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Understanding the Different Types of Display Ads: A Comprehensive Guide

By July 25, 2023March 6th, 2024Digital Ads
Graphic of most popular ad sizes


Welcome to “Understanding the Different Types of Display Ads: A Comprehensive Guide”! Whether you’re a seasoned marketer or just dipping your toes into the world of digital advertising, display ads play a critical role in reaching your target audience and achieving your marketing goals. With so many different types of display ads to choose from, it’s essential to understand their unique features and benefits to make the most out of your ad campaigns.

Display advertising is a powerful tool that allows businesses to showcase their products or services to potential customers using visual elements like images, text, and videos. These ads appear on various websites, social media platforms, and other digital channels, grabbing the user’s attention and enticing them to take action.

Selecting the right ad type for your campaign is crucial to your success. The right ad format can significantly impact your ad’s performance and return on investment (ROI). By choosing the appropriate ad format, you’ll be able to effectively reach your target audience and deliver a compelling message that resonates with them.

Today we will provide you with a comprehensive understanding of the different types of display ads available, their pros and cons, and how to choose the best format for your specific campaign. In order to uncover the full potential of display ads, let’s start with the basics: the different types of display ads available.

Types of Display Ads

Standard Display Ads

Standard display ads are the most common and widely used ad format, typically consisting of images and text that appear on websites, apps, and other digital platforms. Examples of standard display ads include banners, sidebars, and leaderboards. These ads often come in various sizes and follow the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) dimension guidelines.

Pros of standard display ads include their affordability, easy implementation, and compatibility with most platforms. However, they may also suffer from lower engagement rates due to ad fatigue and banner blindness. Standard display ads work best for raising brand awareness, driving traffic to your website, and promoting time-sensitive offers.


Graphic of most popular ad sizes

Most Common Display Ad Sizes


Rich Media Ads

Rich media ads take display advertising to the next level by incorporating interactive elements such as animations, audio, video, or other dynamic features. Examples include expandable banners, floating ads, and interactive quizzes.

The main advantage of rich media ads is their ability to create a more engaging and immersive user experience, leading to higher click-through rates (CTR). However, they can be more expensive to produce and may have compatibility issues with certain platforms. Rich media ads are best suited for showcasing product features, promoting an event, or encouraging user interaction with your brand.

The Drum: Appetite Creative’s best examples of rich media ads


Video Ads

Video ads use moving images and sound to tell a story or demonstrate a product, capturing the viewer’s attention and imagination. Examples include pre-roll, mid-roll, and post-roll ads on video streaming platforms, as well as in-banner and in-stream video ads.

The main benefit of video ads is their potential for high engagement and retention rates, as they offer a more captivating experience. However, video ads can be more expensive to produce and may require higher bandwidth for optimal performance. Video ads are ideal for product demonstrations, building brand awareness, and promoting a unique selling proposition.

Clearcode: Video Advertising: What Is It and How Are Video Ads Served?

Native Ads

Native ads are designed to blend seamlessly with the content and design of the platform they appear on, providing a less intrusive advertising experience. Examples include sponsored articles, promoted social media posts, and in-feed ads.

Native ads offer the advantage of improved user experience and higher engagement rates, as they don’t disrupt the browsing experience. However, they may be perceived as less transparent and can be more expensive than traditional display ads. Native ads are best suited for promoting content marketing initiatives, building trust with your audience, and driving targeted traffic to your website.


Retargeting Ads

Retargeting ads, also known as remarketing ads, specifically target users who have previously interacted with your brand, such as visiting your website or adding an item to their shopping cart. These ads aim to re-engage potential customers and encourage them to complete a desired action.

Retargeting ads can lead to higher conversion rates, as they target an audience already familiar with your brand. However, they may be perceived as intrusive if not properly managed. Retargeting ads work best for e-commerce businesses, promoting abandoned cart recovery, and driving customer loyalty.


Social Media Ads

Social media ads appear on popular social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn, reaching users as they interact with their social networks. Examples include sponsored posts, carousel ads, and story ads.

Social media ads offer the advantage of precise targeting, as you can reach specific demographics, interests, and behaviors. However, competition on these platforms can be high, and ad costs may vary. Social media ads are ideal for reaching a niche audience, promoting user-generated content, and driving engagement with your brand.


Now that we’ve explored the various types of display ads and their unique characteristics, it’s time to focus on selecting the right format for your specific campaign needs. Choosing the most effective ad format is crucial to maximizing your advertising efforts and ensuring success.

Choosing the Right Display Ad Format

Factors to Consider 

Selecting the ideal display ad format requires careful consideration of several factors. 

  1. Target Audience: Ensure your ad reaches the right people with a message that resonates.
  2. Advertising Goals: Align your choice with objectives such as brand awareness, lead generation, or conversions.
  3. Budget: Some ad formats may require higher investments in production and placement.
  4. Platform Compatibility: Not all formats may work well across every platform.

Testing and Optimizing Ad Performance

Don’t forget that testing and optimizing your ad performance is key to maximizing the effectiveness of your campaigns. Experiment with various ad formats and monitor their performance to identify which ones work best for your specific goals. Regularly analyze and adjust your strategy to achieve the desired results. Continuous improvement is crucial in the ever-evolving world of digital advertising.

We’ve covered the various display ad types and formats. Now, let’s discuss valuable tips for creating effective, impactful campaigns.

Tips for Effective Display Advertising

To make your display advertising campaigns truly stand out, keep these essential tips in mind:

  1. Engaging Ad Design: Create visually appealing and attention-grabbing designs that not only showcase your brand identity but also pique the interest of your audience. Balance images, text, and colors for maximum impact.


  1. Clear Call-to-Action:  Ensure your ads have a clear and concise call-to-action (CTA). This CTA should encourage users to take a desired action, like visiting your website, making a purchase, or signing up for your newsletter.


  1. Targeting the Right Audience: Utilize targeting options to reach the most relevant audience for your campaign. Consider factors like demographics, interests, behaviors, and geographic locations to tailor your message and improve engagement.


  1. Measuring and Analyzing Ad Performance: Regularly track and analyze your ad performance to identify areas for improvement. By utilizing key metrics such as click-through rate (CTR), conversion rate, and return on ad spend (ROAS), you can gauge your campaigns’ effectiveness and optimize them accordingly.

The Bottom Line 

Ultimately, comprehending the various display ad types and their distinct features is essential for crafting successful advertising campaigns. By choosing the right ad format, targeting the appropriate audience, and implementing effective design and messaging strategies, you can maximize your ad performance and achieve your marketing goals. Don’t be afraid to explore and experiment with various ad formats to find the perfect fit for your business. With continuous learning and optimization, you’ll be well on your way to harnessing the full potential of display advertising and driving impactful results for your brand.

Ready to take your display advertising to the next level? Discover how Arvig Media can help you create high-impact, targeted display ad campaigns tailored to your unique needs. Our team of marketing experts is here to guide you through the process and ensure your ads drive results. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you’re in need of a dedicated marketing team to elevate your digital advertising game. Get in touch with us today, and let’s make your brand shine!