In-Game Advertising

What are In-Banner Video Ads and How to Get Started With Them?

December 13, 2022
5 Minutes

The growth of video advertising has been exemplary in the past few years. Millions of users consume video content every day, with platforms leveraging the medium to get more views on ads. In fact, experts predicted that of all the consumer online traffic in 2022, over 80% will be from videos (Source: Cisco). But as publishers look to increase their revenue through video advertising, which is the right ad type to choose from? The growth of video content has also driven the growth of types of video ads, and there is no one size fits all.

While there is no clear-cut solution for all publishers, there’s one format that assists a large number of publishers to get started with video ads, without requiring any video content — in-banner video ads.

In this article, we will comprehensively explain what in-banner video ads are, the different types of in-banner video ads, the key differences between in-stream and out-stream ads, the pros and cons of using them, and the best implementation practices.

What are in-banner video ads?

Unlike traditional video ads that run specifically on video ad inventories, in-banner video ads are videos or GIFs inserted in the display banner ad slots. The in-banner video ads follow the standard Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) size and are generally sized at 300×250.

in banner video ads

Types of in-banner video ads

There are primarily three different types of in-banner ads that publishers can add to their slots:

  • Click-to-play: In the click-to-play in-banner video ad, a static image is displayed, which when clicked by the user, plays the video ad.
  • Autoplay (no sound): As the name suggests, in this type of in-banner ad, the video ad starts playing automatically without any audio.
  • Hover-to-play: This in-banner video ad only starts playing when the user is hovering their cursor over the ad.

Difference between in-banner video ads and in-stream & out-stream ads

Other than in-banner video ads, publishers can display video ads through in-stream and out-stream video ads. Here are some details about these ads before we dive into a comparison.

In-Stream Video Ads: If you frequently visit YouTube, then you must have already interacted with in-stream video ads. These ads are short video ads that run during the video a user is viewing. The ads are played before the video starts, in the video itself, or once the video concludes. For a publisher to run in-stream video ads, the publisher should have pre-existing video content.

in stream video ads

Out-Stream Ads: On the other hand, out-stream ads are video advertisements displayed within articles on a webpage. While they do not require existing video content like in-stream video ads, they do require a video player that can play the ad. These ads pop up on the screen, often muted by default. There are two types of out-stream ads, in-content ads, where the ad appears between the paragraphs on the page, and in-slide out-stream ads, which appear from the side of the user’s screen, where they have to interact with it to close (click the X button or skip).

out stream video ads

In-banner video ads offer multiple advantages over in-stream and out-stream ads, such as:

  • Limited requirements: Unlike the other two ad formats, in-banner video ads do not require a video player to run. The in-banner ads can run GIFs and video clips in the banner without a video player as they are provided by the advertisers.
  • Least intrusive: Out-steam and in-stream ads are considered intrusive by a huge chunk of users. In-banner ads, however, provide a favorable user experience as they do not force users to interact with them.
  • Use with other ad formats: Since the in-banner ads take up the banner ad inventory, they can be run with out-stream ads to maximize the revenue.
Advantages of in-banner video ads

How to use in-banner video ads on Google Ad Manager

For publishers, Google Ad Manager makes it extremely simple to set up in-banner video ads. Since the in-banner video ads are placed in the banner (display) ad slots, there are not many changes publishers need to make from the usual process.

Here’s how publishers can opt-in with the Google Ad Manager, enabling the server to deliver in-banner video ads:

  1. Go to the Google Ad Manager home page, and click on ‘Protections’
  2. Click on ‘New protection’ and then ‘Ad content’. Choose a name for the protection and select the targeting capabilities for the ad inventory
  3. Scroll down and click on ‘Opt-Ins’

This enables Google Ad Manager to receive requests from demand channels for in-banner video ads.

Before you add Google Ad Manager to your in-banner video ad strategy, here are some key guidelines to remember while implementing in-banner videos on Google Ad Manager:

  • Select the ad unit size as you do for banner ads, but choose the video ad size, for example, 300x250.
  • Make sure your in-banner video creatives meet the display requirements and guidelines.
  • Creatives must include a clickable replay button.
  • Total video playtime must be 4 minutes or less.
  • Click-to-play creatives must have a 2.2 MB total load size with video.
  • Creatives may not expand past ad unit boundaries unless initiated by the user.
  • For hover-over initiated ads, 2 seconds of hovering by the user is required before audio is played.
  • When the user is no longer hovering, the audio must stop.

Advantages and disadvantages of using in-banner video advertising

Much like any technology, in-banner ads have multiple advantages and disadvantages when it comes to publishers. Here are the two sides of the in-banner video ads.

Advantages of in-banner video ads

  • Better user experience: As we discussed above, in-banner video ads are less intrusive, and do not pose a threat to user experience. The key thing to note is that these ads do not look like traditional advertisements, and are often perceived by users as a part of the page itself. Moreover, they do not force the user to click on them, making it the user’s choice to interact.
  • No length limitation: While other video-based ads have strict duration limits, in-banner video ads present an opportunity for publishers and advertisers to run ads without any length limitations. However, they do pose a storage limit, and the ad should be lighter than 500MB.
  • Better engagement: Since these ads are not intrusive, they witness better engagement and click-through rates from the users. Moreover, they are also more visually appealing than standard image ads, tempting the user to interact with them.

Disadvantages of in-banner video ads

  • Disruptive to some users: Many users have termed in-banner video ads disruptive to their experience as they are not expecting a video ad when they are consuming text content. While in-stream videos are expected by users, in-banner video ads and out-stream video ads can be a surprise.
  • Browsers disabling autoplay: One of the reasons in-banner video ads are not used is the autoplay feature. When the user opens the webpage, many ads autoplay, which is considered intrusive by many. Many browsers and SSPs have enabled the choice to block autoplay ads, driving down engagement for many publishers.
  • Higher loading time: Since the in-banner video ads don’t use a dedicated video player, heavy videos can take a toll on the website’s loading speed. However, this may vary as per the browser and the creative.

Best practices for in-banner video advertising

While in-banner video ads offer exciting features for publishers and advertisers to get the maximum eyeballs, they also provide publishers with an opportunity to transition from traditional display advertising to video advertising.

If you are looking to incorporate in-banner video ads in your ad strategy, there are certain practices that should be kept in mind before executing them.

  1. Keep it short: No one likes watching excruciatingly long ads, even if they are not intrusive. Even though in-banner video ads have no duration limit, to ensure that you keep the user engaged for the whole ad, make sure that your ads are not extremely long.
  2. Optimize for mobile: The growth of mobile usage is monumental, and showing ads that are not optimized for mobile users will hamper the experience. Ensure that your web pages and ads are optimized for mobile screens.
  3. Experiment constantly: The key to running successful ad campaigns is constantly experimenting with creatives and user segmentation. Running split tests (A/B testing) can help publishers find the right sauce for the ad strategies and maximize revenue.


As we stated above, there is no single ad type that works for all publishers, and it all boils down to the content type, webpage style, and user base. However, with a non-intrusive model and seamless integration, in-banner video advertising is a good place to add video ads to the mix. In-banner video ads enable publishers to push the boundaries of video advertisements without using any existing video content or relying on intrusive out-stream advertisements. With a huge pool of features, in-banner video ads should definitely be on the publisher’s list of formats to try in their ad strategy.

While transitioning from traditional video advertisements to in-banner video ads can seem a tedious and complicated task, AdSparc’s next-gen monetization tools make it extremely easy.

AdSparc delivers a better experience for your video ads and helps you maximize your revenue, generate higher CPMs, and streamline your operations.

Want to learn more about how AdSparc can accelerate your revenue growth with next-gen monetization solutions? Request a free callback today!

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Question: What are in-banner video ads?
Answer: In-banner video ads are videos or GIFs inserted in the display banner ad slots. There are three types of in-banner ads; click-to-play, autoplay, and hover-to-play.

2. Question: How are in-banner video ads better than in-stream and out-stream ads?
Answer: In-banner video ads offer multiple advantages over in-stream and out-stream ads, such as less intrusive ad display, non-requirement of a dedicated video player, and ease of use with other ad formats.

3. Question: Can in-banner video ads work with Google Ad Manager?
Answer: Google Ad Manager makes it extremely simple to use in-banner video ads. Publishers just need to opt-in for the ads in GAM and adhere to certain design and execution guidelines.

4. Question: What are the best practices for using in-banner video ads?
Answer: Publishers should ensure they are using the correct ad units, adhere to IAB ad sizes, ensure user-friendly implementation and create less-intrusive ad elements.

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