Smaller mobile advertisements that appear embedded in the context of apps spark more engagement, visual attention, and action-taking than do larger interstitial mobile ads, according to recent research from MediaBrix, TrueImpact, and Neurons Inc.

The report was based on an in-person study in which participants were given a mobile game to play and had both interstitial video ads (full-screen takeovers) and embedded ads (smaller targeted units based on user action/context) presented as part of the experience.

The researchers used three methods to determine reaction to the ads: sensors and a headset to measure eye movement and heart rate; a neurometric monitor to track cognitive load and positive/negative emotional intensity; and post-test interviews to solicit additional feedback.

Study participants spent three times as much time viewing the contextual ads than the interstitial ads.

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image of Ayaz Nanji

Ayaz Nanji is a digital strategist and a co-founder of ICW Media, a marketing agency specializing in content and social media services for tech firms. He is also a research writer for MarketingProfs. He has worked for Google/YouTube, the Travel Channel, AOL, and the New York Times.

LinkedIn: Ayaz Nanji

Twitter: @ayaznanji