One of the most common questions a brand marketing manager will ask is, “How can I solve the banner ad blindness of my target audience?” Of course, when you design an ad creative, you want it to be visible. And, in order to stay visible, you will need to engage users and inspire them to take action.

Rich media ads may just be the missing piece! This is because there're so many ways to interact with this format. You can touch, drag, scratch, swipe, spin, watch a video or even play a game with rich media advertising.

We encourage you to explore this unique ad format, compare it to other ad types and absorb some good practices from our internal team members. Perhaps it will inspire your next ad campaign!

What Are Rich Media Ads?

Rich media ads use a blend of text, audio, images, video, animations and other avenues relevant to this ad format. Similar to video ads, it catches viewers' attention; however, video ads don’t always encourage an action while rich media advertising always prompts the user to interact. With rich media ads meaning the opposite of static banner ad blindness, you can stand out in the crowd by creating dynamic visuals of your product offering.

It’s a win-win situation: brands benefit from higher CTR and attention metrics, while publishers enjoy having unique creatives in their ad placements. Let’s not forget to mention the added benefit of additional metrics, like overall engagement, which are not available on other types of ad formats.

Rich Media Display Ads vs. Standard Display Banners

Now that we’ve explained in detail what a rich media display ad is, let's compare it to standard display banners to get a good visual of the differences and benefits of rich media. Overall, rich media ads offer more flexibility and functionality, generating an exceptional yield in reach and brand awareness.

Have a look at the table below.

Standard Display Banners vs Rich Media Banner Ads
Standard Display Banners vs Rich Media Banner Ads

Types of Rich Media Ads

While dynamic like a video, rich media ads add a punch because users can interact with the creative. These interactions blend in with its surrounding content but remain captivating and are, therefore, more effective at grabbing a viewer’s attention. Static banner ads are helpful to advertisers but are often ignored by modern consumers. Rich media ads with dynamic elements can transform a standard ad campaign into a continuous flow of untapped revenue streams.

See the main types of rich media ads below:

  • Dividers - You’ve likely encountered this type of ad when coming across beauty and fashion brands. A two-sided arrow in the center of the image allows users to drag the divider to reveal either a before/after concept, a variation of the original image or another product feature. This is a great option because advertisers can emphasize the transformation that their product offers. Showcase to viewers how the product can take them from point A to point B, which is a proven marketing tactic.

Giorgio Armani
Giorgio Armani

  • Rich Media Banner Ads – Lined at the top, bottom, side or middle of a webpage, banner ads are the most widely used format. These are most likely to be seen because of their placement. Advertisers can convert a banner’s static image to a visually appealing moving image. It’s very eye-catching, which makes this an advertiser’s favorite format. This is a fantastic way to combat banner blindness.


  • Carousel Video Box – Carousels contain a background image, a video and an ad product slide where you can showcase the product you are featuring in the video creative.


  • 360° Video Box – With this type of rich media ad, users can click on it and view the product from every angle. This is effective, as it allows the user to better understand the product and how it will suit their needs.


  • Flip parallax - In this type of ad, the creative is animated to flip and display both sides of the ad. As soon as a person hovers over the ad, they will be prompted to click on it to learn more.

Ralph Lauren
Ralph Lauren

How Are Rich Media Ads Different from Other Ad Formats?

Aside from its interactive design and multimedia elements, one great benefit of using rich media ads is the tracking capabilities it offers. In fact, data tracking and optimization are the biggest differentiating factors between rich media and other ad formats. As an advertiser, you want to be able to track data so that you can make better decisions. Better decisions lead to smarter targeting, resulting in higher conversions. Ultimately, better optimization results in refined data tracking, which will generate more revenue.

Here's stats from one of the best rich media ads 2022 campaigns launched on our global advertising platform:

Ad campaign data of one brand advertising on MGID
Ad campaign data of one brand advertising on MGID

  • Impressions – the number of times people saw your ad
  • Rich events – an action a user performed to interact with your ad
  • CTR – the number of times someone clicked on your ad creative
  • Overall engagement – how much attention was given to your ad creative and what actions users performed to interact with it

Some of the metrics these ads analyze are viewable impressions, interactions, CTR and ad relevance. However, the most important metric it will measure (that makes all the difference!) is the engagement rate. This metric cannot be measured with regular ads like static banners. This is what makes rich media ads so useful to an organization. By knowing how your audience interacts with your advertisement, you can optimize creatives on the go and refine the campaign strategy.

The Benefits of Rich Media Ads for Advertisers

We’ve touched on many benefits already, but here, we will lay it out for you so that you can get a better idea of how rich media ads can serve your business.

Better CTR – Our stats show that rich media ads boast a soaring high CTR when compared to standard ad types. In fact, the extrapolated data pulled from our global advertising platform shows an average CTR of 0.4% while static ad creatives hardly exceed the 0.04% margin. With such a wide gap between these two ad formats, there’s little doubt of what works best in terms of engagement.

Better rich media mobile ads – Since mobile traffic far exceeds traffic on desktop, having mobile rich media ads is important. A mobile-centric ad allows you to create an exceptional experience for your viewer right in the palm of their hands. Moreover, some global advertising platforms, like MGID, design rich media ads to blend seamlessly into a web page content, which streamlines the user experience. With such a design, users do not feel like they’re being advertised with a product offering.

Mobile rich media ads providing a better UX
Mobile rich media ads providing a better UX

Better forecasting – What’s so great about rich media ads is that you can leverage metrics that are unavailable on other ad formats. For this reason, you can curate ad spending against concrete data. This allows you to plan and determine a long-term budget. Plus, some advertising platforms like ours offer a CPM model, where you transact on a guaranteed outcome basis. This offers stability because you can benefit from a guaranteed number of only viewable impressions as opposed to the total number of times your creative popped up on a user’s screen.

Better attention – Since attention is often seen as the new ‘currency’ in the performance marketing space, rich media ads surpass many other ad formats that don’t allow you to track user attention and engagement. With more data, you can gain more insights, and AI technology (like on the MGID platform) can spot behavioral patterns, which is critical information to generate better ROI from your digital ad spend.

Publishers prefer it – When high-quality ads don’t disrupt the user experience on websites, publishers appreciate it. Most people don’t like boring static banner ads, so they can be more of a nuisance and turn viewers away. Rich media ads generate more revenue for advertisers and this, in turn, leads to higher commissions for the publisher. It’s also a great avenue for your brand to end up on premium sites like The New York Times or CNN, awarding your business more credibility.

Rich Media Ads Best Practice: Reach Your Target Audience

It’s imperative that you hit your target audience right on the money. Rich media ads are paid display advertising, so if you’re speaking to the wrong audience, you can risk significant loss. On the other hand, the potential profitability is huge when you are targeting accurately. Researching your ideal customer and getting to know them is critical for success.

At MGID, our global advertising platform boasts high-quality native placement, intelligent contextual targeting and brand safety controls powered by AI. We understand that this is the most important part of any advertising campaign. When launching your ad creatives, you can rest assured we will reach your preferred target audiences as long as you understand who they are.

How Much Does It Cost?

It depends on a number of factors. But to give you a general idea – here is a direct quote from this guide’s contributor and MGID’s Head of Brand & Agency Business Development: “Wow ad creatives always cost more than standard ones.”

“Wow ad creatives always cost more than standard ones.”

If you want to stand out from the crowd, you’ll want to allocate a fair amount of your budget. Rich media ads cost at least twice as much as standard display ads. Even though a rich media ad may show fewer impressions, they still will show a higher return on investment in the long run.

Various factors will determine your investment, such as the size of the publisher and the amount of digital weight within the creative. In terms of the publisher, naturally, advertising on The New York Times will cost more than your small town’s local media channel.

Brands typically want agencies to only charge for full or half video views, but most agencies do not accommodate this. At MGID, we’re different because we offer CPC, CPM or an optimized approach to CPA models.

How To Create Rich Media Ads?

When developing your plan, of course, you will want to consider your budget. You have a few options depending on the amount you want to invest into your ad strategy. For those not so tech-savvy, a digital production agency will work with you to achieve high-quality, converting ads. Go through an agency you trust that understands your brand voice and goals; however, this will be the more expensive route when compared to other options.

If you’re looking for something more affordable, and you don’t mind working with the tech, then self-serve tools are good options; however, they may result in lower quality.

We have a solution that gives you the best of both worlds. A global advertising platform is the way to go if you want to save on cost without skimping on quality. These platforms offer full-cycle services with experienced teams who know how to create rich media ads. Creative teams develop your ad and take ownership of the campaign through the customer journey and track your results. If you’re just getting started with rich media ads, we highly suggest this option because it will allow you to understand how to create rich media ads and get more value out of your investment.

In either of these cases, there are some steps you’ll need to take when you begin your rich media advertising campaign:

  1. Define Your Budget – Determine what creatives would work best for your brand and the budget you want to allocate for the campaign. Decide whether you’ll use a self-serve tool, a digital production agency or an ad platform like MGID. Our global advertising platform can both produce creatives and optimize campaign targeting.
  2. Determine Your Strategy – Is your goal to raise brand awareness or encourage an immediate purchase? Your goal for this campaign should be specific. This will allow you or any platform you’re working with to align creatives with the outcome you want to achieve.
  3. Determine Creative Assets – What type of assets will you need? Images, video or copy? If you are working with an agency or platform, consider what will be helpful for them to have. Make sure you keep your branding consistent. Decide on the voice you want to come through the copy and the feeling your audience should have when they see your ad. How do you want them to engage with your ad? Remember that you will also need a landing page, so keep that in mind when gathering your assets.
  4. Configure Your Targeting – Defining the interest of your target consumer is critical. MGID offers a free account manager who will help optimize and configure targeting for your ad campaign.
  5. Preview – Before publishing your ad, make sure there are no errors and that it fits the dimensions required for where you will publish. Most platforms have guidelines that you will need to remain in compliance with also, so keep this in mind before sending for a review process. The good thing about MGID is we have a Creative & Compliance Department that moderates all creatives to ensure they match publisher guidelines.
  6. Track and Measure Success – A global advertising platform will manage your campaign success and track important data. If you are using a self-serve option, use the tools inside the platform where you published your ad to track your data. Data tracking is critical for targeting campaigns and increasing conversions, as it allows brands to learn more about their target audience and leverage that information for future campaigns.

Try Rich Media for Your Next Ad Campaign!

Rich media ads are a well-known ad format that can boast massive benefits for all kinds of brand awareness campaigns. Companies entering the online space can see huge success through this ad format, especially if they want to cut through the noise and differentiate themselves from their competitors. The creative avenues are exciting and broad, so you can test many different formats to produce the best rich media ads for your marketing niche.

We hope you’ve enjoyed learning more about this epic way to boost your brand awareness. Try it on your next ad campaign and watch more people discover your product offering!