About Lightbox ads

Reach, captivate, and delight your potential customers with interactive Lightbox ads. When people engage with Lightbox ads by clicking, tapping, or hovering, the ads respond. Lightbox ads may expand to fill the screen, display videos, or allow people to tap through a set of images, eventually landing at your website.

Lightbox ads automatically adapt to fit ad spaces across the Display Network. This article provides an overview of Lightbox ads. For instructions on creating a Lightbox ad, go to Create a Lightbox ad.


Here are some of the benefits of using Lightbox ads:

  • Connect with the right customers: You can target your ads using all the different Display Network targeting methods available, such as affinity audiences. In addition, you only pay when people engage with your ad – for instance, by expanding the ad and keeping it open for three seconds or more.
  • Captivate your audiences: By using online resources you might already have like videos or catalogs, you can create compelling ads that people can actually explore. For example, you can create an ad that expands to a full-screen canvas, or you can create an ad that plays a video within the page.

How Lightbox ads work

Lightbox ads are available in standard Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) sizes and are made up of cards, which contain images or videos with which people can interact, either in an invitation state or in an expanded canvas. For instance, on computers, people can click to expand an ad in order to engage with it. On mobile devices, people can tap on the ad to prompt the engaged state. Lightbox is designed to reduce accidental engagements, providing a better experience for customers and better value for advertisers.

Lightbox ads automatically resize to fit standard IAB-sized ad spaces. This automatic resizing can help you reach more of your potential audience across the Google Display Network. It also lets you tailor your campaign to audiences using mobile devices, computers, or both.

Bidding and billing

In the previous AdWords experience, there are two bidding options for Lightbox ads: viewable cost-per-thousand-impressions (vCPM) and cost-per-engagement (CPE) bidding. In the new Google Ads experience, the bidding strategy is cost-per-engagement (CPE), in which engagements are charged when the user engages with the ad. For expandable ad spaces, “user engagement” means that the user hovers, clicks, or taps to expand the ad and the ad has time to load and be seen. For pre-expanded ads (like interstitials), “user engagement” means that the user interacts with the ad after it displays.

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