The State Of Interactive Advertising In 2021

8min read

The State Of Interactive Advertising In 2021

In 2021, advertising as a passive experience is losing its power. In its place new interactive advertising methods and advanced AdTech tools for personalized ad campaigns are coming into prominence. It has become more and more important to find new and effective ways to engage people with your product. How your company approaches this new frontier could help you get a head start in the competition for the eyes of users. In this article we are going to look at some interactive advertising examples and the ways your company can put this cutting edge technique to use to increase your ad engagement.

What is Interactive Advertising?

Interactive ads are advertisements that users actively participate in or present the product as part of the content they are experiencing. Streaming platforms are taking the lead in television and gaming. Because of this and ad blindness advertisers and marketers are having to find new, innovative ways to get the eyes of viewers.

New fronts are opening as user patterns change. On the digital battlefield users are now more frequently skipping ads, using ad blockers, or paying for premium ad free services. Recent studies are showing that 82% of Gen Z skip or ignore ads completely. This means that passive ads are going to become less and less effective as time goes on.

Interactive ads offer up the ability to make the ad an “experience.” This increases the odds that the users will engage with the product being presented to them.

what is interactive advertising on Facebook

Why Choose Interactive Advertising?

Interactive advertisements are being proven to have massive benefits over non-interactive ads. Interactive video ads get 47% more viewing time than non-interactive ones and even if viewers don’t click on the video they are more likely to remember it due to the interactive options.

An interactive ad campaign helps increase awareness in your brand by increasing the amount of time users engage with your advertisements. Interactive mobile advertising especially offers you a variety of options to keep your audience interacting with your brand. These interactions also gather more information about your audience. Surveys, quizzes, and games are all great ways to get users to tell you who they are and what they are interested in. For financial services companies, interest rate or mortgage calculators in a facebook interactive post can help you target potential new clients based on their input.

Types of Interactive Advertising

Interactive advertising can take many forms, with new ones being developed all the time. Some current methods of interactive advertising include:

  1. Interactive Facebook ads
  2. Augmented Reality
  3. Playable in-app ads
  4. In-game advertising and partnerships
  5. Interactive display ads
  6. Interactive video advertising

Interactive advertising agencies, such as ComboApp, can help your company to determine what types of interactive ads will generate the best ROI for your product.

Let’s take a look at each of these methods.

1. Interactive Facebook Ads

Facebook offers several ways advertisers can engage their audiences with interactive ads. With a user base that includes 69% of US Adults, it is a great platform for reaching a large and varied audience. Facebook is also increasingly entering and innovating advertising in new business verticals. Gaming, virtual tours, and experiential visual ads are three places Facebook is dominating the advertising market. This makes this platform an even more diverse opportunity for ad investment.

  • Interactive video – Facebook allows you to create videos that have participatory features like polls or trivia. This makes for a more engaging form of video ad that prompts the user to give feedback or an answer to a question. These ads can also be used in Facebook Live videos, making great opportunities to interact with your audience in real time. From polls to giveaways, you have a range of options to keep users glued to your video!
interactive Facebook ads examples
  • Playable ads – What better way to get someone to use your app than to give them a sample of what it is like to use it. Get an audience engaged with playable ads and you increase the odds that they will download your app to experience more.
Facebook playable ads
  • Lead Ads – These ads have a contact form that users can fill out to get more information, allowing you to generate leads right from the advertisement.
Facebook lead ads sample
  • Instant Experience (Formerly Canvas): These ads offer a full screen experience that allows for campaigns to be crafted for maximum effectiveness. Men’s health company Roman ran a very successful campaign to educate users about their products using instant experience and doubled their CTR and sales with a 45% higher conversion rate.
Facebook interactive instant experience ads

2. Augmented Reality

Social media platforms such as Instagram, Tik Tok, Snapchat, and Facebook offer Augmented Reality ads. Users have embraced this type of ad, because it allows them to create their own content that features the products they are interested in. These efforts started with branded Snapchat and Instagram filters used to promote products. It has now evolved to include three dimensional representations of actual products.

How AR is currently being used

Snapchat Lenses and Instagram filters opened the door to this implementation of AR. Facebook Augmented Reality advertisements are taking the concept and pushing it further. Facebook’s AR ads create a method of interactive digital advertising that can be used to try on items in stores or view products in your living environment. Mercedes-Benz used exclusive effects in their AR ads to increase interest in visiting a dealership see the features in person.

TikTok’s AR to come out swinging for the fences

TikTok is quickly adapting for the AR space. They will soon launch an Augmented Reality “Brand Effect” ad format. The format will allow TikTok advertisers to make collateral that feature music and clickable links in their videos.

The future of AR

Future technologies, (like the rumored Apple Glass,) will allow for AR overlays in real life. Imagine being able to place your ads into a user’s view on a building. Or even over top of a real world billboard. As AR technology grows in use and complexity there are so many opportunities opening up for advertisers.

3. Playable In-App Ads

Playable ads can be in more places than just social media apps. They are already heavily used in games and entertainment apps as monetization methods. With users spending over 3.5 hours a day on mobile devices, you want to take every opportunity to engage with them in ways that grab their attention. Mobile games find an eager audience with users of other mobile apps, giving them a taste of the action before encouraging them to download.

playable in-app ads examples

Source: IAB

In-app playable ads can give you an example of a product’s use. For example – a fashion app might let you play with filter options, teasing you features you’ll have available when you download the full app.

Corporate gamifies

Big brands such as Burger King have found huge success using playable mobile ads. Their interactive mobile ads have a 35-40% Click Through Rate. Fashion retailer, Hollister, found that users engaged with their game based ads for a minute on average. This is much longer than a user engages with other forms of advertisements.

4. In-Game Advertising And Partnerships

With the ever increasing popularity of gaming, this vertical has quickly become a new realm of opportunity for digital advertising. Games like Fortnite are an ubiquitous part of the pop culture landscape. Market penetration in games like this make them ripe for opportunity. Interactive advertising opportunities in games include: Sponsored items, in-game events, and digital billboards.

Disney goes in-game with Fortnite

In Fortnite, companies and music artists have found advertising opportunities that bring them directly to their audience.

When Lucasfilm and Disney were leading up to the release of Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker, they teamed up with Epic Games to hold an event in the game. An exclusive clip from the film was shown to players who gathered up to watch. And, the players got lightsabers and Star Wars themed gliders as a reward.

Fortnite has also hosted events by Travis Scott, Nike, and more.

What to do if you’re not Disney

Obviously, not everyone can advertise in a giant game like Fortnite. There are lots of games that are in development which will feature IA opportunities. And, existing games who want to engage with interactive digital advertisers. Not only are these product placements great for being seen, but according to studies they have a great ROI as well.

This strategy makes sense: Gamers are a huge market segment. You cannot advertise to them en masse. The psychology of in-game advertising makes it so that gamers are more likely to interact with brands who appreciate their value.

Streaming eSports

There are amazing opportunities in other verticals aside from gaming. Esports are increasing in popularity. Many eSports tournaments are streamed on platforms like YouTube and Twitch. Partnerships with eSports organizations and streamers give companies the chance to feature their products in these ecospheres. Companies also can place content like interactive banners on streams for more engagement opportunities.

Get your foot in the door! ComboApp can help you build relationships with game companies and eSports promoters and create innovative experiential advertising.

5. Interactive Display Ads

Digital display ads are ubiquitous. They appear everywhere you look on the Internet. However, as many consumers are being conditioned to opt-out of advertising experiences, the industry has had to innovate new ways of getting their content seen.

Interactive Banner Ads

If you’re more traditional in your advertising strategy, your company can leverage interactive banner ads. These ads are fully capable of providing a full interactive experience and can serve as a gateway to even more content from your company. Clicking or rolling over one of these interactive banner ads can have it open up wider, to reveal everything from an interactive video ad, a playable game, and even a poll or quiz.

Interactive banners do have downsides. They are more likely to be banned by ad blockers (~650 device models feature ad blocking hardware as part of their device.) They also may be missed by consumers who have developed “banner blindness”.

These ads get great engagement, though, and are the modern, updated alternative to old school banner ads. So the ROI and engagement from those who do click on your interactive banner ads will balance out the blindness and blocking.

Interactive video advertising

Interactive video ads are incredibly versatile in both style and presentation. This gives companies a lot of flexibility in how they present themselves and their products. Interactive videos can be used in obvious ways, as well as more subtle integrations to existing content. This provides you with choices that can best suit your product and intended audience, creating optimized ROI. Here are some examples of how to use interactive video:

  • Interactive Product Placement: This takes the standard product placement seen in films and TV into the digital age. Your product gets featured in the content in an organic way, and then the viewer is given the option via a clickable area on screen to purchase or learn more about your product. Walmart recently partnered with interactive video company Eko to advertise in this format. Another option is to partner with a YouTube content creator to place clickable ads for your products in their content. Product placement has been proven to be an incredibly effective form of advertisement. 49% of Americans took action after seeing a product in a piece of media.
  • Interactive Video Advertising: This is the more obvious sort of interactive advertisement. A carefully crafted piece of video is created with interactive elements. The interaction points either show more details on a product, or lead viewers through a story that features one. This is a great way to engage and teach users about your product. Interactive video advertising shines on streaming platforms. It gives users a more alluring alternative to a regular ad and prevents them from hitting the skip button.


In 2021, the landscape for interactive digital ads is growing every day. Consumers are changing their habits and are more often using mobile and streaming content to fill their free time. While this is changing the ways that advertisers need to engage users, there is plenty of opportunity to meet the consumer where they live. It doesn’t matter whether you are connecting on social media apps, in games, or in the videos they are watching… You need to be ready to present your company and product to users in an engaging way on all fronts. Interactive ads should be an important part of any digital marketing strategy for forward thinking companies.

Interactive advertising agencies like ComboApp craft your full digital marketing campaign and connect you on the platforms that perform best. If you are ready to take the next step into your future, contact ComboApp today!

FAQ about Interactive Advertising

What is interactive display advertising?

Interactive display advertising is a form of interactive ad that is similar to the banner type ads we are used to seeing online. The interactive version of this kind of ad usually features video, audio, or other interactive elements that make it stand out.

What is an interactive marketing example?

One example of an interactive ad would be an ad for a business that takes the form of a playable game. Another example could be an interactive video that asks the viewer to make choices or answer questions.

Why is interactive advertising important?

Interactive ads drive user engagement with your marketing, which in turn increases your ads conversions into sales. The best interactive advertising will make people feel that they are being entertained or communicated to, rather than marketed at.

How can an interactive advertising agency help my business grow?

Interactive advertising agencies, such as ComboApp, can help your business grow by helping you discover the best interactive ad campaign for you. Then, they work with your company to develop and put that campaign into action.

What are examples of successful interactive advertising campaigns?

Coca-Cola had incredibly successful interactive mobile ads for Coke Zero. A billboard or TV ad would show a bottle of Coke Zero pouring, and using the Shazam app you could make the coke pour into a bottle on your phone. Each interaction rewarded users with a free Coke Zero!