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Which creative type should I be using for my campaign

newsJanuary 1, 2020

This is a common question asked by many advertisers – unfortunately there is no definitive right or wrong answer, as there are many factors that should be considered when deciding on the most appropriate format:

  • One size does not fit all, different formats serve different purposes which will align with the specific goals and objectives set out by a campaign, and what the advertiser expects to achieve long term
  • An important question to ask yourself is, ‘do you have the expertise and technical knowledge in house to create the desired format and to traffic this correctly?’ Certain formats are more complex than others, so always ensure that you have the ability to execute these before moving forward with anything else
  • Do you have the budget to be able to buy the desired inventory available for the desired format? For example, video creatives are more expensive to serve compared to a standard static ad format. For instance, when using Display and Video 360, you could run the risk of spending too quickly if inventory is of a high cost, however, setting your bids too low to stop this from happening may result in no spending at all as you are below the minimum bid and simply don’t have the funds to purchase the inventory
  • Finally, when determining the best format for delivering your message, consider which formats can be served on multiples devices, in addition to the creative’s appearance

Standard vs rich media creatives

Standard creatives offer limited functionality, as they are restricted to static images, text and simple animation or video, and can only provide metrics on impressions and viewer clicks.

However, they are quick to build, can run anywhere and are relatively inexpensive, so have good inventory available to them.

Rich media ads offer the audience a more engaging experience by directly involving them in the ad message, and often result in better metrics than traditional ads, including user behavior and interactions.

Common creative formats

There are a rich variety of formats to choose from, so here’s an introduction to some of the most common and popular formats for display, video and mobile:

Banners - perhaps the most basic ad format, they are set within set borders and don’t expand or cover other page content.

Expanding - starting as a standard ad placement on a web page and then expanding over the page’s content when the user interacts with it.

Interstitials - floats on top of a publisher’s web page and as they aren’t assigned to a fixed ad slot, they can almost be any shape or size. The ad usually disappears after approximately 15 seconds if the user does not interact with it.

Tandem - these are two synchronised creatives that appear together on one page, ‘talking’ to each other to synchronise their animations to work in tandem. These are also known as roadblocks or site takeovers.

Pushdown - when the user interacts with this format, the ad expands and pushes the page content down, creating a new space at the top for the ad.

YouTube Masthead - a customisable ad with the option to be expandable, which runs the full width of the YouTube homepage for 24 hours

Dynamic creatives - also known as data-driven creatives, these enable advertisers to build one creative that can be tailored to multiple audiences, delivering product messages the moment a user is browsing for them.

Native ads – component-based ads that enable a single set of creative assets to be constructed to fit the form and function of different sites and apps.

In-Stream VAST ads - video ads that play inside the publisher site’s own video player and usually before the main site content plays.

TrueView - this format allows YouTube viewers the ability to choose which video ad they want to watch and when, meaning advertisers reduce and don’t pay for unwanted views.

Responsive ads - as to not disrupt the user experience, these ads adjust to match the page they are shown on, ensuring they blend into the content that viewers came to see and are also less likely to be skipped over.