David Ogilvy, the Father of Advertising, used to say that advertising attracts neurotics who are naturally prone to anxiety. It can induce anxiety even among the most phlegmatic people.
Well, it was true back then and still holds true—now more than ever, in the age of digital disruption. Advertisers are in a constant state of worry, with endless questions revolving inside their heads—will a great idea hit the mind? Will the viewers like the ad? What might interest the customers? How to get their attention? Will the ad cut through the clutter?
One such big-confusing-question is related to the format of the banner ads. There are so many different types of banner ads with different formats, presentations styles and layouts that even a veteran advertiser can get confused. And as it is rightly said, too many options leads to indecision.
Let’s take the case of static and dynamic banner ads. Static ads have been here since forever so it feels safe to continue using them but, at the same time, dynamic ads are tempting enough to give them a try. But with so much at stake—time, energy and resources, one cannot blindly start producing dynamic ads just because they look good.
Similarly, you can’t just continue using static ads because it’s safer. As we all know, playing safe doesn’t get you anywhere in advertising. If you want to stand out and steal people's attention, you have to constantly keep testing the waters.
So let’s study both static and dynamic ads in detail to get a fair comparison between the two. First we will learn their pros and cons and then understand which one might work best for you as per your business needs.
What are Static Banner ads?
Take a guess! What do you think static banner ads are?
I’m sure you must be thinking— Ah! It’s a no brainer. We see it every day, dozens of them.
And probably you would say— Static banner ads are the ads with some content and an image, most likely of the product or anything related to what’s being sold. And for those who are in the advertising industry might add ‘CTA-Call To Action’ to their definition as well.
Something like this, right?
Well, you’re partially correct because sometimes a static ad may contain a video as well. Yes, that’s right. People tend to get confused and label a standard ad with visuals to be a dynamic ad. The term static here just means that the content of the ad won’t change overtime. To put it simply, if the ad cannot be altered after it’s distribution, it is called a static ad.
So given below is also an example of static ad-
Benefits of Static Banner Ads
Here are some benefits of static banner ads-
1. They are universal
Be it any industry—fashion or tech, and be it any product—clothes or car, you can easily set up a powerful static banner ad with any business goal. All you have to do is write a great copy and visuals and it will send your ad across millions of screens speaking to your audience exactly what you want to talk about. In a nutshell, with your static banner ad, you can get people to see what you want them to see.
2. Easy to Create
Creating a static ad is no rocket science. You don’t need a huge team with technical expertise to publish it either. All your efforts will go into producing a powerful idea and then designing compelling visuals and copy for it but once it is in place, you just have to run them on every platform. Hence, they save your time and resources.
3. Freedom to Control your Ad Content
You have complete control over every element of a static banner ad. From copy to color combination for visuals to placement, you get to do it your way. You can pour your idea straight from your head onto the banner ad. For instance, if you want to create a banner ad for awareness of blood donation, you would want very specific content for it. In such cases, static ads work the best.
4. Reaches a larger audience
If your goal is to spread brand awareness, static ads work like a charm. They are also comparatively easier to adapt on all screen types, be it desktop or mobile. This means that you can reach a larger audience if you choose static ads as the flagbearer of your brand awareness campaign.
Cons of Static Ads
There are good amounts of benefits that static ads have to offer. Let’s see whether they outweigh the demerits or not. Here are some cons of static ads-
1. Limits your Creativity
Unfortunately, your out of the box ideas cannot be fully contained in the small frame of a static ad, as you have limited elements to experiment with. You might have a lot to say to your audience, but you cannot overfill your ad with words and make them cluttered. That’s why static banner ads require minimal and specific content.
2. Loses the Charm Overtime
Your static banner ad is set in stone. Once published, it cannot be changed unlike dynamic ads. This means your ad may look compelling for the first time to the audience but very soon it will lose its effectiveness. So if you're in an industry that launches new products very frequently or has a huge range of products, you will have to keep creating static ads on a frequent basis for every campaign.
3. Less Interactive
Rich media ads have 267% more click through rates than static ads. Well this figure definitely puts static ads to shame but that’s the bitter truth. There is no scope for personalisation in static banner ads, so people find it hard to connect with them unless the ad has a very strong message.
What are Dynamic Banner Ads?
Dynamic banner ads are chameleons in the ad world—they change with time and consumer behavior. Also known as dynamic creatives, they personalize their content, CTA, and promotions based on the user’s web history. With the help of dynamic banner ads, marketers are able to deliver relevant content to their targeted audience.
For example, if a user visited your website and liked an item and they put it in their cart but didn’t buy, the ad displayed to them will show the same product or similar product with a discount offered exclusively to them. This helps in enticing the customer to buy the product and eventually increase the conversion rate.
Benefits of Dynamic Ads
Apart from being highly personalized, dynamic have a lot more benefits. Let’s discuss the extensive advantages of dynamic ads-
1. High Performance
A study was conducted in which 43% respondents gave a heads up to ads getting personalized. In fact, 30% said that they liked brands even better when ads were personalized. Probably, the reason behind this is the personalization of dynamic banner ads. Irreverent content annoys people as it blocks their screen space and time whereas relevant content makes them feel seen and valued.
In general, people don’t mind engaging with relevant dynamic ads. It also helps the brand in getting better click rates and moving the leads forward in their sales funnel.
2. Build Brand Loyalty
When the content is personalized, it resonates with people. They feel special that the brand has considered their preferences and customized accordingly. So when they see your dynamic banner ad, they might remember their brand for longer and come back to your website.
3. Requires less time
Dynamic ads are automated—pieces of your copy, headlines and visuals are set into different combinations and are optimized for the best performance. That means you just have to compile the elements required for the ad while the algorithm does the rest. You don’t have to worry about how to place your design elements to get the best results.
Cons of Dynamic Banner Ads
In case of dynamic ads, not all the benefits pan out to be advantageous. Here are some disadvantages of dynamic banner ads-
1. Personalization is at risk
Dynamic creatives are created by collecting the data of the user to personalize the ads. But with the advent of iOS 14.5, data collection is not as easy a task as it used to be. Apple's policy restricts certain user data collection and sharing it with third parties without explicit consent from the user. As a result, it adversely impacts the scope and performance of an ad's personalisation.
As far as dynamic ads are concerned, we won’t won’t be able to fathom which pieces of copy or other elements are high performing, and which need to be altered.
2. Testing is not completely reliable
Even though we are able to check the performance of individual creatives or headlines or copy, the data is not statistically significant because we don’t have enough data. That means, you cannot go in depth to know why something worked better or worse and what specifically contributed to its good performance to make a well informed decision.
3. Requires additional effort
Dynamic ads can be high maintenance in the long run. If you don't update content on your website timely and in quick intervals, dynamic ads will keep picking the same content and make similar combinations. So if your content won’t change in your dynamic ad, which is the very basis of dynamic banner ads, it’s primary usage is lost.
Finally, we have a clear picture of both dynamic and static banner ads with pros and cons discussed in detail. So let’s find out who wins the battle.
Dynamic Vs Static Banner Ads: Who’s the Winner?
Well, there's no clear winner because in some places dynamic ads have more merits and in other situations it seems reasonable to run static banner ads. So to know which banner ad type works best for your brand, you need to identify your campaign's goals.
Firstly, if your goal is to retarget the customers who have previously interacted with your brand but didn’t go till the end to complete a purchase, dynamic ads are you. On the other hand, if you’re a new brand and want to increase your brand awareness by reaching a large number of audience, static ads will work better for you.
Secondly, if you have a huge range of products and you want to advertise all your products, creating static ads for individual products will be a mammoth task. In such a case, dynamic ads are ideal for you as they will have a wide range of products to pick from and make different combinations of banner ads. Conversely, if you have a limited range and you don’t update your website regularly, static ads can work well for you.