What are responsive ads?

Responsive ads are ads that can change the size at which they are displayed depending on various environmental factors including user screen size. You might be wondering, aren’t banner ads built for specific sizes? Aren’t they already optimized for certain sizes and screens? The answer is yes! …and no. In the current digital display environment banners come in three different types:

  1. fixed size such as billboards, leaderboards, skyscrapers and some mobile units;
  2. social display videos that use aspect ratio such as some ads on instagram and facebook units
  3. responsive units such as fullscreen takeovers, some interstitial mobile units, and the new L.E.A.N formats

Only the second and third categories can be described as “responsive” ad types, since they can, to some degree, change size or respond to different environmental factors including different screen sizes. Generally, when people are referring to responsive banners, they are discussing HTML5 responsive units, which only includes screen takeovers, some mobile interstitial units and the new L.E.A.N format.

Responsive banner ads will make sure your thoughtfully planned and carefully executed ad units maintain their appearance, keeping their images and font in proportion to the size and resolution of the screen.

One major difference in the builds between an HTML5 banner ad and a responsive HTML5 banner ad is that the responsive unit is built by percentage, rather than pixels. Planning on the percentage of the screen and the unit that various assets take up, is the best way to make sure that everything stays where it should and maintains its proper proportions.

According to statistics from Google, 89% of users notice banner ads on their smartphones which makes it extremely important that advertisers understand the need to create units that translate on to any screen they may be viewed on—especially the smaller ones!

Responsive HTML5 banner ads often obtain a higher click-through-rate as they maintain their visual integrity better than non-responsive ads.

The Pros and Cons of Responsive Banner Ads

Responsive Banner Ads: Pros

There are a few benefits to thinking about incorporating responsive banner ads into your digital campaigns.

Responsive ads:

  • have a broad reach: your ads will automatically adjust their size, appearance, and format to fit just about any available ad space.
  • save time: using responsive display ads can reduce costs for managing ad portfolios and allow you to dedicate more time to ensure the performance of your units.

Responsive Banner Ads: Cons

Of course, creating these units takes a bit more finesse and skill, most likely from development professionals, and so have a higher cost to create.

Ensuring that you’ve chosen text and images that will scale and work together properly is very important to the success of your responsive banner ads. Personalizing your creatives to your audience and their device brings your brand even closer to your targeted audience, allowing them to experience your brand assets exactly as you mean them to be seen!

Of course, like anything else on the internet, there are some guidelines to follow when creating your responsive banner ads. You have to carefully plan your messaging on these ads as text, including your logo, cannot cover more than 20% of the image. As the size is always changing, this makes it very hard to incorporate animation, GIFs, or any other style of ad that needs fixed parameters to function appropriately. For Google’s entire policy on responsive banner ads, you can read it here.

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See some of our work

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Diet Coke

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McDonald’s Wraps

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Destination BC

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Lotto Max

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Evo our work Rich Media Adverts It's a BC Thing Evo is a carsharing service in the Greater Vancouver area, created by the British Columbia Automobile Association. When Evo approached us to re-create their visually stunning TV spot in HTML5 it was not a simple task because at the time, the digital sphere was undergoing [...]

Google Assistant

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Bulb our work Standard Media Adverts Greener. Brighter. Better. Working with Bulb was simply electric! Pun intended! But seriously, getting this campaign in and out the door was a lot of fun. Firstly, Bulb has such an undeniably cool style and we were very excited to bring the hand drawing to life. As with most [...]

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