Reference overview

The Ad Placement API contains two functions adBreak() and adConfig(), defined in the global namespace that look like this. Most of the arguments are functions that you provide that allow you to handle the key steps of preparing for and displaying an ad:

adBreak({
   type: '<type>',                      // The type of this placement
   name: '<name>',                      // A descriptive name for this placement
   beforeAd: () => {},                  // Prepare for the ad. Mute and pause the game flow
   afterAd: () => {},                   // Resume the game and un-mute the sound
   beforeReward: (showAdFn) => {},      // Show reward prompt (call showAdFn() if clicked)
   adDismissed: () => {},               // Player dismissed the ad before completion
   adViewed: () => {},                  // Ad was viewed and closed
   adBreakDone: (placementInfo) => {},  // Always called (if provided) even if an ad didn't show
});

adConfig({
   preloadAdBreaks: 'on|auto',      // Should ads always be preloaded
   sound: 'on|off',                 // Is sound currently enabled within the game
});

These calls are used to place and configure the ads within your game. The arguments shown above are all of the valid arguments that can be passed to these functions. Different types of ads require different subsets of these arguments—this is documented later.

adBreak()is the key function for placing ads within your game. It defines an ad placement and it takes an object called a placement config that specifies everything required to show an ad.

adBreak() defines a placement where an ad could show—an opportunity to show an ad. Whether an ad actually shows will depend on a number of things, including:

  • The type of ad placement that you declared
    • Is this ad at the start of the game? Between levels? At a moment when the player has paused the game? etc.
  • Whether a suitable ad exists for the current player, that is:
    • relevant to them
    • consistent with their data privacy and consent settings
  • How many ads the player has seen recently
  • The control settings (e.g. ad frequency) you have configured for this game:
    • either as hints in the tag OR
    • within AdSense (note the controls available in AdSense will evolve over time)

The kind of ad that shows will depend on similar factors.

Therefore it's important to realize that a call to adBreak() may not show an ad at all. It simply declares a place where an ad could be shown.

This is unlike traditional APIs in which your code always knows if an ad is available, and you decide within the game whether to show it. This approach of letting the Ad Placement API decide if an ad shows in a particular placement is a pattern that is sometimes referred to as "inversion of control".

The reason we're transitioning our games API to this model is firstly, it shortens the code you have to write within your game. Secondly, it makes it easier to deliver policy compliant placements with a great user experience, which in turn has allowed us to deliver some of our highest performing formats to games publishers. Lastly, it more cleanly separates the process of placing ads in your game from the monetization decisions about the type and number of ads to show.

We want you to be able to change your monetization settings and control the user experience without having to edit and release a new version of your game. Initially by specifying hints in the tag. But in future releases we will be able to provide controls directly in the AdSense and AdMob frontends.

Interstitials

An interstitial ad is a full screen ad that can show at different moments within your game, such as when the player starts the game, or after the player completes a level. It pauses the game, covers the entire document, and the player can choose to click the ad (in which case the ad shows in a different tab of their browser) or to dismiss it which allows them to proceed with the game.

Note: an interstitial can be shown before your game has even loaded its user interface. This kind of ad is called a preroll and needs to be treated slightly differently to regular interstitials. Learn more about prerolls

To place an interstitial ad you populate the following fields within the placement config:

adBreak({
   type: 'start',           // The type of this placement
   name: 'game_started',    // A descriptive name for this placement
   beforeAd: beforeAd,      // Prepare for the ad. Mute and pause the game flow
   afterAd: afterAd,        // Resume the game and un-mute the sound
   adBreakDone: breakDone,  // Always called (if provided) even if an ad didn't show
});

The type argument is required, and we recommend that you always name your placements. The other callbacks are optional.

Call sequence

Review the call sequence for an interstitial ad.

Interstitial ad call sequence diagram

Description

Interstitial – Detailed call sequence
Your H5 Game Ad Placement API
  Initialization & preloading of ads
Running the game  

A good opportunity to show an ad...

adBreak()

 
 

There's an ad available and now is a good time to show it...

beforeAd()

Game pauses, mutes the sound and gets ready to show the ad.

return to the API →

 
  The Ad Placement API renders the interstitial ad. The player can click the ad (which displays in a new tab). They must dismiss the ad in order to continue playing the game.
  afterAd() is called if an ad has been shown
The game unpauses and unmutes the sound.  
  adBreakDone()adBreakDone() is always called (even if an ad wasn't shown)
The game logs analytics about this placement.  

Notes

  • adBreak() is an asynchronous function that returns immediately.
  • If there is no ad to display for a placement then none of the callbacks are called (i.e. none of beforeAd(),afterAd(), are called).
  • In order to ensure that your game doesn't continue to execute while the ad is showing, use the beforeAd() callback to mute the sound and pause the game.
  • beforeAd() is synchronous, the Ad Placement API won't show an ad until it returns.
  • Restart your game and un-mute the sound when you receive the afterAd() call.
  • If provided, adBreakDone() is always called even if an ad wasn't shown in this placement.
  • Calling adBreak() while another ad is showing will fail and a warning will be displayed on the Javascript console.

Prerolls

A preroll is an interstitial that displays before your game loads its UI. It's the first thing a player sees when they navigate to your game. Because a preroll happens very early in the page load, and your game isn't displayed yet—the usual calls to pause and mute your game are not required. Instead you use the adBreakDone() callback to sequence the start of your game with the ad—that is, render the UI and start playing sound. Only one preroll can be triggered for each page load.

Call sequence

The call for a preroll is made very early in the page load. As your game has not rendered its UI at this point, you should not pass the beforeAd() and afterAd() callbacks. Instead, use the adBreakDone() callback to start your game after the placement, as this is guaranteed to be called even if there was no ad.

Preroll ad call sequence diagram

Calling the following code, early in your game logic will place a preroll ad. Your UI should not be rendered before this code is called.

// Game must not be running.
// Nothing in the game area should be clickable
adBreak({
   type: ‘preroll',
   adBreakDone: startGame,
})
Preroll – Detailed call sequence
Your H5 Game Ad Placement API
  API initialization & pre-caching of ads commences
Is running but has not started and has not displayed a UI  

adBreak(type:'preroll',…)

 
 

The Ad placement API finishes initialising and loading ads. If there is an ad it is shown. The player can click the ad (which displays in a new tab). They must dismiss it in order for the game to start.

 

adBreakDone() is always called (even if an ad wasn't shown)

The game UI is rendered to the screen and the player can now interact with it. The game can use the placementInfo object passed to adBreakDone() as needed (for example, to log additional analytics).

 

Notes

  • A preroll will always attempt to preload ads:
    • Calling adConfig(preloadAds: ‘on') is not required with prerolls
  • Like other ad placements, a preroll may or may not show an ad.
  • beforeAd() and afterAd() should not be passed to a preroll.
    • Because preroll ads run before your game starts, there's no need to pause or mute the game sound.
    • If you pass beforeAd() or afterAd() with a preroll, the call will fail and an error will be logged to the JavaScript console.
  • A preroll automatically waits for the Ad Placement API to initialise and preload ads:
    • However, there's a timeout (2s) that prevents the call from delaying indefinitely. This ensures that adBreakDone() is called in a timely fashion and your game starts.
    • adBreakDone() is always called even if there's no ad.
  • We recommend you use a preroll for placing ads before your game starts.
    • Alternatively, you can use the onReady() callback to adConfig() as a mechanism for sequencing your game logic with the initialization of the API and preloading ads.

Rewarded ads

A rewarded ad allows you to reward your players with in-app items if they choose to watch an ad. Whereas interstitials are opt-out, a player is shown the ad and can choose to dismiss it. Rewarded ads are opt-in. A player chooses if and when they would like to watch an ad in order to receive a reward.

Unlike interstitials, where the player can dismiss the ad at any time, in order to receive a reward they must view the ad for a minimum amount of time (which can vary depending on the ad creative being shown).

Because rewarded ads are optional for the player, they require deeper integration into your game flow. You must provide functions to render a reward prompt within your game, and to allocate the reward to the player if they watch the ad.

Rewards must not have value outside of your app, they must not have (or be easily exchanged for) monetary value, and must not be saleable or exchangeable for goods and services, and you should not encourage players to click ads. Please refer to the draft policy for interstitials and rewarded for more details.

Because rewards are optional for the player, you can add them anywhere that makes sense within your game and can use them in addition to interstitials. Like interstitials, these placements are opportunities to show rewarded ads. The Ad Placement API will only call your code if a rewarded ad will actually be offered at a particular point in your game.

Once again the goal here is to allow you to integrate your game with the Ad Placement API once and then, over time using controls either in the tag, or in AdSense, you can change the precise mix of ads that are activated–without having to recode and re-release your game.

The type of a rewarded placement is always 'reward' and all of the fields in the placement config can be used.

adBreak({
   type: 'reward',                      // The type of this placement
   name: '<name>',                      // A descriptive name for this placement
   beforeAd: () => {},                  // Prepare for the ad. Mute and pause the game flow
   afterAd: () => {},                   // Resume the game and re-enable sound
   beforeReward: (showAdFn) => {},      // Show reward prompt (call showAdFn() if clicked)
   adDismissed: () => {},               // Player dismissed the ad before it finished.
   adViewed: () => {},                  // Player watched the ad–give them the reward.
   adBreakDone: (placementInfo) => {},  // Always called (if provided) even if an ad didn't show
});

The key new functions are beforeReward() which is the trigger that signals you should render the reward prompt, and adViewed() which is called when the player has successfully viewed the ad, so you can allocate their reward.

You might define a rewarded placement as follows:

adBreak({
   type: 'reward',
   name: 'new_life_reward_1',
   beforeAd: pauseGame,
   afterAd: restartGame,
   beforeReward: showRewardPrompt,
   adDismissed: adDismissed,
   adViewed: adViewed,
   adBreakDone: breakDone,
});

Rewarded ads start with a prompt in your game offering the player a reward if they view an ad.

Example ad prompt: "Watch a video to get an extra life!"

Call sequence for a rewarded ad

Rewarded call sequence diagram

Description

Rewarded ad – Detailed call sequence
Your H5 Game Ad Placement API
  Initialization & pre-caching of ads
Running the game  

adBreak(type:'reward', ... )

 
 

There is an ad available so start a rewarded ad placement...

beforeReward(showAdFn)

Game renders the reward prompt. This offers the player the opportunity to get a reward by watching an ad. More than one kind of reward could be offered (for example, a new life or a gold coin).

The player can click a reward prompt, dismiss them, or simply ignore them.

If they click a prompt, then the game stores the kind of reward they requested and calls showAdFn()...

Otherwise if the reward prompt is dismissed or ignored then nothing will happen until you make another call to adBreak() at which point the Ad Placement API will reset and clean up the state from this call. If the app calls showAdFn from a previous ad break it has no effect.

 

showAdFn()

 
  beforeAd()

Game pauses, mutes the sound and gets ready to show the ad

return to the API →

 
  The API shows the ad. It has a dismiss button and a countdown of how much time remains in the ad.
IF the player dismisses the ad...
  adDismissed()
Player dismissed the ad and the game does not issue the reward.  
ELSE the player watches the ad to completion...
  adViewed()
Player watched the ad to completion and the game issues the reward. (This would typically be by setting some game state that is then picked up when the game restarts with the call to afterAd() below).  
After the ad has been watched or dismissed...
  afterAd() is called if an ad has been shown
The game unpauses and unmutes the sound.  
  adBreakDone()adBreakDone() is always called (even if an ad wasn't shown)
The game logs analytics about this placement.  

Notes

  • adBreak() is an asynchronous function that returns immediately.
  • If there is no ad to display for a placement then none of the callbacks are called (i.e. none of beforeAd(), beforeReward() are called).
  • In order to ensure that your game doesn't continue to execute while the ad is showing, use the beforeAd() callback to mute the sound and pause the game.
  • beforeAd() is synchronous, the Ad Placement API won't show an ad until it returns.
  • Restart your game and un-mute the sound when you receive the afterAd() call.
  • If provided, adBreakDone() is always called even if an ad wasn't shown in this placement.
  • Calling adBreak() while another ad is showing will fail and a warning will be displayed on the Javascript console.