Online Display Banners 101


Banner ads are one of the most popular ways to advertise your business online. There are a few different types of banner ads. Each type brings something different to the table and has its own advantages. To help you decide which banner ad is best for you, we’ll go over the three main banner options — static, animated GIF, and HTML5 — and why they should be used.

Static Banners

Static banners are fixed frame ads. There is little to no animation. The only thing that may be animated in a static banner is blinking text or buttons to grab the attention of the viewer. The frame itself and any images will stay the same and stay still.

Static banners are less expensive to produce because they take less time and resources to create. They are also less likely to irritate viewers, though they are more at risk of being ignored than some other banner formats.

These ads are designed with a clear message and a single call to action. There isn’t any room for fluff, so you have to get to the point with a carefully written, effective statement.

Why Use Static Banners

Static banners are the bread and butter of display ads — the most basic, practical option. They are cost-effective and they aren’t too intrusive to the viewer.

Many viewers are irritated by more extravagant ads. According to Statista, 66.7% of internet users find video ads that automatically play with sound to be the most annoying type of digital ad. Comparatively, only about 35% find static banners annoying. The reason for annoyance typically being that these video ads interrupt the users browsing experience.

Static banner ads are great for enticing your target audience to complete a specific call to action. They aren’t too pushy. They aren’t flashy and intrusive. They’re simple, clean, and classic.

Animated GIF Banners

Animated GIF banners allow you to incorporate transitions and slides into your ad. This type of banner ad can help overcome “banner blindness” because the animation will attract the eye.

There are a few different things that you can do with an animated GIF banner. You may choose to have images or text slide into the frame. You may choose to transition through a few slides of information. Some GIF banners will slide images, text, and buttons into place when the viewer gets to a certain point on the page and then remain static after that.

Animated GIF banners don’t have to have crazy, fast-moving designs. Even a few simple transitions can be effective for capturing the interest of the viewer.

Why Use Animated GIF Banners

GIF banners are great because they encourage interaction. Your ad will be more attention-grabbing. And, once you have the attention of the user, the GIF banner can give them more information with additional slides. There are simply more opportunities with GIF banners to make a connection with the viewer than there are with static banners.

Animated GIF banners are also great because they work well on mobile devices. At the end of 2019, 52.6% of worldwide website traffic was from mobile devices. When over half of the website traffic comes from viewers on mobile devices, your banner ads need to be optimized for mobile devices.

HTML5 Banners

HTML5 banners are another good option for animated banners. These essentially took the place of Flash banners. Flash banners were high-quality animated banners with one major downfall: viewers had to have Adobe Flash on their computer to see them. Apple didn’t support Flash after 2010, and Google eventually made changes so that these ads weren’t accepted, or they were paused on the first frame and required viewers to hit play. It’s easy to see why Flash banners were phased out.

HTML5 banners can be seen on any device and can include images, text, sounds, videos, and animation. These banners are responsive, so they adjust in size, appearance, and format to fit whatever device and screen the viewer is using.

Why Use HTML5 Banners

GIF banners and HTML5 banners offer a lot of the same benefits. So, why choose HTML5? First, these banners are of higher quality as there are no colour restrictions (GIFs are limited to a palette of 256 colours). You can use higher-quality images and you simply have more control over the colour design choices.

Unlike GIF banners that need to be locally hosted, HTML5 banners can be embedded right into the page. This means that the site’s loading times are much faster. These banners can also include media that encourages higher engagement, like video and audio clips.

No matter which option you choose, banner ads are a great way to reach your target audience. If you’re looking for something simple and classic, go with the static banner ad. If you want something to catch the eye of your viewers, consider an animated GIF or HTML5 banner. Just remember to always design with your audience in mind and be creative!

Check out these other blogs:

5 Tips for Effective Display Advertising

5 Telltale Signs of a Good Banner Ad

How to Make Your Banners Pop and Create Conversions\

Still stuck in the design process? Check out They can help you decide which banner is best for your campaign and create expert ads for your business.