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What are Interactive Ads?

As smartphone capabilities have evolved, it’s become possible to support the richness of interactive ad experiences on mobile - and the format is fast-becoming the hottest ad unit out there.

What are interactive ads?

Interactive ads are digital ads designed for user interaction and they can be used on desktop, tablet and mobile. 

4 types of interactive ads

Interactive ads let users choose or interact with the ad in some way. There are a few different kinds of interactive ads.

Interactive ad

An interactive ad is an ad with any kind of interactivity for the user.

Example: a photo editing app that lets you sample filters or other features in the ad itself.

Interactive video


An interactive video ad is a video ad with an added layer of interactivity.

Example: a 360 video that the user can control

Interactive end card

[section class="white" height="1" image="https://static.ironsrc.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Testimonial-Bigfish.jpg" video_bg="https://static.ironsrc.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/interactive-endcard-no-sound.mp4" poster="https://static.ironsrc.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/05/candycrush_poster.png" ratio="16:9" background="#e2174c"]


Interactive end cards add an additional layer of engagement at the end of a regular 15-30 second video ad, giving users a feel for the the app’s functionalities and allowing them to interact.

Example: users can select the car model they most prefer and see a spec list after watching an auto ad.

Playable ad


Playable ads offer users a snippet of interactive gameplay. Users are guided by hints and are able to ‘win’ or ‘lose’ in the ad. They’re completely opt-in, true to the spirit of the game and give users an immersive and enjoyable ad experience.

Example: a crossword app gives users a clue and 8 letters to choose from to fill the gaps.

Benefits of interactive ads

There’s a reason why advertisers are flocking to interactive ads lately. Interactive ads drive higher conversions and retention rates, increase LTV and brand awareness, and offer unique in-ad data.

Higher conversions

Interactive ads see 3x the conversion rate compared to normal video ads. This is because the ads are enjoyable and immersive for users - by getting users actively involved in the advertising experience, you create a much greater impact. Playable ads can see conversion rates up to 7x higher than normal video ads.

Higher retention rates

Users acquired through interactive ads also show higher retention - sticking around in the advertised app for longer. In interactive ads overall, retention rates can be 1.27x  those of than normal video ads, and for playable ads they can be as high as double.

Increased LTV

LTV (lifetime value) is a metric you can use to define the value of users who use your app for a period of time. Interactive ads do a great job of illustrating an app’s core elements and functions before the user installs. Users who download an app after engaging with an interactive ad are already familiar with a few of the functions, so are more likely to keep engaging with the app regularly and for longer. The longer a user has a relationship with an app and can make in-app purchases or view ads, the higher the potential LTV.

Increased brand awareness

Compare the experience of passively viewing an ad, versus touching and affecting the ad yourself. Interactive ads create a significantly more impactful experience which stay with users for longer. The ability for a user to choose, decide or even ‘win’ or ‘lose’ in the ad also has a positive impact on user experience, creating positive brand associations.

Unique in-ad data

Even if a user doesn’t install an app after seeing an interactive ad, the advertiser is able to see their interaction path in the ad. This data is critical to improving the ad experience, or even for improving the UX in the app itself.

Want to learn more about ironSource’s suite of interactive ad units? Click here. Plus learn more about the next generation of interactive ads here.
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