Lightbox ads in the Ad Exchange

Lightbox ads are non-intrusive and engaging ads which requires a user-initiated 2-second delay before expanding. This expandable format reduces accidental expansion and preserves user experience while increasing advertiser ROI and publisher yield.

Unlike third-party expandable creatives, these ads require qualifying publishers to be opted-in to benefit from these high-value, high-quality ads. Contact your account management to learn more.

No cross-domain script file is required.

Technical requirements

Lightbox ad
  • Rich media creatives are processed through Studio. Learn more
  • Invitation state unit sizes: Standard Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) sizes: 300x250, 300x600, 728x90, 160x600, 468x60, 120x600, 200x200, 250x250, and 336x280
  • Expanded state unit sizes: You can set the size up to 1000x600. Recommended sizes for each are as follows: Lightbox (900x400), Catalog Lightbox (900x600), and Masthead Lightbox (970x250).
  • Expansion method:
    • The Ad Exchange API automatically introduces a two-second delay on hover. The ad can't begin expanding until the Ad Exchange API notifies the ad that expansion is completed.
    • If you're removing mouseover handlers, remove them only once the expansion state is done expanding. For example, in studio this can happen in the onLoaded() function or later, not in the start() function.
  • Invitation panel:
    • Expansion call-to-action (CTA): You must include an expansion CTA phrase that clearly indicates the expansion action (for example, "Hover to expand").
    • The invitation panel cannot be expanded until the CTA is visible.
    • The invitation panel cannot contain exit hotspots.
  • Close methods:
    • The Lightbox component automatically adds a Close button in the top-right corner of the creative.
  • Ad Manager GPT tags: Expandable ads currently depend on the use of JavaScript tags. Iframe tags cannot be used.
  • Ad Exchange can serve in an Iframe, but Lightbox ads are able to serve without any Iframe-buster files.
  • Initial load size:
    • Maximum 100 kilobytes (KB), including the close buttons and other required components.
    • 50 KB is strongly recommended for the fastest initial load time.
    • For an optimum user experience, we recommend compressing and using the minimum required assets in initial load.
  • Subsequent polite load size: 2.2 MB max
  • User-initiated load size:
    • Up to 10 MB per interaction. (YouTube video and streaming video are not counted).
    • A 2.2 MB maximum total load size is recommended for optimal performance. For total load size exceeding 2.2MB, bandwidth targeting settings will be applied.
  • CPU usage: For an optimum user experience, engagement ads must not exceed 40% of the central processing unit (CPU) capacity of a viewer's computer.
  • Border and iFrame:
    • The ad's border must stay within iFrame in both the Invitation state and the Expanded state.
    • For Invitation states with white, grey, or black backgrounds, a visible border of a contrasting color must be added.
  • Mouseover policy:
    • The Google Ad Exchange API introduces a two-second delay on hover. The ad can't begin expanding until the Ad Exchange API notifies the ad that expansion is completed.
  • Special design features:
    • With the Expanded state, the close ad button is already integrated, so it's not necessary to include one into the ad itself.
    • The close ad button covers a 21x21 pixel area, in the upper-right corner of the ad.
    • The Invitation state must have a z-index value that is less than 9,010. This is to accommodate for any online behavioral option icon provided by Google or a third-party vendor.
    • Google Display Network auction campaigns: For an engagement ad in a collapsed or invitation state, we recommend leaving a 76x15 pixel space in the upper-right corner of the ad to accommodate the AdChoices logo, which will be automatically inserted.
  • Backup image:
    • A backup image of 50 KB or less is required for all creatives.
    • A Lightbox ad cannot go live unless you provide a backup image (maximum 100 KB).
    • There should be no Close X button on the image.
    • A backup image must use a single, generic clickthrough CTA. Don'''t use hover or rollover CTAs because backup images cannot expand.
  • Expansion call-to-action (CTA):
    • Expansion CTA: You must include an expansion CTA phrase that clearly indicates the expansion action (for example, "Hover to expand").
    • An expansion hotspot can be activated only when an expansion CTA is present.
    • For an optimum user experience, we recommend that you place the expansion CTA as early as possible on load.
    • The ad must collapse on exit.
Video and animation
  • Autoplay video and animation:
    • Maximum 30 seconds long.
  • Audio:
    • Video can play with sound in the expanded panel.
  • User-initiated video and animation:
    • Mute/unmute and pause/play buttons are required for video, as well as an indicator of the video duration and elapse status.
    • Maximum 4 minutes long per video or animation.
  • Actions on user clicks (video):
    • Once the pause or stop button is clicked, the video must stop.
    • After an exit click, all sound and video must stop.
  • Progressive and streaming video:
    • Videos can be progressive or streaming.
Serving and tracking
  • Serving capabilities:
    • Lightbox ads may be served only with Studio through Campaign Manager 360.
    • In-banner survey invitations and in-banner surveys are not allowed.
    • Panel studies are acceptable.
  • Custom event and interaction tracking: All tracking and interaction metrics should be determined by the client and campaign manager before each launch.
  • Impression and click tracking with third-party pixels
    • Multiple exit URLs are allowed.
    • Impression and engagement tracking accepted only through approved third-party vendors.
    • Click-through tracking accepted through the use of redirect URLs.
    • Google does not offer credits or make-goods if there are reporting discrepancies with a vendor.
  • Brand study tracking:
    • Exposure and panel-based brand studies accepted only through approved third-party vendors.
    • Brand study pixels cannot be trafficked directly in Campaign Manager 360, and must be implemented in the creative and called only after both initial and subsequent loads are completed. Brand study pixels may fire on engagement.
  • Remarketing pixels:
    • Remarketing pixels are not currently accepted. However, you may target ads to existing remarketing lists.
  • Social:
    • Before integrating any social gadget (for example, a social feed) into an engagement ad, an interested vendor must first be certified. This applies to both fourth-party calls and any cookies that are set or read.
    • The use of social icons and clicks to a social landing page are allowed.
    • Ads that incorporate the Facebook "Like" button or the "Like" box plugin are not permitted to run on the Google Display Network or on Google sites. Please refer to Facebook's Developer Policies and their Brand Permissions page. Ads that incorporate this feature or icon, whether the feature is functioning or not, will be disapproved.

      If you have further questions about incorporating Facebook's APIs or features into your ad creative, please contact Facebook directly, and/or your own legal counsel.
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