What to Know about 4 Top New Digital Ad Formats

digital ads

With exciting new digital ad formats comes the same responsibility as traditional ad formats: do the work to create ads that provide value and interest to the right viewer. Anything else is, at best, ineffective advertising. At worst, lazy, or outdated ad strategy results in the development of technology that enables users to opt out of advertising altogether. Because the options in the ever-growing digital advertising landscape could make a DOM’s head spin, we’re breaking down your newest options in a quick and easy primer.

  1. Scroller Ads – This might be one of the most consumer-friendly forms of digital advertising to emerge. A mobile-first adaptation, scroller ads run inline within a content feed. The viewer interacts with the ad by doing exactly what digital natives know how to do best: scroll. These ads scroll seamlessly in with the user’s feed, so the user can choose to stop and engage with it or continue scrolling past it. Although it’s one of the newest ad formats, scroller ads already show enormous promise. From awareness to enjoyment, scroller ads show notable, sometimes substantial, increases over more traditional ad formats. Because of the visual and image-friendly nature of scroller ads, they’re an ideal format for destination marketing.

Where you’ll find them Publisher sites. See an example.

  1. Dynamic Ads for Travel & Retargeted Ads – For a more in-depth look at Dynamic Ads for Travel (DAT), you can read our recent blog post exclusively devoted to them. But when it comes down to it, DAT are simply retargeted ads that have been adapted for hospitality marketing. Retargeted ads have been around for a few years now – anytime you find yourself looking at the exact item you were just browsing on an e-commerce site, that’s a retargeted ad in deployment.

Where you’ll find them Facebook and Instagram. See examples.

  1. Native Ads – Native ads have been around for a few years, too, with some people doing them better than others. In essence, if advertising looks more like editorial and less like advertising, it’s native. It’s more concerned with the user experience and it’s less interruptive, which means that viewers will actually engage and react favorably, but it’s still “advertising.” Sponsored blog posts (sometimes snarkily called advertorials), sponsored/promoted ads on social platforms, sponsored video content – it’s all native advertising. Anytime advertising appears seamlessly within your feed, it’s native. For those saying, “Wait, what’s the difference between native ads and content marketing?” Good question. It comes down to placement: If you pay for the content to be placed anywhere you don’t own (i.e. your blog,), then it’s native advertising.

Where you’ll find them Publisher sites, social media, SERPs. See examples.

  1. Programmatic Advertising – “Programmatic” is the buzzword seemingly everywhere in digital marketing right now. The programmatic part is about the method of buying ad space. It’s about automating the process of buying, placing, and optimizing ad space via a machine bidding process in real time, using demographic data to grant advertisers the opportunity to place ads in front of the exact audience the ad is targeting. This kind of real-time buying is incredibly effective, allowing precise crafting of ad messaging and creative for a very specific buyer. For example, hotels could explicitly target upper-middle-class families on the East Coast with an ad for a family-friendly weekend getaway.

Where you’ll find them Anywhere paid advertisements appear. See examples.

Ad blocking on the rise

While it would be easy to focus on only the buffet of emerging digital ad formats, there’s also advances in ad blockers to keep them at bay. Even though 68 percent of respondents to a recent survey by Adobe said that their ad experience was either improving or at least not getting worse, the usage of ad blockers is still on the rise. Even worse, of those us who have installed ad blockers, 89% have no plans to stop using them.

What’s one key to dial back ad blocking?

While many enjoy a personalized ad experience, the line between just enough and too much personalization is tricky to find. If your ads cross the line, you run the risk of coming across as “creepy,” intrusive, and abusive of personal data. It’s those type of ads that have been driving people to ad blocking services.

SEND US A MESSAGE Let’s create the strategy, design & content to engage with and inspire the clients you serve.
Have a question, want to kick-start a project, or just want to discuss partnership possibilities? We’d love to hear from you. We’ll get back to you ASAP!