When you visit certain annoying websites, as soon as they load, they display a full-page advert that blocks the content. And you usually have to click "Skip ad" or similar to get rid of it.

Is there a name for that kind of ad?

Clarification: I don't mean those banner ads that expand when you roll over them, partially obscuring page content... I mean the big ads that appear before you see any content, when you first open a web page, almost like a splash screen. Sometimes they disappear after a few seconds, and sometimes you have to click to skip past them.

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    I call it annoying as hell. – FrustratedWithFormsDesigner Aug 29 '11 at 15:22
  • Well, I call it SOB. – Phonics The Hedgehog Aug 29 '11 at 15:26
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    Something that usually makes me leave the site. Or greatly confuses me since I use adblock and a giant empty block is all I see for a web page. – Chris Marisic Aug 29 '11 at 17:23
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    ... and I will avoid going to the site from then on. – starblue Aug 29 '11 at 18:28
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    You mean you don't use AdBlock? – Mateen Ulhaq Aug 29 '11 at 19:09

I believe the term you are looking for is "interstitial"; as defined on techtarget, it is

...a page that is inserted in the normal flow of editorial content structure on a Web site for the purpose of advertising or promotion. It can be more or less intrusive and the reaction of viewers usually depends on how welcome or entertaining the message is. An interstitial is usually designed to move automatically to the page the user requested after allowing enough time for the message to register or the ad(s) to be read.

(It further specifically identifies the "splash page" that automatically proceeds to the real site as a particular subset of interstitial advertising.)

(It is also defined on wiktionary, if you find that to be a more authoritative source....)


An ad (or any other sort of frame/window) that pops up and requires interaction is referred to as modal. It's a user interface design term. The use of modal windows is often discouraged, because they make the user feel handcuffed and frustrated.

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    +1, 'modal' is definitely the right adjective to describe this kind of interruption, from a UI design perspective. But I gave the answer to @Hellion for 'interstitial', as that seems to be the specific term for a modal advertisement appearing before any page content. – callum Aug 30 '11 at 2:14

It's called a shoshkele, sometimes also spelled soshkel/soshkele. It uses code to expand and fill the viewport.

  • Interesting... But from looking at definitions online, it looks like a shoshkele is the kind of ad that move around the page, perhaps expanding from a small ad somewhere on the page, partially obscuring bits of page content. Please see my clarification in the question above. – callum Aug 29 '11 at 15:07
  • Its the same thing. Shoshkeles can be rollover ads, or pre-animated to appear and disappear in a few seconds, or dismissed via a click. It depends on what you tell your javascript to do. – Autoresponder Aug 29 '11 at 15:14
  • Maybe the kind of ad I'm talking about is a subset of shoshkele, but really I want a word that gets across that it's a full-page interruption, like a splash screen, temporarily preventing access to the actual content, forcing users to look at the ad. I think "modal ad" (@ajk's answer) seems best, as that's the proper user interface term for any dialog that the user is forced to deal with before interacting with the rest of the interface. – callum Aug 29 '11 at 15:22
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    Hey sure- whatever works for you. IMO the three terms modal, interstitial and shoshkele (not to mention a whole host of other flash-anim terms) all refer to more or less the same thing. Shoshkele just happens to be a word specifically referring to web-advertisements. ( The variants in the spelling are probably because the name itself is a registered trademark.) 'Modal' can refer to any dialog box, while interstitial can be any interim content. I quite like 'interstitial' as well, now that its mentioned in context.Glad you found what you were looking for! – Autoresponder Aug 29 '11 at 15:34
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    Its named after the daughter of the head honcho of the company that introduced the thing, as I recently found out. – Autoresponder Aug 29 '11 at 17:31

I have seen them called pop-over ads, and sometimes over-lay ads.


I thought they were called rollover ads. But I could be wrong.

ETA- Splash pages possibly then.

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    I think they're splash ads then. Not willing to swear to it though. – temptar Aug 29 '11 at 15:05

The general term is pop-up ad.

Another type that can "get in your way" is a hover ad.

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    Pop-up ads generally don't obscure the entire page forcing you to look at them, they usually open a separate window. The ads that cover the entire page with an overlay and require a user to explicitly click on a "close/hide/not now!" button on the ad are different. – FrustratedWithFormsDesigner Aug 29 '11 at 15:25
  • @Frustrated: I would call it 'pop-up ad', whether the ad is displayed in the same web page screen or a separate interrupting modal window is displayed, whether it obscures a tiny part of the viewing screen or the entire thing. You still have to take an action (including waiting) to get rid of it. – Mitch Aug 29 '11 at 17:31
  • @Mitch: pop-ups that display in separate windows (or tabs) can be ignored if the browser is set to open the pop-up in a separate tab/window and leave focus on the page the spawned the pop-up. This means the user can ignore the pop-up in the other (unfocused tab/window) and view the page. Ads that overlay the page cannot be ignored in this way. – FrustratedWithFormsDesigner Aug 29 '11 at 17:34

I call them annoying and ineffective. I'm surely not the person who, even if they might have been interested in what the ad was selling, won't click it if I am forced to view it in an annoying manner.

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