Creative Ad Formats to Grow Your Audience 

Explore the creative ad formats that can best amplify your campaigns, while powerfully telling your brand’s story.
Updated on September 26, 2023

When it comes to effectively grabbing the attention of your audiences, launching the right creative ad experiences makes all the difference. With each creative ad format, advertisers can unlock varying audience growth outcomes—whether it’s driving first-time shoppers to their business or inspiring long-term loyalty among existing customers.  

Advertisers looking for the right creative digital ads for their acquisition and retention goals can experiment with a variety of formats to evaluate their strongest performing strategies, and optimize their campaigns to the fullest potential. 

We’ll help you explore the creative ad formats that can best amplify your campaigns, while powerfully telling your brand’s story across channels. 

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Criteo’s guide to creative ad formats 

Video Ads use a brand’s video assets to highlight campaign messaging or recommend products. This format is ideal for brands that want to increase user engagement among new and existing customers. With Criteo Commerce Growth, brands can get their message in front of shoppers that are most likely to watch, engage, and learn from this content. 

Dynamic Ads leverage a product catalog to generate conversions by personalizing content and messaging for each shopper experience. Criteo helps advertisers evolve the ads’ look and feel with Dynamic Creative Optimization+ (DCO+), showing consumers the right ad element combinations across every device with display, social, and native placements. The dynamic ads format is ideal for personalizing product recommendations for each shopper based on their behavior and interests to drive unparalleled results: Advertisers that use Criteo’s dynamic ads see their conversion rate is 150% higher compared to when they use static ads. 

Showcase Ads have the responsive benefits and DCO+ technology of dynamic ads while allowing advertisers to combine engaging images or videos. This format empowers businesses to deliver promotional or brand messages alongside best sellers, new arrivals, or specific product recommendations from product catalogs—all while delivering the most relevant ads to meet consideration outcomes (such as web traffic, views, and clicks). 

Adaptive Ads feature brand images, videos, and messaging that adapt to any publisher ad space. Unlike showcase and dynamic ads, adaptive ads don’t require a product catalog—yet adaptive ads still leverage responsive benefits and DCO+ technology across display and native placements. Adaptive ads are perfect for advertisers looking to experiment alongside image ads and offer ad diversity to performance campaigns, such as re-engaging loyal customers with product launches or offers. Campaigns live with adaptive ads see a 14% higher click-through-rate, 30% higher return on ad spend, and 18% more domains reached compared to campaigns live with static ads. 

Rich Media Ads spark user engagement and interaction using a combination of video, images, products, and product recommendations. These ads captivate audiences by offering everything from 360 views to swiping, scrolling, search, lead form capabilities, and more. With Rich Media Ads, advertisers can drive brand awareness across new and existing customers, reach traffic goals such as web views or site visits, and promote products.  

Image Ads allow advertisers to decide how to tell a brand story with readymade images. Allowing complete creative control, Image Ads can be composed of a static image or an animated image in a range of sizes. 

Maximize the impact of creative ads with strategic storytelling technology

Now that you know more about the creative ad formats that can bring your campaign to life, let’s learn about how to unlock the best results possible.  

Optimize for clicks and rotate your ads evenly according to your needs. For those looking to experiment with different ad formats, leverage Criteo’s AI Engine to optimize for clicks against multiple formats (for example image ads vs. adaptive ads.) Advertisers looking to reduce user fatigue can also choose to experiment by rotating their ads formats evenly.

Leverage ad sequencing in your delivery strategy. Criteo’s ad sequencing solution defines optimal creative ad formats and delivers a connected brand experience throughout a single campaign. Powered by DCO+, ad sequencing helps advertisers master their brand narrative with strategic ad storylines, mix ad formats for maximum impact, and control the order and number of ad displays per user. At Criteo, ad sequencing now also supports video ads.

Build a messaging hierarchy with dynamic rules. Criteo’s Creative Decision Tree Builder uses DCO+ and dynamic rules to generate messaging and creative variations that adapt the campaign narrative based on shopper contexts. The Creative Decision Tree Builder makes it simple to build complex customer journey paths that map out an entire dynamic flow, allowing advertisers to reach audiences with the right creative using time of day and day of week signals.

See Criteo’s creative ads in action 

Enhance the consumer journey by delivering the right ads, with the right messages, at the right time, for every individual shopper. With Criteo Commerce Growth, advertisers can captivate shoppers with not only a wide variety of compelling ad formats, but also design highly customized ad experiences that leverage product discovery messaging tailored for each individual’s interests.  

To learn more about Criteo’s creative ad formats and Commerce Growth, talk to an expert who can help you understand how to best optimize your digital advertising campaigns.

Want to explore real-world examples of creative ad formats? Our Ad Gallery showcases samples of creative ads that Criteo launched to help you find inspiration for your next campaign. 

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Elizabeth Kim

Elizabeth Kim is a Global Content Strategist captivated by technology, culture, and consumer behavior. Before joining the world of adtech, Elizabeth crafted brand and content strategies at agencies for clients spanning startups to household name giants. Outside of work, Elizabeth finds creative ...

Global Content Strategist

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