Back to Basics: What are splash ads?

plash ads are full-page ads that are displayed while a user loads an app

When it comes to high visual impact and engagement, splash ads deliver. Splash ads are full-page ads that are displayed while a user loads an app — grabbing their attention as they wait for the requested content to load.

“These ads made a huge splash in China when they first became popular several years ago,” explains Delynn Ho, Verve Group’s General Manager in APAC, “Today, they continue to remain an effective way for advertisers to deliver captivating content and for publishers to increase their ad revenue.”

How do splash ads work?

When a user first launches an app, a “splash screen” appears. This is also often referred to as a launch screen or startup screen. Splash screens are traditionally an image or short animation of the app’s logo or company name that the user stares at as they wait for their desired content to load. However, clever publishers that want to maximize their ad revenue will use this screen to display a splash ad unit.

Splash ads typically appear as a launch screen or startup screen for an app.
Image source: Smaato

Splash ads are typically shown for about five seconds, with a close/skip button appearing after the first three seconds. The dimensions of these ads must be full-screen, which means common splash ad sizes include 320×480, 480×320, 768×1024, and 1024×768.

What are the benefits of splash ads for advertisers?

Advertisers looking to make a splash with their ad campaign are likely to find success with this ad format. A splash ad delivers a visual impact that will drive engagement, achieve great viewability rates, and become a cohesive part of the users’ in-app experience.

Increased engagement. When a user opens up a mobile app, the splash ad is the first thing they see. Because they are reaching an alert and captive audience, splash ads achieve high engagement rates.

High visibility. Splash ads remain full-screen for a minimum of three seconds and up to five seconds. This ensures that the ad is viewable to the user, making them great for building brand awareness.

Cohesive placement. Users are used to seeing a splash screen as an app loads. So making use of this screen to show relevant advertising is unobtrusive and well-tolerated by users who might otherwise have “banner burnout.” In fact, a 2022 survey of video streaming users in China found that over 55% of respondents chose splash ads as their preferred type of advertisement.

What are the benefits of splash ads for publishers?

Splash ads are also an ideal ad format for publishers looking to boost their app monetization. This ad format is easy to implement within any type of app and it can increase eCPMs.

High eCPM. Splash ads are often full-screen video ads or rich media units, which boast some of the highest eCPMs of any ad format. For publishers, this means that splash ads can be an integral monetization tool to drive ad revenue.

Easy to implement. Since splash ads utilize the splash screen, they are easy to implement within the app design. This makes it easy to monetize a mobile app without compromising user experience.

The future of splash ads

Splash ads aren’t just confined to desktop and mobile. They are also an important monetization key for digital out-of-home (DOOH), where global ad spend will reach over $18 billion this year. For example, British retailer Tesco launched full-screen splash ads on their handheld “scan as you shop” devices. Considering the high conversion rates afforded by DOOH advertising, splash ads will continue to be an effective ad type across many digital platforms for years to come.

Learn more

Verve offers both iOS and Android support for splash ads and many other engaging mobile ad formats. Advertisers and publishers have full flexibility and customization options. To learn more, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team.

Note: This blog originally appeared on Smaato’s blog. Smaato is part of Verve.

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