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Display Ads: Definition, Benefits, and How to Create Them


In a world where the battle for attention is at an all-time high, digital ads are your primary weapon to stomp the competition out of your customers’ eyesight and stand out in the online world.

And yet, digital ads are still a hazy concept to most companies facing online advertising for the first time, and fewer marketers even know the benefits these can bring to their branding, performance, and marketing creativity.

In this article, I'm gonna dive deep into the world of display ads and uncover the layers of benefits they bring to the digital marketing table.



What Are Display Ads?

Essentially, display ads are visual ads placed on third-party websites, consisting of an image or video, text and other animated elements, which when clicked on will redirect the user to a landing page of your choice. 

Display ads are found in many formats and can feature several visuals.

  • Banner ads; Rectangular and square ads are mostly displayed at the bottom, top, or sides of web pages
  • HTML5 ads; Interactive ads that incorporate elements like animation, audio, video, or expandable features.
  • Video ads. Ads in video format — often inserted before, during, or after online video content.
  • High Impact ads. large-canvas, scalable ad formats with rich media features.
  • Pop-up ads. Ads that appear in separate windows or overlays on top of the main content.
  • Reward ads. Ads that offer users incentives, such as in-game rewards or access to premium content.
  • Interactive ads. Ads that allow quizzes, games, or product configurators.



Display advertising uses a push approach: rather than popping up to users searching for similar offers to yours (as is the case of paid search) display ads target users purposefully, either because of remarketing campaigns or because they're browsing a website that's relevant to your offer.


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Okay, now that we're on the same page, let's talk about the benefits.


Why Should You Use Display Ads in your Marketing Strategy?

1. Display Ads Reinforce Your Brand Identity

Display ads are so much more than just showcasing products - they're also a valuable tool used for fine-tuning and strengthening your brand identity.

Considering display ads are attention-grabbing and visually appealing (if done right), it's a perfect place to push the content that makes your brand recognizable - your logo, taglines, or maybe a super unique colour combo.

When your brand is clearly visible in your display ads it builds up customers' knowledge of your brand and in turn ensures your brand stays top-of-mind.

It is completely your decision to determine how you want to present your brands through ads. The use of display advertisements just provides you with more ways to do it and hence increases your ability to utilize your creativity effectively.

A prime example of this is how top marketers like Lars Christensen from 3 Denmark use the flexibility of the display ad format to create an immersive brand experience for users. They use colour palettes, copy, video, audio, and rich media to create a consistent and familiar experience for their customers. 




The keyword for brand identity is consistency. To see out your vision for a strong brand identity, you must stay true to the path you choose - no shortcuts or detours.

What does that mean? Essentially it means, that the entirety of your organization agrees to certain guidelines and formats - from how your designers and marketers produce (display) ads and content to the lingo of your salespeople.

However, brand identity is far from a single-faceted process. Creating an identity is just as much a question of disassociating your brand from what does not fit the bill to maintain the perception you are going for.

Let's break it down.

I strongly assume you have never seen a Gucci bag at a Walmart store. This is a case of a luxury brand disassociating itself from a - with all due respect - less luxurious brand.

Online retail works the same way. If your brand has ads on untrustworthy or shady sites, your beautifully tailored brand identity will become… well, less beautiful.

This is where display ads come in handy. Display advertisement allows you to pick and choose the kind of sites you want your ads to be displayed on, excluding sites that would damage your brand identity.

If that's not a crucial benefit of display ads, I couldn't tell you what is!

Well, actually, I could and I will.


2. Display Ads Boost your Marketing Performance

Because, when it comes to the cold, hard numbers, display advertisement is the clear winner across all performance indicators.

Firstly, display ads improve consumer awareness - Google estimates that with display ads you're able to reach 90% of all users on the internet.  On top of that, display ads can reach your target group several times a day for 10% of the price you pay for traditional paid search and SoMe advertisements.

Now, that's a benefit.

That means creating attention-grabbing display ads won’t break the bank. Even if you don’t have a strong in-house design team, modern ad-design platforms make the design process a breeze. 

To elaborate on this, and many more performance-related indicators, we dedicated an entire article to this purpose.

You can find that by clicking here.


3. Display Ads Allow You to Display Products in Unique Ways

As briefly mentioned earlier, display ads allow for creative ideas to be brought to life.

Display ads offer endless possibilities to catch the eye and attention. With cool animations, catchy slogans, or clever designs, they create a memorable experience for viewers. Whether it's a playful animation or a striking image, these ads have a knack for drawing people in and sparking their curiosity.

This means, that if… let's say, a car dealership showcases its newest, sleekest sports car, it can utilize speed animations and motion blur to highlight its sportiness in large, high-impact banners. 

If you want additional pro examples to be inspired from, we picked out 3 ad examples in this article, showcasing creative ad ideas that are easily applicable and highly effective.


How to Create Scroll-stopping Display Ads

By this point, you might want to know how to create scroll-stopping display ads quickly and inexpensively. So let’s go through the anatomy of an effective display ad and share some tips to create display ads at scale.

Anatomy of a Scroll-stopping Display Ad

If you're looking for a full-blown guide on how to create a high-performance advertisement, check out our 9 must-have ad elements.



  • Headline. The ad headline should be clear and have the power to get users excited about the offer you’re promoting. Avoid generic headlines and go for something that catches the user’s eye and makes them want to find out more.
  • Sub-headline (Optional). In case you are unable to deliver 100% of your message in the headline, don’t worry! You can still use some supporting copy to make your value proposition clear.
    • Bonus tip. When using the headline + subtitle combination, try to maximise the impact of your headline with your value proposition, and describe clearly the main offering in your subtitle.
  • Visual. Whether you’re using a feature image, an image background, or an animation in your display ad, make sure that the media is visually appealing, is on point with your branding, and is relevant to the offer.
  • CTA. The display ad call to action button should be able to stand out from the rest of the ad elements and have copy that is clear in explaining to the user what they should expect after the ad click. The CTA button should have the same message as the landing page headline.

With the recipe for a superior ad in place, creating them quickly, easily, and at scale is the next step.


How to Create Display Ads at Scale

Be Smart with Your Creative Assets

You don’t need to create all your elements from scratch. For example, you can repurpose your main campaign assets into bite-sized content. If you have a massive campaign video lying around, crop that into multiple snippets, and use those to build the bulk of your display advertising visuals.


Create a Data Sheet

Compile all your ad iterations in one datasheet. This will give you the backbone of your production process, and it will speed up ad creation. Furthermore, you can fully automate your ad creation process using a creative management platform and a templated data sheet, cutting your ad creation time down by an estimated 90%.


Creative Management Platform Example

Use a Creative Management Platform

Lastly, with a creative management platform, you can simplify the process of creating display ads. These platforms streamline the design process, enabling you to create engaging, personalized ads with just a handful of essential elements. This approach is a game-changer for creative designers who want efficiency without compromising quality.


Wrapping up Display Advertisement

When used well, display ads have the power to strengthen brand identity, personalize storytelling, and strategically target the right customers at the right time. And by following our best practices, you can level up your ad-game now by crafting display ads quick and easy, and reap the benefits mentioned above. 


Ready to lift your display ads?
Learn more about HTML5 display ads.