What are rich media ads? It's an advertising format in the Internet environment in which a message is broadcasted to the user in an interactive and multimedia way.

Let's get to know more about rich media ad formats. We'll focus on the advantages of rich media banners, their most popular formats, and factors that may influence the success of a rich media content website.

rich media ads

Rich media ads are not new — they have been around for a long time but have recently reached new heights thanks to HTML5 technology.

This makes it possible for agencies to create rich media ads with interactive elements that play video, produce sound animation, and unfold gameplay.

More and more marketers are incorporating this type of advertising into their strategy due to the following advantages:

  • rich media enables advertisers to organize engaging ad campaigns;
  • higher conversions (compared to other ad formats);
  • better brand recall (compared to traditional ads);
  • rich media ads offer stirring user interaction;
  • higher return on investment for digital advertising campaigns.

Read more in our previous article to learn how rich media ads differ from other ad formats.

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Why those are best for interactive ads?

As the name suggests, rich media ad formats include many interactive elements such as video, audio, and other multimedia. This can trigger your target audience to interact with the ad.

The possibilities for creating such interactive ads are almost endless. Rich media ads can take the form of pop-ups, lightboxes, and video stories.

What do rich media ads offer?

Understandably, such ad units have plenty of advantages:

High level of interaction

Unlike standard banners, rich media ones can attract people with the help of video audio or invite users to take specific actions. They are actively attracting attention, as they offer an entertainment experience.

High performance

Such content always boasts more clicks and conversions, as a wide range of media can make the CTA element within the ad more persuasive. You can also use video or audio in rich media ads. And video, as you know, is now the "king" of advertising.


You can direct people to multiple pages and move buttons to different areas of the ad. For example, if you sell clothes, direct women to the women's clothing page and men to another section using 2 different buttons.

Improved tracking

When launching online ads, you can get enough data about your users, track clicks, and UX information.

Lots of visitors

Users who see rich media ads are much more likely to visit the advertiser's site than those who see a standard banner. Moreover, Internet users are 85% more likely to purchase after watching a video introducing a product.

Rich media benefits for advertisers

Advertisers who know what are rich media ads understand that, although they are quite effective, such ads still do not guarantee excellent results.

Developing rich media ads requires skills, adjusting, and, in some cases, even additional research to look good and lead to good results. But the game is worth the candle: the CTR is much higher compared to traditional advertising.

With the help of the demand-side platform, advertisers can benefit from using rich media ads. Their sales and conversion levels increase. But what are DSP platforms?

DSP platforms operate on the basis of programmatic algorithms that make it possible for an advertiser to automate the process of purchasing advertising.

The advertiser registers on the platform and sets up an advertising campaign based on their preferences, budget, and targeting, after which the platform independently selects the most suitable media for rich media ads (or ordinary media ads) to be shown.

Precise audience targeting is another feature that makes DSP platforms attractive to advertisers. Most platforms use accurate user data from app analytics, making it possible to show rich media ads only to those interested in the product being advertised.

how DSP works

Why do advertisers use DSP?

It saves money. DSP platforms allow you to buy impressions on platforms with quality audiences, so buyers don't overpay for empty traffic.

There is access to traffic sources around the world. Software platforms sell inventory that comes directly from vendors.

The latter, in turn, work with advertising platforms, websites, and mobile applications. As a result, after registration, the advertiser gains access to high-quality traffic sources around the world.

Possibility of accurate targeting. As we have mentioned, DSPs enhance functionality with user data to target specific audiences.

What else?

Moreover, thanks to wide interaction options, rich media static ads can provide more statistics concerning user behavior. So, due to this, advertisers can adjust the length and other elements of rich ads that help to attract more people.

In the modern world, where people lack time constantly, adjusting ads to people's needs is highly important. Such banner ad is considered one of the best ad formats. Read more about rich media banner ads below.

Benefits for advertisers

Being limited by static banners is certainly not the best solution. With the help of demand-side platforms, advertisers can buy rich media ad impressions in real time in real-time bidding — effectively and automatically.

Such an advertising platform makes it possible to automate the process of buying rich media ad inventory while controlling who will see your ads (thanks to the targeting options).

Here's how they are integrated into the programmatic ecosystem:

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Increased brand awareness

Now you understand what rich media ads are and why they are beneficial for advertisers. These ads may be more difficult to design and serve than static image ads. However, they also offer higher engagement and effectiveness.

How to create such ad content?

As previously mentioned, rich media ads can be created with the help of HTML5. So, let's have a look at how to create such content. The following tools can help you to create rich media ads quickly:

  • MadYourself;
  • Bannerflow;
  • AdCanvas;
  • Bannersnack;
  • Google Web Designer.

These tools for rich media ads creation are partially free. Moreover, some of them include templates that you can freely utilize. So, here is the procedure of creation:

  • Select the most convenient HTML5 advertisement creator;
  • Choose some media suitable for your future ad (images, graphics, etc.);
  • Save all the files you have chosen in one of the following formats: PNG, JPG, and SWF;
  • Add the media you need to the creator;
  • The platform will tell you what to do further; just follow all the instructions.
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What should be paid attention to while creating rich ads?

There are many display ad examples, and for advertising to be effective, it's essential for marketing professionals to stick to some rules when creating ad content. Rich media ads are not an exception, so here are some recommendations for crafting an engaging user experience so your display ads sell well.

  • Don't make rich media ads too hard to understand. Try to keep the message simple and short yet impactful;

creating rich media ad

  • Don't rely on your personal experience only when creating rich media ads. If you are not sure what the final result should look like, the best decision is to consult a designer. A professional will help you to make your rich media ads truly nice-looking;
  • Don't make your rich media ads too big. If the file is big, the load time of the page is likely to increase, which is not a good thing;
  • In some cases, creating several versions of the same static or interactive ad is a sound choice. This may be influenced by geography, region, and so on;
  • Offer a value exchange — something users will find instantly useful after clicking your ad.

Find more reach media ads examples in the article.

creating rich media ads

Formats of rich media ads

Rich media makes it possible to create a variety of stylish ad campaigns.

Interstitial ads. Interstitial ad unit will suit either an innovative ad campaign or a static one, as this video ad normally pops up at natural transition points during the video content. Interstitial ads work best when placed inside of video content.

Static advertising. Text ads sell well, too, because they are suitable for almost any ad campaign. Plus, those are supported by most ad platforms. Normally, this rich media format includes a picture and a link to the landing page.

Ad creative with media elements. These elements make the ad interactive. This type of ad campaign is best applied to mobile apps as ads with dynamic elements increase user engagement effectively.

video rich media ads

Types of rich media banner ads

The following list of rich media ad formats includes units with interactive elements as well as standard banner ads.

The pop-up 

Pop-up ad is a pop-up window that opens in a new browser window, covering the web page.


Pop-under appears in a separate window but remains invisible until some action is taken (closing, minimizing) to an active browser window.


It is a standard-size banner that opens when the mouse cursor is pointed at it. Rich media banner ad covers some part of the content on the page. By removing the cursor from it, we "fold" the banner to its original size.


It is a banner located at the top of the page that takes up the entire width of the window or site, regardless of the user's screen resolution and window size.


This technology allows you to display multiple banners on the same ad space without reloading the page, which allows the site owner to get more traffic while the advertiser saves money on placement.


Fullscreen is a so-called splash screen banner. This is a page with video ads that cover the main site for a short period of time, then they disappear.

The splash screen can be skipped, or you can click it and visit the advertiser's site. This type of content gives a strong advertising effect because it involves the use of high-quality animation, various videos, and sound effects.


PeelDown is a banner that imitates the bending edge of the page. It can be placed in the corner of the browser. It takes up little space in a minimized state. When clicked, it unfolds and shows a large banner covering the page content.


Radiobanner is a banner that downloads a radio program (mp3 file) from third-party hosting. Radio banner saves the state of playback (on/off).

The next time it is loaded, even on a different page, the playback will start from the same position you stopped on. The playback will start automatically if the playback is not interrupted with the buttons "stop" or "pause" before the page reloads.

A video banner

A video banner is a banner that contains a video file. Video ads are very popular in this niche. Video ads of this format consist of two parts: a loader and the video itself.


ShowCase is a banner with XML content (images, text). When the banner is loaded, it shows one image, and the next time, another image appears. When you click different images, you proceed to different URLs.


Expandable is an advertising module that displays a large banner and then (after a specified time interval) a small TopLine banner.


When you point the mouse cursor on the banner, the background of the web page changes. When clicking the banner, you go to the advertiser's site.


It is an interactive flash movie that covers the page content and is placed at the bottom of the screen.

Almost all types of rich media ads have their own characteristics and technical requirements, which should be followed when choosing the right form of rich media advertising suitable for your business.

In addition, when choosing forms of such banner ads, you need to consider all the risks. All rich media banners have their own advantages.

Selective perception

There's a phenomenon of banner blindness — very often, we do not see text ads or static ads at all, automatically looking for a way to close them.

Whereas rich media ads with advanced features: interstitial ads, expandable ads, dynamic ads, overlaying ad units, floating ads, interactive video ads, slider ads, pushdown ads, and other units draw attention and user engagement more frequently than ordinary static images and standard ads.

Experiencing, not just watching ads

The content of such ads can be displayed on sites of different types, as well as on mobile and social apps. This type of advertising supposes that the ad is not just displayed to the user. The person has the opportunity to enter into an interaction with the product.

For example, one can look through a review of product features, find the catalog of products, watch a video, play a game, and more.

There is a huge scope for creative companies to release products in an interesting, interactive way. The main thing is that this type of advertising is not annoying — it delivers interesting solutions. It's similar to native advertising in some ways.

native in feed ad

Reasons to try it

To sum it up, here are a couple of reasons to give rich media ad formats a try.

It helps to be more creative

The main distinctive feature of rich media ad format is creativity. There is no boredom, no ordinary scenarios people are sick and tired of.

An impressive selection of ad types makes it extremely fun and enjoyable to create ads of this type. This makes it possible for marketers and designers to try something new and interesting.

Various content types can be easily mixed, which increases the chances people will like it.


Want to get increased viewer engagement? Rich media ad formats can help with it. Statistics show that viewer engagement is higher in those businesses that use rich media ads.

The click-through rate for rich media ads is also improved. Moreover, video ads and rich media ad formats are becoming increasingly popular year by year.

Impressive mobile ads

Mobile formats must and can be impressive as well! As a rule, people nowadays spend three to six hours on their phones. Some do it for job purposes, some for fun.

But the fact remains: we spend plenty of time with our smartphones. Having decided to try rich media ads, you will attract even people who spend so much time on phones. There is no boredom; that's why people pay attention to them.

Using videos helps to solve many tasks at once

We all understand that different people react to different types of media. Some people like reading, some pay attention to pictures, etc. What is rich media? It's a type that can combine different things, so more people are attracted.

Besides, if you have decided to use videos only, you are likely to be successful as well: nowadays, the majority of people pay increased attention to videos. The task is to make them catchy. And rich media ads can help solve this task.

Better click-through rate

We have already discussed banner blindness, which makes people ignore the ads they see on the Internet. In comparison with standard banners, rich media ad formats make people pay attention to them. People get interested, so they click, visit the site, and buy goods. CTR is much higher.

Measurability and scalability

Typical banner ads make it possible for advertisers to measure only impressions and click-throughs. Speaking about rich media ad format, it can empower advertisers to track and measure a variety of important and often user behaviors (for example, the number of users who viewed an embedded video).


Our world is continuously developing, and all spheres of human life improve with time. And advertising is not an exception.

So, what are rich media ads? Rich media ads are not a completely new way of advertising; it's a rapidly developing one.

Indeed, rich media ads are gaining popularity quickly due to a number of reasons we have described. We recommend trying rich media ads to attract more audience, increase your click-through rate, and use diverse ad tools at once.

Rich media content and rich media campaigns are what people are interested in, so pay attention to them.

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What types of rich media ads are best for raising brand recall?

Video Ads: Engaging and memorable, video ads provide an immersive experience that can leave a lasting impression. Also, interactive ads for mobile: By involving the user in activities like quizzes or games, you can create a memorable experience associated with your brand.

What kinds of dynamic ads work best in the in-app ecosystem?

Playable Ad interactive video ad allows users to engage with a mini-game or a simplified version of an app before installing it. Combining video content with interactive elements like clickable hotspots, polls, or forms will also increase user engagement and drive action. An interstitial ad and expandable banner will also work very well.

What kind of ad platform can offer rich media ad traffic?

You can find rich media traffic on DSP, ad network, and social media platforms. We recommend purchasing traffic on SmartyAds DSP as this way; you are getting the finest quality impressions from direct publishers and the entire RTB ecosystem.

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