By Jordan Koroknai

Lightbox ads are responsive and visually-rich creative units which are also one of the largest formats available in display advertising. They can be completely custom solutions too, so why not add a map to show users where you are or showcase that high-quality video that you've just created? Find out why you should consider lightboxes and how they work in this blog.

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Lightbox ads

What are Lightbox ads?

Lightbox ads are high-impact, interactive formats that drive brand awareness and consideration. A lightbox consists of an initial "invitation state" that resizes to a full-screen "expanded state" upon user interaction.

They can be built to responsively adapt to any device or screen size and can include rich media elements such as maps, image galleries, videos and more.

Where do they appear?

  • Across desktop, mobile and tablet
  • Desktop lightboxes are usually ‘hover to expand’ and tablet/mobile will be ‘tap to expand’

How are they served?

  • There are currently three ways of running lightboxes: through AdWords, the DBM beta and through 3rd party vendors
  • Google’s solution allows for a templated lightbox or a custom GWD format
  • Third party solutions are served as tags through DBM
Lightbox ad performance stats

Where are they available?

  • Currently available through AdX for Google’s solution - approx. 195M daily impressions in the UK.
  • For third parties, inventory is available by running on whitelists – these are publishers that have approved the third parties’ tags to run on their properties.
  • In general, inventory for lightboxes is more limited than standard formats due to the young age of the format, but this is expected to grow.

Best Practices

  • The format should be split out from other formats in DBM, due to the unique optimisation goals.
  • Expect a lower CTR, as there is an extra barrier to exiting the page (expansion).
  • Lightbox formats should be judged on expansion rate, interaction rate and average expansion time.
  • Average CPM is roughly £2.50.
  • Better for high impact awareness rather than direct response.

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