What Are Rich Media Ads? Types, Benefits, and Examples

Eric Simone

With the rise of banner blindness as a common concern among advertisers, consumers have become increasingly adept at ignoring traditional display ads, leaving marketers searching for new and innovative ways to connect with their target audience.

Rich media ads offer consumers a more interactive and engaging experience.

This article will explore rich media advertising, delving into what it is, how it works, and the benefits it offers advertisers and consumers alike. We’ll also showcase some inspiring examples demonstrating rich media’s versatility and power.

What is Rich Media?

Rich media ads use interactive and dynamic visuals like text, video, images, audio, and animation to grab the audience’s attention and distinguish themselves from a sea of generic and uninspiring static ads.

Example: A user browses a website on their mobile device and encounters a rich media ad. As they interact with the ad by clicking or tapping on it, the ad can expand to a larger size or change its position on the page to provide a more immersive experience. A static image banner ad would simply remain in place and offer no interactivity or responsiveness to the user’s actions.

This adaptability makes the ad more user-friendly and increases engagement and conversions. 

💡 One study found that rich media ads outperformed standard banner ads’ CTR (click-through rates) by 267%!

standard ads vs rich media

Rich Media Types and Examples

Rich media can take many forms: from maps to videos to flip cards and more. Let’s look at the most common types of rich media ads and provide examples of how they can create engaging and effective advertising campaigns. 

#1 Maps and Location-Based Rich Media Ads

Main use case: Generate foot-traffic

Maps and location-based rich media include features like interactive maps, real-time location data, and geotargeted messaging, allowing advertisers to create highly targeted and relevant campaigns based on the user’s location.

How can it save you time and money: 

Using maps can help you identify the locations that generate the most user interactions, allowing you to create more targeted campaigns for those areas.

How can it solve customer problems: 

By incorporating maps and click trackers into your rich media ads, customers gain relevant information specific to their location, making it easier for them to find and access products and services.

With maps, you can bring in more users by emphasizing the local market and customizing the Google Maps API to: 

  • Provide the nearest locations
  • Allow users to switch between a list view or map view
  • Customize the location table with website URLs, phone numbers, and more

#2 Video Rich Media Ads

Main use case: Boost brand awareness

Video rich media combines the elements of a display banner ad with video content that plays within the ad unit.

How can it save you time and money: 

You can deliver engaging and informative content to a wider audience, reducing the need for the expensive and time-consuming production of traditional video ads.

How can it solve customer problems: 

Video rich media ads can convey complex or technical information in an easily digestible way, which can help educate and inform potential customers.

They allow you to showcase your brand’s story, products, and value quickly and conveniently while browsing web pages. 

With video ads, you can choose to: 

  • Autoplay, manual play, loop, and mute on start
  • Hide controls after 3 seconds
  • Countdown and resume button ensure full user control

#3 Carousel Rich Media Ads

Main use case: Showcase product sets

Carousel rich media ads are interactive digital ads that feature multiple images or videos within a single ad unit, allowing advertisers to showcase a range of products or services. 

How can it save you time and money: 

You can showcase multiple products or services in a single ad, reducing the need for multiple ads and campaigns and increasing the likelihood of engagement and conversions.

How can it solve customer problems: 

Carousel ads allow customers to view multiple products or services in a single ad unit and easily compare and find what they’re looking for without having to navigate away to a different website or page, thus saving them time and adding the element of convenience. 

With carousels, you can highlight your brand’s best products or services and can: 

  • Choose between user-engaged arrows or auto-rotate every 3 seconds
  • Link each carousel image to your site
  • Add custom tracking 

🎨  Bring your brand’s vision to life.

Our team can help you achieve your advertising goals with custom visual experiences and a detailed approval process.


#4 Flip Cards Rich Media Ads

Main use case: Drive customer engagement

Flip card rich media ads are digital ads that feature an interactive card that flips to reveal additional content or information when clicked. You can also add flip cards inside of a carousel showcasing multiple products, allowing users to interact with each individual card. 

How can it save you time and money: 

They provide an interactive way to showcase multiple products or services within a single ad unit, reducing the need for creating multiple ads and simplifying the ad creation process.

How can it solve customer problems: 

Flip cards provide customers with a fun and interactive experience that allows them to easily explore different options and features of a product or service, making the decision-making process easier and more enjoyable.

You can use flip cards to display key information in a clean, organized, and innovative manner. Some advertisers choose to put the image in the front with text in the back with: 

  • Custom animations for viewing
  • Each card on the flip side linked to your site
  • Custom tracking 

#5 Drag-and-Drop Rich Media Ads

Main use case: Drive customer engagement

Drag-and-drop rich media ads allow users to engage with the ad content by dragging and dropping elements within the ad unit.

drag and drop rich media ads

How can it save you time and money: 

Drag-and-drop rich media ads allow users to interact with your product first-hand, potentially saving you time and money on physical product demonstrations or prototypes.

How can it solve customer problems: 

Providing an immersive experience that allows them to interact with a product before making a purchase decision, helping them to understand its features and benefits better, and increases confidence in their buying choices.

This type allows customers to actively participate and engage with the ad content uniquely and memorably. 

You can also: 

  • Fully customize them
  • Add new images to appear upon release
  • Feature other interactive elements 

#6 Form Fills Rich Media Ads

Main use case: Lead generation 

Form fills rich media ads include a form for users to fill out directly within the ad unit, typically used to collect customer data for lead generation.

How can it save you time and money: 

Form fills allow for a streamlined and efficient way to capture user information and leads, eliminating the need for separate landing pages and potentially reducing drop-off rates.

How can it solve client problems: 

By providing a convenient way to provide their contact information or sign up for promotions without having to navigate away to a different website or page, thereby simplifying (what can sometimes be) a confusing process.

Form fills allow you to collect contact details from users interested in receiving communication from your brand. 

You can: 

  • Add customizable thank you messages
  • Input fields such as drop-down menus, text boxes, or checkboxes
  • Import data automatically into several CMS platforms

#7 Universal Links Rich Media Ads

Main use case: Drive customer engagement

Universal links rich media ads enable users to click on a link within the ad unit and direct them to a specific mobile app store page or app.

How can it save you time and money: 

Universal links can streamline the customer journey, eliminating the need for multiple clicks and page loads and guiding users directly to 

the desired destination with a single tap.

How can it solve customer problems: 

Universal links eliminate the need for multiple clicks, searches, and page loads by guiding the users directly to the mobile app in a single tap, saving them time and reducing friction. 

Universal links allow you to bring users from a mobile ad experience to your app in a single click. 

It can also: 

  • Auto-detect the user’s device operating system
  • Automatically bring users to your app on the app store
  • Automatically open the app if it’s already downloaded

#8 Social Media Boost Rich Media Ads

Main use case: Boost brand awareness

Social Media Boost rich media ads not only promote social media content and increase engagement, but they attract new followers from an external audience.

Unlike regular social ads, these units can reach people who browse standard websites, leading them to discover and follow a brand’s social channel. 

How can it save you time and money: 

Social media boosts allow you to target your ideal audience more effectively, resulting in higher engagement rates and increased ROI.

How can it solve customer problems: 

By providing an easy way for customers to find a brand relevant to their interests and preferences. 

With social media boosts, you can have:

  • Production-ready templates that mimic popular social channels
  • Increased traffic brand’s social page or a specific post
  • Expanded reach for users outside of the social platform

How are rich media ads different from other ad formats?
Rich media ads offer a highly engaging, interactive, and immersive experience, which sets them apart from other ad formats, such as static banners or paid search ads.

Your brand has a story. Let KORTX help you share it.

Simply provide your brand assets and content preferences, and we’ll handle the rest: 

  • We’ll create customized layouts and designs to align with your brand’s style and needs. 
  • We’ll handle all the planning and storyboarding so you don’t have to.
  • We’ll use our own data-driven insights to help you target the right audience at the right time.

Benefits of Rich Media Ads

Rich media ads can supercharge your direct and programmatic campaigns. Text ads sell with words, display ads with pictures, but rich media ads offer unmatched audience engagement. 

Here are the top advantages you can reap from this interactive ad format. 

The key benefits of rich media creatives, according to Google

  • An engaging user experience leading to higher interaction rate
  • Increased conversions, click-throughs, and view rates
  • Better metrics than traditional ads
    Source: What is rich media?

Increased engagement

Rich media ads have been shown to significantly improve engagement rates compared to static banner ads and have a 267% higher click-through rate (CTR) compared to non-rich media ads. 

Brand awareness boost

Rich media ads offer more opportunities for brand exposure than static ads. With interactive elements such as videos, games, and quizzes, rich media ads can keep users engaged for longer, increasing brand recall and recognition. 

Also, Tubular Insights found that brand desirability increased by 2.3% when the audience was exposed to rich media ads. 

Drive purchase intent

In addition to boosting brand awareness, rich media ads can drive purchase intent, resulting in higher ad revenue for both publishers and advertisers.

One study found that rich media creatives resulted in a 1.16% increase in purchase intent compared to other ad formats like GIFs or still images. 

Stay competitive

The future looks bright for rich media ads, with eMarketer projections indicating a significant increase in US spending on this ad format, soaring from $88 billion this year to over $107 billion next year and nearly doubling to an estimated $160 billion by 2026, demonstrating the enormous potential for both buyers and sellers. 

Also, as rich media grows in popularity, more and more companies will likely invest in this format to get their brands out there. So, it’s a great time to take advantage of this lucrative opportunity to stay ahead. 

What are the benefits of using interactive rich media ads compared to other ad formats?
With rich media ads, advertisers can create a visually stunning and immersive ad experience that elevates brand recall and purchase intent.

We design our interactive rich media ads to captivate target audiences and maximize engagement rates, resulting in a more efficient and cost-effective ad campaign that delivers a higher return on investment.

Personalized ads for consumers versus 1 ad to all

With rich media ads, particularly carousel and maps-based ads, you can add personalization by showcasing various products and services to a single user based on their interests and/or location.

You can customize the carousel image using user behavior data to reflect your target audience’s preferences. For maps-based rich media ads, you can show store locations nearest to the user.

Example: Let’s say you own a restaurant and want to target various groups: vegans, vegetarians, and meat lovers. You can add three food images to reflect each’s group’s preferences. 

This is especially important as one study found that 70% of respondents would click on an ad if it’s personalized. 

How to Create Rich Media Ads

Creating a rich media ad can be complex, requiring time, resources, and technical know-how. While some businesses can create their own rich media ads in-house, creating a truly engaging ad that resonates with target audiences can be challenging.

Determine your goals

Start by deciding what you want to achieve with your rich media ad, such as brand awareness or lead generation. Deciding on your goal will help determine what rich media ad assets would be best for you and help you discover the best way to engage your audience. 

For example, if you aim to increase foot traffic, you’ll want to choose a creative asset like maps and location-based rich media ad. 

Plan out your assets

Start planning the creative assets to bring your rich media ad to life. 

Consider your audience and your goal when choosing creative assets. What will capture their attention and motivate them to engage with your ad? 

No matter your creative type, you’ll need these three components for your ad:

  1. Visuals like animations, images, and illustrations
  2. Compelling copy
  3. A strong call-to-action

If your ads lead users to a specific page, create assets for this page, as this will be where users will convert as you want to create a sense of visual cohesion between the ad and the click-out landing page. 

Create your rich media ads

If you don’t have a graphic designer, many rich media ad creation tools with drag-and-drop interfaces make it easy to create ads without needing to code.

Typically, a rich media ad includes a headline, body copy, call-to-action button, and an interactive component like a video animation or carousel. 

For the ad below, we used a revolving carousel of Cracker Barrel’s food images to showcase the variety of meals available and cater to people with diverse dietary preferences and needs. 

Consider the basic design principles when designing your ads:

  • Contrast: The differences between design elements such as color, texture, size or shape.
  • Balance: Visually balancing the arrangement of elements in the design to create a sense of visual harmony.
  • Hierarchy: Organizing elements in order of importance to highlight key information.
  • Repetition: Using repeated visual elements like colors, shapes or patterns to create a sense of unity.
  • Alignment: Positioning the elements relative to each other to create a sense of order.
  • White space: The empty space between the elements to create visual balance and clarity.

📚 Related article: Five Things to Consider When Building Rich Media Ads: Read more about the five key considerations when building successful rich media ads. 

Once you create the assets, an advanced targeting tool like Axon Audience Manager can help you create more engaging and personalized ad experiences that resonate with your target audience. With Axon Audience Manager, you can use various data sources to build custom audiences, target users based on their behavior, demographics, and interests, and analyze campaign performance metrics in real-time to optimize their ad campaigns for better results. 

Preview your rich media ad

Previewing your rich media ad ensures it looks and functions as intended before launching it. 

Here are some tips for previewing your rich media ad:

  1. Test it on various devices: Preview your ad on various devices, including desktops, tablets, and mobile devices to ensure that it looks good and functions properly on different screen sizes and operating systems.
  2. Check compatibility: Some rich media ad formats may not work on certain browsers.  Test different browsers to avoid any compatibility issues. 
  3. Verify all elements: Ensure that all elements of your ad, including text, images, and video function as intended.
  4. Double-check tracking: Ensure you implement tracking and analytics tags correctly and collect all tracking data accurately.

Then, test your ad on a platform like Google Ads. Most ad platforms have an approval process before going live. If the platform rejects your ad, you can edit and resubmit it for approval. 

Work with a professional

Creating high-quality rich media ads can be complex and time-consuming. That’s why it’s often beneficial to work with a professional advertising agency like KORTX, which can create visually stunning and engaging ads that meet your specific needs and goals. 

📑 Case Study: How KORTX Helped NatureSweet Achieve Impressive Results with Rich Media Ads: Read more about how KORTX and Smiths Agency successfully achieved KPI benchmarks and exceeded VCR benchmarks for NatureSweet through an updated media strategy that resulted in positive brand lift.

With a professional, you can tap into their industry expertise and knowledge of best practices while creating custom visual experiences aligning with your brand’s goal. 

Our team works closely with yours, from ideation to execution, to ensure your final product resonates with your target audiences and meets your KPIs (key performance indicators). 

We understand common rich media ad problems like lack of scalability and localization, the constant outsourcing need, and multiple team handoffs. To alleviate these concerns, we provide access to our dedicated team, who oversees the entire production process, ensuring everything runs smoothly. 

We also offer custom mocks with a detailed approval process, ensuring your creative assets are engaging, effective, and tailored to your brand. 

Rich Media, a Rich Medium

Rich media banner ads use interactive visuals to distinguish themselves from traditional static ads, and their adaptability to different devices leads to increased engagement and conversions. 

It can take many forms, including maps, video, carousels, flip cards, and drag and drop and provide a host of benefits for advertisers and consumers alike, from generating foot traffic to boosting brand awareness and driving customer engagement. 

Rich media ads provide marketers with a powerful and adaptable means to design winning advertising campaigns and connect with their desired audience through fresh and imaginative approaches.

Make a lasting impression with rich media creatives.

Let KORTX help you create high-impact, high-ROI ads that are both engaging and interactive.

Eric Simone is the lead designer at KORTX. Not only is he a design wizard, but he’s also a pro at commercial editing, UX, and project management. Eric has made it his mission to deliver eye-catching designs that pack a punch.

Eric Simone

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