Type of Programmatic Ads

The Complete Guide to (Programmatic) Creative Types

In our previous articles, we talked about how advertisements evolved over time…

From an Ad printed on paper in the year 1477 to Augmented Reality Ads of today's world; From a plain and simple Banner Ad of size - 468x60 in 1994 to the most popular interactive and Playable Ads nowadays - the Advertising Industry had it all.

Today, creative optimization has become an integral part of digital marketing strategies to improve campaign performance multi-fold. Having said that, we will try to take you through the commonly used creative types used in programmatic (or in general, online) advertising, their industry benchmarks, past performance, and the underlying objectives they serve. Through this article, we’ll get to know about -

  • Different types of creatives and what objectives they serve best
  • Average CPM rates of popular creative types in 2020
  • Industry benchmarks

Broadly, Creatives can be categorized as Display, Native, Video, and Audio. Let's dive into the details –

Banner (Display) Ads

These are image and/or text-based display ads are the most common ads that you see while browsing through the internet. Brands majorly use them to drive awareness of their products or services.

Mostly used at the top of the funnel of the user journey when the prospects may not be prepared to take action, yet brands need to make them aware of the products/services. Based on analysis of user’s browsing patterns, interests and interaction, Brands also use banner ads for re-marketing.

The objective of these ads is to reach out to maximum number of audience (because they are comparatively cheap to buy) and deliver a message to make prospects aware or to drive traffic to the website to know more about the products/services.

In the example below, when a user views this Banner ad, it is speculated that they might get curious and might click on it to know more.

Animated / Video Ads

If an Advertiser from the Gaming Industry would want to showcase an ad of their newly launched game. For apparent reasons, their ad will be shown on Smart Phones only. Also, their designer team should know that Standard Display Ads might not work well, because someone who is playing a high-end game would not want to see static banner ads which might not deliver the complete message that well. So, the advertiser can guide the designer to use good quality Animated and/or Video Ads. They can be used in and as Rewarded Video too.

Video ads gained popularity in the last few years. You can hardly find someone who has not seen an advertisement before playing a song on YouTube. That is PreRoll Ad because it "rolled" before the video content loads. The video Ad which comes in-between content (something like a commercial break) is called Mid Roll Ads, and the one which comes after finishing the content is Post Roll (very rare).

Pre-, Mid- and Post- Roll ads are Instream Ads, whereas, the Video Ads which do not show up "in" the page are called OutStream Ads. Like, in the image below, the video playing at the bottom of the page sticks at its place while you scroll down the page.

Rich Media Ads

Say, another Advertiser from eCommerce Segment would like to call out their loyal customers to shop for new products. The advertiser needs to reach the maximum number of people. So, they broadcast their lucrative ads on Mobile as well as Desktops because users like to browse/shop from both devices. These types of ads should be made in such a way that it attracts users and encourages them to click on them. Rich Media Ads with flashy/animated texts like "Offers," "Free Goodies," "Sale" works well.

These ad types are capable of showing any of the Ad types – be it Banners, Native, or even a Video or Rich content like Sliders, Interstitials, Expendables, and Page Pushers.

And when clicked –


These responsive ads enable marketers to create animated and interactive content for users to engage more. HTML5 creatives look good across devices, operating systems, and browsers and adapt to fit any screen size.

Additionally, advertisers can leverage the power of HTML5 Creative by showing multiple Ads and implementing separate landing pages within a single ad.

Native Ads

Native ads are popular since they blend in with the look, feel, content type, and overall function of the media format in which they appear. They appear very relevant to what the user is already consuming and don't seem to be a pervasive ad disrupting the overall consistency of the experience.

Native ads can be used across the funnel of the user journey, right from driving awareness to initiating action and sales.

Native Ads like this can boost sales -

These ad formats or creatives are an intrinsic part of our browsing experience. On average, a user encounters between 6,000 to 10,000 ads per day, much of it delivered on the internet. So if a brand fails to stand out from the crowd, it might find it challenging to derive a good ROI.

The creative types talked about so far are mostly used in a combination to deliver the message best and reach out to the target audience through multiple touchpoints and drive them down through the purchase funnel.

For example, an advertiser from the media industry plans to launch a campaign for a movie promotion. In this case, reaching out to the maximum number of people is crucial. Thus targeting all available touch-points becomes important – Desktops, Mobile Devices, OTT Devices, and Smart Speakers. A right combination of Banner, Video, and Audio Ads delivers promotional messages to the right audience.

This is just one instance. There can be many business & advertising goals, thus creating endless combinations of devices and ads to run on them!

Average CPM of Different Creative Types - 2020

To understand the recent trend in CPM rates for the commonly used creative types - Display, Video, and Native, we analyzed Bid Requests for the last five months from our DSP.

The data set used here includes ad inventories from around the world, amounting to a total of 3.5 Billion ad-requests.

This graph shows how there was a dip in CPM rates for all three ad types in March and then in April this year. This downward trend was predominantly due to the pandemic that covered the entire world and made advertisers cut their marketing budgets, including for programmatic advertising. With fewer advertisers to bid, the CPM rates went down. However, in May, we can sense a recovery across the three ad types, and hopefully, in June, when economic activities started in stages, CPM rates improve further.

Industry Benchmarks for Ad Performance

Once you run campaigns using different ad types, it is essential to compare their performance with the industry benchmarks. This helps in understanding if your ad types are performing well or need any alterations to optimize the results.

Display Ads

Brands in Real Estate have the highest CTR (1.08%) on Google Display Network while on an average CTR of display ads 0.46%

Source: Wordstream

Native Ads

Native ads have comparatively higher CTR than display ads, reaching up to 1% for specific categories.

Source - Taboola

Video Ads

The success of video ads is determined by two key metrics - Video Completion Rate & Click-Through Rate. The completion rate is the percentage of times your audience has seen the video till completion. Here is what we consider good Video Completion Rate & CTR in the US -

Source - emarketer

Kritter Supports all Ad (Creative) Types

With Kritter, an Advertiser can choose to upload any/all types of Creatives for their campaigns.

Banner Ads – The DSP supports all standard dimensions and is open to adding any custom dimension to advertisers' requirements.

Video Ads – The platform gives the option to upload a Media File or VAST Tag URL or even the raw XML, it'll be read, parsed, and served on suitable inventory. The DSP supports VAST 2.0 - 4.1.

Additionally, for enhanced control, Kritter allows advertisers to choose and set Protocols, MIME, Duration, Start Delay (to delay loading of ad, in seconds), Linearity, Boxing, Extended Duration, Playback Method, API, Custom Height & Width, Bitrate and Video Experience (Portrait or Landscape)

The Video creative can also have companion ads (Banners, iframe, or any HTML script) with render mode set as Concurrent or End Card. Not to mention, Quartile Events for both Video and Companion, will be tracked.

Since Kritter supports VAST to version 4.1, advertisers have the freedom to have URLs for verification, Viewable or Non-Viewable impressions, Interactive Creatives, Captions, and URLs for Mezzanine Files.

In addition to the above, VAST 4.1 also provides the option to upload Audio Ads as well.

Rich Media / Third Party Ad Tags – Absolutely no limitation. Advertisers are free to run any script or Tag developed with JavaScript, HTML, iframe, or any other language. Be it a Sizmek Tag, any of the Google Platform tags, or any custom-made script, Kritter's DSP is successfully serving them.

In case the Script is MRAID enabled, it just needs to be declared upfront, and the response going out from the system will be modified accordingly.

In all, Kritter's Ad Trading Stack supports Banner, HTML5, Video, Native, Audio, and all kinds of Third-Party Rich Media Tags to be run in programmatic ads. Combined with our precision targeting features and advanced segmentation, marketers deliver winning campaigns for their brands.

We will be covering them in detail in the subsequent blogs.

Images used in the article are for representational purpose only.

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