The Importance of Rich Media Ads | Digital Marketing Guide


One of the biggest challenges many marketers face today is getting their content in front of the eyes of the people who matter most to their business. Looking specifically at advertising, the ad market is a challenging one to break into. It’s increasingly become more and more competitive, requiring heftier budgets to drive impact.

Increasingly, the vast majority of consumers use search tools to conduct research prior to making purchasing decisions, meaning marketers have had to evolve their advertising approach to capitalise on this change in consumer behaviour. Around 67% of consumers say their online purchasing has increased since the start of the pandemic, making it more crucial for your business to be visible and nail your online ad strategy.

Now, more than ever, users are overwhelmed with ads and information in search, making it more challenging for brands to break through the noise. With that said, every challenge welcomes a new opportunity!

Introducing rich media ads, spearheaded by a number of brands looking to innovate their advertising approach to get ahead of the competition. This shift to rich media comes as marketers are looking for stronger performance and better ROI from their paid ads. Discover how with rich media you can enhance your ads and get the recognition your brand deserves.

What are Rich Media Ads & Why are They important?

A rich media ad is a type of digital advertising that includes advanced multimedia elements like animation, video and audio to enhance the performance of the ad. The purpose of a rich media ad is to influence more interactions and promote higher engagement from the users that see the content.

Static ads like text and display have stood the test of time and can still generate results for various businesses. Rich media ads on the other hand strive to amplify the performance of the static ads, achieving optimal results for your brand.

Rich media adverts empower advertisers and marketers to create impactful ads that provide a much stronger opportunity to drive valuable action from your target audience.

By leveraging HTML5 technology, rich media ads can include multiple levels of content within the same placement, enabling you to get more bang for your buck.

Rich Media Ads vs Static Ads

The effectiveness and performance of static banner ads have been in decline over the last few years. Research suggests that 50% of clicks on static banner ads in accidental, with around 4 out of 1000 users taking a valuable action. Once upon a time, banner ads played a significant role in driving a fair amount of traffic as a part of a wider digital marketing approach.

Even with the addition of modern-day targeting tech, banner ads just don’t hold the power they once used to.

So what do we do when something doesn’t work as well as it should? We evolve it. Rich media ads intend to make traditional banners more interactive, bringing a breath of fresh air through your ad strategy. Rich media enables you to combine various multimedia content, offering a new, dynamic experience that promotes higher user engagement.

The advances in tech have been largely responsible for this shift, as it has introduced new ways for advertisers to utilise the power and functionality of smart devices. As users interact with webpages, rich media ads can move along as users scroll, swipe, and move the cursor or click. Paired with their ability to leverage various formats, rich media ads are much more capable of providing a more entertaining and positive user experience, leaving a lasting impression.

How Rich Media Ads Can Benefit Your Business

Grab The Attention of Your Users

As we’ve alluded to already, one of the many benefits of rich media ads is that they demand attention from your users. Rich media helps you present your content in a way that supports users to retain more information. For people who prefer to digest content visually, a user segment that has seen significant growth, it means they can absorb and recall information more easily.

Why is this important? Well, the average attention span of a user has decreased to just 8.25 secs. Visitors are much more likely to understand the messages of your ad if it is delivered in a video format as opposed to just written content. Without this complementary media, you may find that you’re restricted in the amount of information that can be squeezed into your ad, or that users don’t retain the messaging.

Additionally, visuals are a marketer’s universal language, although we wouldn’t recommend a copy and paste job for a multinational campaign, imagery can help bridge any potential gaps in your messaging.

Increased User Engagement

Looped in with the previous benefit, rich media ads empower you to increase the user engagement of your ads. As the advertising industry has moved forward with the times, marketers have discovered the benefits of utilising interactive advertisements.

Rich media ads present a better opportunity for your target users to take desired and valuable actions. Including videos, appealing imagery, and graphics you can reduce the click barriers of your ad by adding a sense of familiarity and trust to your ad assets. As marketers, we know that a high-quality visual asset adds to the professionalism of our brands, this applies to your advertising too.

Create A Better User Experience

In 2022, most consumers are undoubtedly experiencing some degree of ad fatigue, especially when ads disrupt their overall user experience. This increase in ad fatigue shouldn’t be a shock either, being as though the average person encounters around 6,000 to 10,000 ads every single day. So how do we combat this? By offering a better user experience!

Rich media ads help combat ‘banner blindness’ by providing a visual more interesting experience that users can engage with. This is especially true for mobile users who would otherwise be swiping between tabs at a glance. Engaging ad content can help fuel excitement for your brand, as well as the products or services you’re promoting.

By implementing rich media into your advertising campaigns you can uplift the user experience, driving gains in other important areas too. Fundamentally, your ad shouldn’t force your users to leave the site their on, your content should influence them to want to learn more.

Eclipse Your Competitors

Offering something that is truly unique is a fundamental challenge for all marketers. Rich content can help revitalise your brand perception, this is particularly true for industries where rich media is not widely utilised.

Being amongst one of the first brands to deploy rich media ads could help differentiate your business from your competition.

In today’s market, where the competition is particularly high, implementing interactive ads that offer a superior experience to those who share your industry could make the difference between who they decide to purchase with.

Restriction-Free Creativity

*To a certain extent that is. Rich media ads can be created in a variety of different formats, something we’ve covered in more detail in our next section. Marketers and advertisers alike can enjoy the creative freedom to produce fun and engaging ads that promote their products, services and brand.

The advanced features within rich media content enable you to diversify your content but bear in mind, that you shouldn’t overwhelm your users. With that said, be sure to utilise your ad placement to the best of your ability.

Unlike traditional static banners, rich media ads are compatible with most modern web technologies, including HTML5, Javascript and Java.

The Different Types of Rich Media Ads

As mentioned in our previous section, there are a variety of different types of rich media ads to choose from. Below, we’ve broken down each of these formats to help narrow down your choices and support your decision-making.

Banner Ads

banner ads

These aren’t just your average banner ads that you see across most of the websites you visit. Banner ads are the most widely used canvas of all of the formats. These ads can appear in either horizontal or vertical layouts, depending on the creative you have chosen for your ads. Banner ads are fairly straightforward to create and a huge number of websites permit their implementation.

These fixed-sized ads can appear on both web pages and mobile apps at a medium-high cost per impression. By incorporating dynamic elements like video, you can enhance the appeal of your advertisements.

Interstitial Ads

interstitial ads

Described by Google as a ‘creative that either floats on top of a page’s content or appears as a fullscreen ad during natural transition points in mobile apps’. Interstitial ads are highly interactive ads that are commonly compiled of imagery, text, video and audio. Think about the last pop-up that appeared when you last used a free-use app.

These ads can either be locked in a position on a webpage or they can follow the user down a webpage as they scroll, however, this option may impact your ability to track user behaviour. Interstitial ads are mostly full screen which gives the user little room to ‘miss’ your ad. This inability to escape the ad can benefit your business by increasing the ad’s viewability but potentially irritate the end-user.

To exit the ad, users will be prompted to close the ad, commonly by tapping on an X or click-through to the corresponding website. Getting approval for these ads is tricky as Google has pretty strict guidelines on how they can be implemented without interrupting the user experience.

Expanding Ads

expanding ads

This rich media ad expands beyond its initial dimensions over the top of other page or app content. The ad expansion will occur when a trigger is met, whether that be based upon user behaviour, a click for example, or when the webpage loads. Expanding ads can expand in any direction and shape, with and without fading transitions.

These ads will expand over content by default, but you can also enable them to push-down content on the page, covered in the next section.

Pushdown Ads

push down ads

These ads aren’t exactly the same as expanding ads but they are similar. A pushdown ad is an expanding creative that pushes down the content of a webpage when the creative expands. This normally occurs when a user meets a certain trigger on the page like hovering their mouse over the ad.

One of the key advantages of using these ads is that they do not obscure the content on the page, meaning users are less likely to be irritated by your ad and increase the potential for genuine interest.

Multi-Directional Expanding Ads

Multi directional expanding ads

Multi-Directional Expanding Ads or MDEs, are a type of rich media ad that, you guessed it, expands in multiple directions. The direction of how your ad expands depends on where the ad appears on the page.

Video & VPAID Ads

Video and VPAID ads

Video features can be included with all of the ad formats listed above. VPAID however, is a little bit different. VPAID stands for Video Player-Ad Interface Definition, this type of rich media ad content can be displayed in a publisher’s in-stream video player, the go-to for this would be a channel like YouTube.

Although we’re certain you’re familiar with them already, these ads typically appear, before, after or during video playback.


There are various ways your business can advance your ad game. By leveraging rich media in your paid ads strategy your brand can improve your opportunities to build brand awareness, promote engagement and influence conversions.

Paid Ads & PPC at Loop Digital

Loop Digital is a key player in providing bespoke digital advertising solutions for businesses all across the UK and overseas. Recognised for our commitment to achieving sustainable results and revenue for our clients, we’ve been awarded Google Partner status. For more information, you can learn about our PPC services here or get in touch with a member of our team today.