Animated Web Banner Format

advertising campaigns in general. Creatively, there are so many options, each with pros and cons, and there’s never any sort of guarantee that you’re going to grab your audience’s attention. The good news is that there’s only one format you need to worry about now, and that’s HTML5. It’s flexible, compatible with all devices, and allows you to be really imaginative with your banners. With that flexibility though, come the big decisions, like which type of banner to push. So what are the options?

Static Shocks

Static banner ads are the most simple sort of banner ad, and were the first kind to be displayed. If you have a compelling offer, image, or message that will fit onto one panel, and demand the reader’s attention, why over complicate things? Some have found static ads to have a higher click through rate for their own campaigns, which they attribute to not demanding too much of the user’s time or attention. They can see instantly whether the ad is of interest to them, rather than waiting for a video to finish or a call to action to pop up.

With static ads, there is still room for creativity, but your image has to be captivating and your copy concise. There’s not much room for storytelling, so you need to explain what you’re offering, and why the audience should be interested, in a handful of words. You need to build trust, entertain, and encourage a click in one or two sentences, which is a real creative challenge. Sometimes, the less space you have, the more creative you have to be with it.

They tend to be less time consuming to produce, although if that’s your main concern it’s worth considering the fact that you can create animated banners in minutes with Bannerflow. If you’re not sure which suits your campaign, test both for a certain period and see which performs better.

Feeling Animated?

Animated banner ads are very popular, particularly with bigger brands and agencies. The term is broad too, and covers anything from simple gifs to banners with embedded video. Creative teams love the format, as it allows them to really flex their artistic muscles. Even with simple moving parts you can create some imaginative, attractive banners, but when you start to look at using video formats, your ads really start to sing.

You can use your 30 seconds (or less) to draw the user in, and tell them a story. You can tie it to other media platforms, or make it an interactive experience. Storytelling is known as one of the most effective ways to sell your product, too. The good news is, it’s really easy to embed your HTML5 banners with video and other rich media, so you can start creating right away.

If you’re using video you have to make sure you can maintain engagement until your call to action, so your ad has to be perfectly pitched towards your intended audience. If you have a longer video which starts slowly, people are going to ignore your campaign and look at something else. You have mere moments to grab attention, so make sure get it right. Luckily, there’s plenty of advice and inspiration on how to do this.

A minor drawback is that the banners themselves can be quite heavy in terms of data, which means potentially slowing pages down and annoying your audience. Luckily, with programs like Bannerflow modifying banner sizes to suit any page, and initiatives like polite loading.

Animated banners are a fantastic way to engage your audience, all you need to make sure of is that you know who they are, where to find them, and what they want to see. Do that, and this sort of banner will create an engagement and buzz around your brand that surpasses anything you could do with a single pane, static ad.

Dynamic displays

Often mistaken for an ad with some sort of animation involved, dynamic ads actually contain content which changes and adapts according to the user. These tend to be more complex than static ads, but less artistic then than the animated banners. The whole point of dynamic ads is to grab the attention by what they have to offer, and this should be specific to the individual viewing them.

This is mainly done through retargeting. Your banners can have offers on items, or things, that the reader has expressed interest in before. You’re essentially trying to catch them if they dropped off your site a first time round. For Dynamic ads, your message needs to be simple, clear, and all about conversion.

Dynamic banners are great for engagement as you’re showing the user something that they’ve likely expressed interest in before, or making an offer which is really relevant at that given moment, tied to an event or location. Your conversion is likely to be relatively high because of this, but your creativity is somewhat limited as your banner has to be flexible enough to allow for the dynamic changes. More often than not, you can make your offers, but it’s hard to capture the imagination of an audience outside those caught by the targeted content.

The Verdict

Every type of banner has its place in the display advertising landscape. Static ads are great if you have a simple, straightforward offer. Dynamic ads are super effective if you have changing offers, and are using retargeting. Animated, interactive ads are fantastic if you want to catch the eye, or tell a mini story, and really increase engagement.

It’s all down to knowing your audience, and knowing how to communicate with them best. Once you know what they want to see, and what they are more likely to respond to, you can create a campaign which is perfectly suited to them.


Web Ads What Works

If you are spending any amount of marketing budget on display advertising, you’ll want to know which banner sizes are the most effective to generate impressions, clicks and ultimately sales.

This article ranks the top 10 banner formats based on ad impression share from highest to lowest on Google’s display networks.

The data is based on billions of ad impressions worldwide and was published in a Google report about display advertising trends.

In addition to focussing on the most effective banner sizes, you can use a tool like WhatRunsWhere to spy on your competitor’s advertising strategy (3-day trial).

Ad Inventory and Impression Share – Why Size Is Important

banner sizes

In order to design the right banner sizes it’s important to understand what ad inventory is available.

Publishers choose the banner ad sizes they want to feature on their websites. If you pick the wrong banner sizes as an advertiser, you effectively limit the reach of your ad campaigns.

Here are the most important banner sizes on the Google Adwords display network:

The top 3 banner sizes comprise 78% of all served ad impressions:

1. Medium Rectangle: 300×250
2. Leaderboard: 728×90
3. Wide Skyscraper: 160×600

The top 10 banner sizes make up 90% of all ad impressions.

I recommend you start by focussing on the top 3 banner sizes and then expand from there.

Here’s a detailed break-down of the top 10 banner sizes including ad impression share.

1. Medium Rectangle

– Ad Impression Share: 33%

The medium rectangle is the most served banner size on Google’s display networks. It captures a third of all served ad impressions.

2. Leaderboard

– Ad Impression Share: 32%

Leaderboard 728x90

The leaderboard is the second most served banner format on the display network; just one percentage point behind the medium rectangle.

3. Wide Skyscraper

– Ad Impression Share: 13%

Skyscraper 160x600

With an impression share of 13%, the wide skyscraper is the third most popular banner size on the display network.

4. Banner

– Ad Impression Share: 3%

Banner 468x60

The ‘banner’ comes in fourth with an impression share of 3%.

5. Skyscraper

– Ad Impression Share: 2%


The smaller version of the skyscraper captures 2% of all served impressions.

What is a GIF

A series of images are created, each slightly different from the one before, similar to the way animated cartoons are created. For example, in an animated GIF file of a cow lifting its head and mooing, the first image may have the cow’s head down with its mouth closed, while the second image will have the cow’s head up slightly from the ground and the mouth beginning to open slightly. Additional images are created showing the series of the intended movement.