allow brands to provide a more interactive advertising experience.
The larger ad will, of course, advantage advertisers as it will allow them to provide more information about the product or service to consumers, thus engaging more potential customers.
These ads can include rich media within the content. They can contain videos, flash content or social interaction. The ads are designed in such a way that they can automatically expand in that direction where maximum place is available on the screen.
Users must click on the ad in order to expand it and then click on it again to contract it to its original size. Accurate ad engagement metrics are provided to prevent accidental ad expansion by mouse-overs or rollovers. The user can decide to contract the page, which opens as a layer on the original page, at any time. Thus, these ads provide a more user-friendly interaction, which is good for the publisher, rather than ads that automatically expand and start playing video or audio on mouse-overs, which can be quite irritating.
Publishers can choose to block contextual ads by using the competitive ad filter. They can also use the Google AdSense Ad Review Center.
Advertisers using the CPC pricing model will be charged only when the users visit the site’s landing page, and not when they just expand the ad. Expandable Ads can also use CPM pricing.
At present these ads are in the beta testing phase in the U.S. and only advertisers and agencies that are part of the 3rd Party Ad Serving Program have access to it. DoubleClick is one of them, and its clients can place their ads on the Google Content Network.
Expandable Ad Specifications
Google AdWords support guidelines state that Expandable Ads are currently available in 728 x 90 to 728×180 size, which expand up or down and 160 x 600 to 320 x 600 banners and 300 x 250 to 600 x 250 boxes that expand left or right. The size limit for the 50K, 1.2MB polite and expanded panels must contain a prominent “Close X”, in 16 point font or larger, on the corner of the unit. Audio for the ads can be user-initiated only.
An example Expandable Ad, provided by Google AdWords, is shown below: