A big reason the growth in mobile ad spend hasn't caught up to the growth in mobile audience size is that most mobile ads aren't very appealing to advertisers, particularly brand advertisers. Google is trying to change that.
The search giant has developed four new hard-to-overlook mobile units that aim to make the smaller screen more brand-friendly.
Three of the four new mobile ad units take over a smartphone's or tablet's entire screen, and two do so in a similar fashion to TV commercials.
The interstitial ad formats are "similar to what people are used to on TV" in that they pop up in breaks between what someone is doing in an app, said Jonathan Alferness, Google's director of product management for mobile display ads. "This idea that a user's in the middle of some environment [and] at a logical break point they should see or will see advertising is not particularly jarring to users," he added.
If they are jarred, people will be able to quickly hide or skip past any of the four ads, including its mobile version of TrueView video ads. Google brought the ad unit, which it first popularized on YouTube, to mobile apps last year, but limited it to gaming apps because interstitial videos were considered "perfectly acceptable" in games, Mr. Alferness said.
Since then Google has seen "video becoming an integral part of any experience on mobile," he said. As a result in the next quarter or two the TrueView ads will roll out to non-gaming apps that are part of Google's mobile in-app ad network AdMob.