Display Advertising Options – Digital Nugget #12

Nov. 30, 2015 // Jeff Cracolici

Similar to the internet itself, digital display advertising is extremely vast. Between choosing the best ad types and knowing all of their options, the amount of information that must be sifted through is staggering. Over the next several weeks, we are going to break down some of the more popular ad types and explain their available options.

Since each ad type will have different specifications, let’s start with defining some of the most common spec categories:

Keep Up With Evolving Best Practices

Subscribe to our blog and receive articles directly to your inbox.

Ad Dimensions

Ad Dimensions detail the size the creative needs to be. Typically measured in pixels, the dimension depends solely on the type of digital ad you are looking to run. Between desktop and mobile display, there are dozens of ad types to choose from.

Expanding an Ad / Collapsing an Ad

The more advanced ad types will allow you to expand or collapse the ad in order to enhance the internet user’s experience. Collapsible ads appear larger on the screen at first, and then give the user the option to make the ad smaller. On the other hand, expandable ads appear smaller on the page, and then allow users to click on the ad to increase the size. These types of ads allow users to learn more without leaving the page they are currently on.

Initial Dimensions

The initial dimensions describe the size of the ad before it is either expanded or collapsed.

Maximum Expansion

For expandable ads, maximum expansion details the largest size an ad can appear after it is clicked.

Ad Animation

Display ads can be static or animated. In addition to meeting all of the other requirements listed above, animated ads also have a maximum time limit of how long the animation can run. Here is an example of an animated ad from Mini Cooper:


Maximum File Size

This specification describes how large the jpeg, png or gif file can be. Typically, a cap is put on the file size to minimize the time it takes for a page to load. Publishers or ad networks may have their own maximum file size, so it may be wise to check before your creative team begins.

What is a Z-Index Range?

In coding, the Z-Index refers to how far in the forefront a specific element on a webpage appears. The greater the Z-Index value, the closer in the forefront it will appear. For example, if you have a picture with a z-index of 1, it will always appear behind a picture with a z-index of 2 on a webpage. Chances are, the publisher or the advertising network will help you determine the optimal z-index for your ad.

Video Guidelines

Some ad types will allow you to embed a video file rather than an image file. The video file will come with even more specifications, which will be explained in greater depth in future posts.

Please check in for the next Digital Nugget, which will continue to explain types of popular display advertisements.