December 23, 2015

Animated vs. Static: What Type of Banner Ad Is Right For You?

In October, the IAB released a statement that literally said, “We messed up.” How did they mess up? Well, it’s the same way as many advertisers messed up. By disregarding the digital ad UX.

Think of those flashing, red banner ads with the large “Click Here” buttons, meant to draw attention and clicks while you’re scrolling through your favorite news site. Those are distracting, and the last thing you want to do is click on them.  It’s easy to understand why the IAB apologized for allowing that to happen.

With this apology, the seemingly never-ending new digital ad guidelines, and the rise of ad blocking software, you may ask yourself why you should invest in digital ads. While this isn’t an absurd question, not all digital ads act the same way. Digital ads can be really effective, informative, and most importantly, UX enhancers.

For example, imagine you’re trying to self-diagnose your knee pain on WebMD. You see a banner ad for a doctor who specializes in joint pain relief, who’s in your area, and who’s accepting new patients. That’s an ad that’s going to enhance your UX. 

But what type of ad would that be? Static or animated?

Before you decide one way or the other, it’s important to consider factors like campaign objectives, ad messaging, and budget. Just because a publisher supports HTML5 banner ads doesn’t mean that it’s necessarily the right option for your campaign.

According to Google’s display benchmarks, for all verticals and ad sizes in June 2015, HTML5/Flash ads had a lower click-through rate than static ads by 71%.

One reason you may see a higher CTR for a static banner ad over an HTML5 ad is that some HTML5 ads don’t get to the call to action quickly enough. The buildup to the CTA, which can last as long as 30 seconds, is too long for the average Internet user. According to TIME, “66% of attention on a normal media page is spent below the fold.” Users are scrolling past your ads, so if you don’t let the user know why they should take action, they likely won’t.

But if you have a simple message and an eye-catching image, static banners can be great vehicles for delivering your message in one fell swoop.

HTML5 ads are also more costly to produce than static ads. They require more specialized development knowledge, take a longer time to produce, and the QA testing process is lengthier.   

However, given the right publishing platform, HTML5 ads can be a great fit. Some of the most interesting banner ads are animated, and they can elicit brand awareness and generate social sharing and conversation.

The bottom line is that both animated and static digital display ads can work really well if executed properly. By evaluating all of the circumstances, including campaign objectives, ad messaging, budget, and placement, you can leverage digital display ads to perform well in your campaign.

If you’re wondering what type of digital advertising or marketing campaign is right for you, send us a message at digital@b-y.net. We’ll get to the bottom of what ad type will drive ROI for you. 

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Kourtney Freiburger

With a background in PR and a proclivity for the digital space, Kourtney found her niche with online reputation management. From generating reviews and mentions to social listening and competitive research, she keeps clients on top of search results and ahead of the competition. Kourtney is constantly discovering news ways to enhance clients’ brand perceptions, with the ultimate goal to drive ROI. Given the continuously evolving digital landscape, it’s a perfect fit for Kourtney’s adaptable skill set.


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