Interstitial ads

Interstitial ads are full-screen ads that cover the interface of their host app. They're typically displayed at natural transition points in the flow of an app, such as between activities or during the pause between levels in a game. When an app shows an interstitial ad, the user has the choice to either tap on the ad and continue to its destination or close it and return to the app. Case study.

This guide explains how to integrate interstitial ads into an Android app.

Prerequisites

  • Google Mobile Ads SDK 19.7.0 or higher.
  • Follow the Get Started guide to import the Google Mobile Ads SDK and update your Android manifest.

Always test with test ads

When building and testing your apps, make sure you use test ads rather than live, production ads. Failure to do so can lead to suspension of your account.

The easiest way to load test ads is to use our dedicated test ad unit ID for Android interstitials:

ca-app-pub-3940256099942544/1033173712

It's been specially configured to return test ads for every request, and you're free to use it in your own apps while coding, testing, and debugging. Just make sure you replace it with your own ad unit ID before publishing your app.

For more information about how the Mobile Ads SDK's test ads work, see Test Ads.

Load an ad

To load an interstitial ad, call the InterstitialAd static load() method and pass in an InterstitialAdLoadCallback to receive the loaded ad or any possible errors. Notice that like other format load callbacks, InterstitialAdLoadCallback leverages LoadAdError to provide higher fidelity error details.

Java

import com.google.android.gms.ads.interstitial.InterstitialAd;
import com.google.android.gms.ads.interstitial.InterstitialAdLoadCallback;

public class MainActivity extends Activity {

    private InterstitialAd mInterstitialAd;

    @Override
    protected void onCreate(Bundle savedInstanceState) {
      super.onCreate(savedInstanceState);
      setContentView(R.layout.activity_main);

      MobileAds.initialize(this, new OnInitializationCompleteListener() {
        @Override
        public void onInitializationComplete(InitializationStatus initializationStatus) {}
      });
      AdRequest adRequest = new AdRequest.Builder().build();

      InterstitialAd.load(this,"ca-app-pub-3940256099942544/1033173712", adRequest,
        new InterstitialAdLoadCallback() {
      @Override
      public void onAdLoaded(@NonNull InterstitialAd interstitialAd) {
        // The mInterstitialAd reference will be null until
        // an ad is loaded.
        mInterstitialAd = interstitialAd;
        Log.i(TAG, "onAdLoaded");
      }

      @Override
      public void onAdFailedToLoad(@NonNull LoadAdError loadAdError) {
        // Handle the error
        Log.i(TAG, loadAdError.getMessage());
        mInterstitialAd = null;
      }
    });
  }
}

Kotlin

import com.google.android.gms.ads.interstitial.InterstitialAd;
import com.google.android.gms.ads.interstitial.InterstitialAdLoadCallback;
class MainActivity : AppCompatActivity() {
  private var mInterstitialAd: InterstitialAd? = null
  private final var TAG = 'MainActivity'
    override fun onCreate(savedInstanceState: Bundle?) {
      super.onCreate(savedInstanceState)
      setContentView(R.layout.activity_main)

      var adRequest = AdRequest.Builder().build()

      InterstitialAd.load(this,"ca-app-pub-3940256099942544/1033173712", adRequest, object : InterstitialAdLoadCallback() {
        override fun onAdFailedToLoad(adError: LoadAdError) {
          Log.d(TAG, adError?.message)
          mInterstitialAd = null
        }

        override fun onAdLoaded(interstitialAd: InterstitialAd) {
          Log.d(TAG, 'Ad was loaded.')
          mInterstitialAd = interstitialAd
        }
      })
    }
}

Set the FullScreenContentCallback

The FullScreenContentCallback handles events related to displaying your InterstitialAd. Before showing InterstitialAd, make sure to set the callback:

Java

mInterstitialAd.setFullScreenContentCallback(new FullScreenContentCallback(){
  @Override
  public void onAdDismissedFullScreenContent() {
    // Called when fullscreen content is dismissed.
    Log.d("TAG", "The ad was dismissed.");
  }

  @Override
  public void onAdFailedToShowFullScreenContent(AdError adError) {
    // Called when fullscreen content failed to show.
    Log.d("TAG", "The ad failed to show.");
  }

  @Override
  public void onAdShowedFullScreenContent() {
    // Called when fullscreen content is shown.
    // Make sure to set your reference to null so you don't
    // show it a second time.
    mInterstitialAd = null;
    Log.d("TAG", "The ad was shown.");
  }
});

Kotlin

mInterstitialAd?.fullScreenContentCallback = object: FullScreenContentCallback() {
  override fun onAdDismissedFullScreenContent() {
    Log.d(TAG, 'Ad was dismissed.')
  }

  override fun onAdFailedToShowFullScreenContent(adError: AdError?) {
    Log.d(TAG, 'Ad failed to show.')
  }

  override fun onAdShowedFullScreenContent() {
    Log.d(TAG, 'Ad showed fullscreen content.')
    mInterstitialAd = null
  }
}

Show the ad

Interstitial ads should be displayed during natural pauses in the flow of an app. Between levels of a game is a good example, or after the user completes a task. To show an interstitial, use the show() method.

Java

if (mInterstitialAd != null) {
  mInterstitialAd.show(MyActivity.this);
} else {
  Log.d("TAG", "The interstitial ad wasn't ready yet.");
}

Kotlin

if (mInterstitialAd != null) {
  mInterstitialAd?.show(this)
} else {
  Log.d("TAG", "The interstitial ad wasn't ready yet.")
}

Some best practices

Consider whether interstitial ads are the right type of ad for your app.
Interstitial ads work best in apps with natural transition points. The conclusion of a task within an app, like sharing an image or completing a game level, creates such a point. Because the user is expecting a break in the action, it's easy to present an interstitial ad without disrupting their experience. Make sure you consider at which points in your app's workflow you'll display interstitial ads and how the user is likely to respond.
Remember to pause the action when displaying an interstitial ad.
There are a number of different types of interstitial ads: text, image, video, and more. It's important to make sure that when your app displays an interstitial ad, it also suspends its use of some resources to allow the ad to take advantage of them. For example, when you make the call to display an interstitial ad, be sure to pause any audio output being produced by your app.
Allow for adequate loading time.
Just as it's important to make sure you display interstitial ads at an appropriate time, it's also important to make sure the user doesn't have to wait for them to load. Loading the ad in advance by calling load() before you intend to call show() can ensure that your app has a fully loaded interstitial ad at the ready when the time comes to display one.
Don't flood the user with ads.
While increasing the frequency of interstitial ads in your app might seem like a great way to increase revenue, it can also degrade the user experience and lower clickthrough rates. Make sure that users aren't so frequently interrupted that they're no longer able to enjoy the use of your app.

Source code

Examples on GitHub

Success stories

Next steps