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Google Launches Trial Run Ads Beta + More

I’m a “try it before you buy it” kinda guy. My love for those teriyaki chicken samplers at the mall food court knows no bounds, and I visit Costco exclusively for the free samples. So imagine my excitement last month when Google announced two new ad formats that would make any lover of samples swoon: Trial Run Ads beta and Interactive Interstitials beta.

According to Google, “one in four installed apps is never used”. One in four is an insane number when you think about all the time, money, and sometimes, tears that it takes to get a user to download your app for the first time. This is why engaging your users as early as possible is ?, and the purpose behind the Trial Run ads beta and Interactive Interstitials beta.

Let’s dig in.

Try Before You Buy with Trial Run Ads Beta

Trial Run ads is the new app format that allows users to test a game before they commit to buying it by streaming it to their phones for 60 seconds. Google hopes this will accomplish two things:

  1. Increase engagement with potential users by giving them something valuable in the ad itself
  2. More relevant clicks and installs for the advertiser from pre-qualified app users
trial run ads beta
via Google

During our time at Google, Todd (AdHawk CEO and co-founder) and I talked with many different types of mobile app companies. Their biggest pain was always around attracting the right type of engaged user to download their app. The they were given to accomplish this (a few screenshots and a brief description) left a lot to be desired.

It’s a big reason why we’re super exited about the Trial Run Ads beta. A 60 second preview can do far more to entice qualified users than a still image ever could. It looks like Google plans on offering this beta to companies in the mobile app gaming space to start, but we wouldn’t be surprised to see this feature rolled out to all mobile app companies in the future.

Getting Creative with Interactive Interstitial Ads

The new Interactive Interstitial Ads give mobile app advertisers more control over the user experience of their ad.  Advertisers are now able to leverage HTML5 to create an experience that is unique to their company.  The increased level of customization allows advertisers to create ad assets that are brand specific, and make acquiring engaged new users more effective. Gone are the days of standard templates!

Google hopes Interactive Interstitial Ads will accomplish a couple of things:

  1. Offer new and unique branding opportunities for the advertiser
  2. Provide value to the user before the download to show they why they should engage with the app
Screen Shot 2016-01-19 at 12.00.21 PM
via Google


Google is also hoping advertisers will take this added customization around layout and leverage it to test more creatives and calls to action. What’s awesome about this new ad format is that it’s way more “show” than it is “tell”, and we could all assume creative experience will yield engaged users.

While the Trial Run Ads beta is exclusive to mobile gaming app advertisers for the time being, the Interactive Interstitial Ads beta is available to all mobile app advertisers. Whoo hoo!

As the fight for your ad dollars continues across platforms, it’s really awesome to see Google step their game up a bit with the Trial Run Ads beta and Interactive Interstitial Ads beta. The days of intrusive display ads are numbered, and it’s good to see ads that create a positive experience for the advertiser and the user begin to take their place.

What are you thoughts of Google’s new Trial Run Ads beta and Interactive Interstitial Ads beta? Do you love them? Hate them? Is it complicated? Let us know in the comments, we would love to hear from you! 

About the Author

Dan Pratt is the co-founder and COO of AdHawk (Techstars ‘15). Prior to founding AdHawk, he worked on the Accelerated Growth team at Google, helping startups assess, refine and grow their digital advertising. He’s an expert in all forms of paid advertising and has been honing his marketing and sales skills since selling homemade pizza from his desk in third grade.