What Are Display Ads? Everything you need to know for 2020

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Many vape businesses think about the their offers on their banner ads, but completely miss the mark considering optimal display ad sizes and the actual design. It’s more than just pixels and your brand label! For the purposes of this article, we’ll be focusing on display banner ads rather than video ads. So, let’s get right to it!

Desktop Display Ad Sizes

Here are the most common banner sizes for desktop ads:

Square – 250 x 250

Small Square – 200 x 200

Medium Rectangle – 300 x 250

Leaderboard – 728 x 90

Banner – 468 x 60

Large Rectangle – 336 x 280

Skyscraper – 120 x 600

Wide Skyscraper – 160 x 600

Half-Page Ad – 300 x 600

Large Leaderboard – 970 x 90 


250X250 and 200X200: Square and small square, are sizes that are no longer recommended by the IAB (interactive advertising bureau), so you’re better off just going with our next size.

300X250: The medium rectangle, is the flagship of the online advertising fleet. It boasts a high performance, and it’s compact enough that it fits well inside content or really anywhere on the page. Advertisers love it because it gets the message across in a non intruding and simple format. In fact, most display impressions are in this format.

728X90: The leaderboard, is another staple banner ads size. As the name implies, this banner is often prominently displayed across the top of websites. If you’re trying to get as much exposure as possible, this is often a great size to pick.

468X60: Banner, is an ad size that seems to have fallen out of prominence. In my mind it’s just a worse 728X90, although it could certainly be used in places where a 728X90 may be a bit too big. Still, there’s a reason that 728X90 performance dwarves this ad size.

336X280: The large rectangle, doesn’t see as much use as it’s cousin the 300X250, but is still a great option for in content ads. Still, in most cases I would stick with the 300X250.

120X600 and 160X600: The skyscraper and wide skyscraper, are long advertisements along the sides of a page. This is a fine option to capture a lot of attention along a wide area. It still isn’t as prominent as many of the other options above, but a solid choice.

300X600: Half page ad, which doesn’t literally take up half the page, but it’s still a massive ad! Your ad will absolutely be noticed, but the downside is you really need to create a lovely visual presentation, because otherwise this is a huge eye sore.

970X90: A large leaderboard, is a more enormous version of the standard leaderboard. This ad would be great for getting a ton of attention, but again, isn’t widely utilized and if it is, needs to be incredibly good looking.

Mobile Banner Display Ad Sizes

While these are the most popular desktop ad sizes, advertising on mobile devices, as you may have guessed, requires a different tact. In 2017 alone, mobile ads paced desktop advertising by delivering 63% of all internet ad traffic. Mobile sizes are not as diverse, but there are a few options:
320X50, 300X250, 320X320, 320X100, 250X250, and 200X200.

320X50 banner, the king of all mobile ad sizes is estimated to make up 12% of the entire global ad impressions inventory. It’s that little banner you always see at the bottom of your phone screen while browsing the web.The 300X250 banner is also incredibly popular on mobile. All the things said about the desktop version of the 300X250 apply here. This is always a safe bet.


320×320 banner, is a slightly bigger version of the 300X250 banner, but from what I can see it’s not recommended for most phones, because it would be enormous. Still, this could be a good option to catch a lot of attention. I’d still recommend a 300X250 as it’s still the most popular size on mobile.

320X100 banner, a larger version of the 320X50, this banner isn’t as popular but finds some prominence in mobile advertising. I’d recommend sticking with the 320X50 if you want to hit that sweet spot of performance and size.

250X250, the square banner, is fading from prominence in the desktop advertising space and mobile is no exception, as it’s no longer considered a standard ad size by the IAB (interactive advertising bureau.)

200X200, the small square banner, same story as above. It’s no longer a standard ad size and doesn’t receive many impressions so it’s not worth your time unless special mobile circumstances arise.

Optimal Ad Design

Ad design content, when done right, can produce incredible results that can outshine straight search engine advertising. Search ads are typically just text ads. Where as with ads you have the freedom to stretch your creative muscle and create eye popping designs. Now, while display ads typically have much lower click-through rates than search engine ads, they have so much more opportunity to build a brand. Memorable ads lead to opportunities to build brand awareness even if customers don’t purchase immediately.  Here are some elements to create optimal ads for your audience with the ad sizes listed above:

1. Design

When designing your banner ads, it’s important to focus on the details.

For one, color. Your banner design colors should compliment if not be exactly similar to your brand. When someone lands on your site after clicking an ad, you want them to know that they are in the right place.

Two, don’t try to say too much in your ad. So many clients that I’ve worked with are tempted to tell their entire brand story with multiple sentences in a gif (or other rich media ads.). Trust me, the prospective customers are not stopping to read the text. You need to catch their attention in a fraction of a second, and typically the best path to that is simplicity. Have a clear idea of what you want to say, boil that down into one phrase or idea and have a great image, that’s half the battle. A simple image and simple text can be extraordinarily effective.

Three, have a plan in mind with respect to whether you’re using gif or static images. There’s obviously a temptation to go with gif, since you can convey a lot more information and the image changing is very eye catching. However, that’s not to say that gif always outperforms static ads. I’ve seen many cases to the contrary. What’s important is to understand if you really need to convey that much information. What suits your brand or offer better? Being mindful now will save a lot of headaches later.

Fourth, and often one of the things that’s incredibly important that companies leave out is a Call to Action. The CTA is important because asking someone to take action has been shown to improve the chances that a prospective customer interacts with a banner ad. It doesn’t have to be elaborate, it could be as simple as “shop now”, “buy now”, “claim this offer”, etc. This is somewhere it could pay dividends to try multiple iterations of the CTA in order to find what works best for your offer.

Fifth, and finally, don’t be afraid to test multiple ideas against each other. You’ll never truly understand how effective an advertising campaign can become until you test it against multiple image options.

Many ad networks, including EcigMedia have the ability to A/B test your banners against each other in order to find the highest performing option. The changes can be as simple as a different background image, text, or landing page.

If your best planned offer didn’t convert as expected, don’t get discouraged! Even the best brands and offers often require multiple image iterations to find the right fit! Just keep trying!

Try a subtle variation of ad copy, image, call to action, etc, and then monitor the results across those variations. This is the key to a great A/B test, because it helps you find which banners convert the most.

2. Smart Practices

While you’re creating your ads there are certain things to keep in mind. For one, text to image ratios. Facebook ads have restrictions that say Facebook ad sizes can’t have more than 20% text. Youtube and Google have their own restrictions, etc. If you don’t follow the rules of each platform, the ad can be restricted which is a waste of time and money.

Another thing is image file size. You want your ad file size to be relatively small. Google ad sizes need their advertisements to have a file size under 150kb. Even beyond Google, if you’re advertising on individual websites, most will demand the same, because a giant ad file can slow the site down and hurt their search engine rankings! So trust me, you want to be as courteous as possible to the folks that host your advertising.

Also, some ad networks require that if you have a white background that your advertisement has a black border around it. Google in particular is pretty strict about banners being distinct from the background of the website they are on.

Finally, almost every network isn’t going to allow vulgar or pornographic material, or material marketed towards children / banners that are incredibly intrusive or offensive to the eye. You may catch some customers with these practices, but it’s incredibly unethical and will win you no friends among publisher websites. With the vaping industry in particular, we have to have extra scrutiny that our advertisements are as ethical and responsible as they can be.

EcigMedia Can Help!

If you don’t know the first thing about ad design, ad placement, or creating an offer, and you’re looking to advertise your vaping brand, EcigMedia can help.

Our experienced team has helped countless brands refine their messaging, reach new customers, and boost their sales!

Our network doesn’t have the insane amount of rules and restrictions that Google adwords display or Google adsense or Facebook ads,  orYoutube have, because we’re not a giant corporation and our focus is specifically in the vape space!

By utilizing private hobby/info sites, we ensure direct access to a huge audience of vapers in a completely legal and safe advertising space. While that doesn’t mean we’ll have the reach in raw impressions of a site like Google or Youtube, we still have specific vaping consumers ready to buy!

In terms of our network, we utilize the following ad sizes: 300X250 and 728X90 (with occasional special offers for 300X600 on a site by site basis.) Like most ad networks, our highest performer is the 300X250, but we recommend you include both the 300X250 and 728X90 in your initial set (some sites offer only one or the other, based on their individual parameters.)

The EcigMedia ad inventory consists of a target audience that typically responds best to offers concerning ejuice, particularly bulk ejuice for a great price.

In fact, with the purchase of most advertising campaigns from EcigMedia, we’ll be happy to provide one free ad design set for you if you’re a new customer!

Do you have any questions about ad design, or are you interested in learning more about advertising your vaping product? Please shoot me an email at brad@ecigmedia.com and let me know what you’re looking for! Alternatively, you can give us a call at 844-324-4633 or look us up on social media (Facebook, Linkedin, etc)! I’d be happy to share our metrics and data to prove that the EcigMedia network is the best option for your vaping ad campaign.

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