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What Are Rich Media Ads? Let’s Figure It Out

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 it. We’ll focus on the advantages of rich media banners, their most popular formats, and on factors that may influence the success of a rich media content website.

rich media ads

What is rich media content and what is rich media ads? Rich media ads is not a new invention of marketers, it has been around for a long time, but has recently reached new heights thanks to HTML5 technology. This makes it possible for agencies to create innovative interactive ads that play video, produce sound, animation, unfold gameplay, and more.

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

  • user interaction;
  • conversions;
  • return on investment.

What is rich media?

As the name suggests, rich media ad formats include many elements such as video, audio, and other multimedia. This causes the users’ interest and motivates them to interact with the ad.

The possibilities for creating rich media ads and creatives are almost endless. Rich media ads can take the form of pop-ups, lightboxes, video stories. Given their unusual nature, the presence of modern media technologies, and an abundance of content, rich media ads have a much greater effect on the user than standard banners. Rich media ads outperform regular ads in many ways in terms of conversions. This is a significant argument for adding them to your strategy.

Advantages of rich media content

Understandably, rich media ads have plenty of advantages. Let’s have a look at those.

High level of interaction

Unlike standard banners, rich media banners, as well as any rich media content website, 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

Rich media 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, 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

What are rich media ads? 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 is rich media ads understand that, although being 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, set up an advertising campaign based on his 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, which makes it possible to show rich media ads only to those who may be interested in the product that is 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 banners 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. Rich media content is considered one of the best ad formats.

Benefits for publishers

It’s wrong to claim that ordinary static ads are not used anymore: many companies and businesses continue utilizing those. But the fact is that such a format is gradually becoming outdated. Year by year, rich media content websites show better results, higher engagement, and conversion. So, being limited by static banners is certainly not the best solution. With the help of Supply-Side Platforms (SSP), on which publishers register, they provide advertising space, and the more effective advertising is – the more their profit is.

SSPs are platforms for web publishers through which ad networks or individual sites can sell their inventory. Such a platform makes it possible to automate the process of selling inventory and sell it profitably to the maximum number of advertisers, while controlling which advertising will be placed on the site/app, in what sizes, etc. Here’s how they are integrated into the programmatic ecosystem:

how SSP works

Why SSP is a must-have for a publisher

In recent years, SSPs have become quite sophisticated in mapping audience segments, advertiser queries, and analyzing campaign performance. For publishers, this information is very valuable, as it allows them to build their content strategy in the most profitable way.

Increased eCPMs

Now you understand what rich media ads are and why they are beneficial for both advertisers and publishers. Understandably, they cost more, but the truth is that it is worth it. Compared to traditional formats, they offer truly impressive eCPMs.

How to create rich media content

What are rich media ads? As we have previously mentioned, rich media ads can be created with the help of HTML5. So, let’s have a look at how to create rich media 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, SWF.
  • Add the media you need to the creator.
  • The platform will tell you what to do further; just follow all the instructions.

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 to stick to some rules when creating those. Rich media ads are not an exception, so here are some recommendations that can help to make your reach media ads truly effective.

  • Don’t make rich media ads too hard to understand. Try to keep the message maximally 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 ad is a sound choice. This may be influenced by geography, region, and so on. This can help to improve the results of advertising greatly.
  • Offer a value exchange – something that users will find instantly useful after clicking on your ad.

creating rich media ads

Formats of rich media ads

What are rich media ads and what are their types? Rich media makes it possible to create a variety of stylish and creative ads. At the same time, the structure of all banners in this format is quite similar. Thus, a typical module of rich media ads consists of 3 parts:

  • teaser: it is a short, bright, attention-grabbing phrase. It appears immediately after loading the page and is displayed within 2-3 seconds;
  • reminder – this is a small animated block, located in a prominent place on the page, but it does not interfere with the site view.
  • the main video – the completion of the advertising message; it usually contains information about the company of the advertiser, makes it possible to make a purchase or suggests other forms of interaction with the user.

Depending on the tasks to be solved, sometimes rich media ads are limited to showing only the main video. Let’s now have a look at forms in which rich media ads are usually presented.

video rich media ads

Types of rich media banners

Pop-up 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.

Screen-glide is a standard size banner that opens when the mouse cursor is pointed at it. The rich media banner covers some part of the content on the page. By removing the cursor from it, we “fold” the banner to its original size.

TopLine 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.

  • Multiscreen – 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 an advertising video that covers the main site for a short period of time, after which it disappears. The splash screen can be skipped, or you can click on it and visit the advertiser’s site. This type of rich media content gives a strong advertising effect because it involves the use of high-quality animation, various videos, and sound effects.
  • PeelDown is a banner, imitating 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 was not interrupted with the buttons “stop” or “pause” before the page reloads.
  • A video banner is a banner that contains a video file. It consists 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, the next time another image appears. When you click on 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.
  • The BackGround is the background image of the web page. By clicking on the background, you can visit the advertiser’s site.
  • BackOver when you point the mouse cursor on the banner, the background of the web page changes. When clicking on the banner, you go to the advertiser’s site.
  • Catfish is an interactive flash movie, which is displayed covering the page content and placed at the bottom of the screen.

These are not all types of rich media content. 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 rich media banners, you need to consider all the risks. All rich media banners have their own advantages.

Selective perception

The direction of ad formats, especially speaking about online advertising, is connected with the way we perceive media. How do we use websites? It’s a proven fact that people spend little time reading. Everyone searches for words or phrases that interest them. We are too busy to pay attention to everything that is presented on this or that page.

But why? The reason is the rush and the constant desire to be on the go. The selectivity is due to the overload of information on pages that contain only a part of what actually interests us. When browsing, users focus on the individual pieces of information they are looking for. But they also pay attention to the “hooks”: free, sale, sex, your name.

Hence, modern people are characterized by the phenomenon of banner blindness – various annoying ads have led to the fact that very often we do not see them at all, automatically looking for the way to close them, not paying attention to the content of the ad. But rich media ads are paid attention to much more frequently than ordinary static banners.

Experiencing, not just watching ads

What is rich media content? Rich media content 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 some reasons to give rich media content a try.

It helps to be more creative

The main distinctive feature of this 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 ads can help with it. Statistics show that viewer engagement is higher in those businesses that use rich media ads. Click-through-rate for rich media ads is also improved. Moreover, video and rich media ads 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 from 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, and so on. 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 maximally catchy. And rich media ads can help solve this task.

Better click-through

We have already discussed banner blindness, which makes people ignore the ads they see on the Internet. In comparison with standard banners, rich media banners 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 content, 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, percentage of video viewed).


Our world is continuously developing, 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 if you want to attract more audience, increase your click-through rate, and use diverse ad tools at once. Rich media content and rich media banners are what people pay attention to, so pay attention to it.

Take full advantage of rich media ads, register at SmartyAds DSP!

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Our clients acquire a competitive edge by accessing exclusive, paid content and advertising packages that we have negotiated with both major B2B publications and highly targeted niche publications.

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