10 best display ads that made people click

best display ads

Remember the last time you were discussing a getaway with your partner and all of a sudden you were bombarded with ads displaying cheap flights for the same destination? Coincidence? Absolutely not. 

Don’t worry, this isn’t another conspiracy theory blog article convincing you that your phone is listening to you and all that nonsense. On the contrary, I’m here to talk about the power of display advertising and to show you some of its most successful examples.

Digital marketing changed the advertising game forever. Ads are popping up everywhere, fighting for our attention any time we take a look at our screens. Bold colors, interesting animations, or catchy jokes are just some of the tactics brands use to make us click the ad and become a customer.

And display ads are one of the most effective ways to do so. 

So before we take a look at some of the most successful display ad examples from the world’s biggest brands, let’s start with the basics. 

What is display advertising?

Display advertising can take many different shapes and forms. It’s an umbrella term for all visual ads that are displayed on websites, social media platforms, mobile apps, or other digital channels. 

Display ads typically include a combination of text, images, and multimedia elements like videos or animations to engage the audience as much as possible. Brands usually use display advertising to increase brand awareness, drive website traffic, generate leads, or encourage specific actions like purchasing a product or signing up for a newsletter. 

You can also target your display ads based on various factors, including demographics, interests, browsing behavior, or location to make sure they reach their desired audience as effectively as possible. 

Display ads can also come in various formats, including:

  • Banner ads – Online ads displayed on websites or mobile apps, usually in the form of a rectangular image or animation
  • Search ads – Text-based ads that appear alongside search engine results, targeting users based on their search queries and relevant keywords
  • Pop-up ads – Ads that appear in a separate window or overlay on top of the main content of a webpage, often interrupting the user’s browsing experience
  • Responsive display ads – Ads that automatically adjust their size, format, and appearance to fit different ad spaces across various devices and platforms
  • Native ads – Ads that blend in with the surrounding content on a website or platform and appear as natural, non-disruptive elements to improve user experience
  • Google display network – Google ads allow you to create and manage various types of digital ads, including search ads, display ads, and video ads across Google’s partner websites and platforms

10 incredible display ad examples to stir up your imagination

Here are the 10 best display ads examples and what makes them so effective.

1. Red Bull – Gives You Wings

Red Bull
Source: redbull.com

We all know and love the famous Red Bull slogan – “Gives you wings”. Though it first aired in 1997, the campaign quickly became a symbol for bold and humorous advertising. These days, the company still uses the slogan, paired with various funny drawings to catch our attention over display ads.  

This helps Red Bull with product placement, maintains brand relevance, and ultimately increases sales. Because who doesn’t enjoy a quick funny display ad to spice up their day?

2. Apple – Shot on iPhone

Source: pinterest.com

If anyone knows advertising, then that’s Apple. Their minimalistic yet powerful ads took over the world, transforming their products into the most desirable gadgets on the planet. But their ads aren’t always about showing slick design and advanced features of the products.

In one of their campaigns titled “Shot on iPhone”, the brand decided to simply showcase amazing snapshots taken with their signature iPhones. And instead of bombarding website users with colorful graphics, and vivid illustrations, they simply showed incredible landscapes and locations shot with the iPhone. 

Pair this with a powerful call to action button and you have a great display ad that stands out among the rest.

3. Budweiser – This Bud’s For You

Source: adweek.com

Advertising in regulated industries is quite tricky. And companies selling beer and other alcoholic beverages like Budwiser need to be extra creative when it comes to attracting customers’ attention while complying with all the regulations. 

One tactic that Budweiser uses is approachability, turning their famous beer into the only logical choice for beer lovers. Their whole marketing strategy revolves around camaraderie, friendship, and inclusivity. And this campaign told a story of just that. 

As part of their emotional storytelling in the campaign, the brand also created catchy display ads for various occasions – including jumping on opportunities for occasions like Labor day. 

4. McDonald’s – I’m Lovin’ “__”

Source: adsoftheworld.com

We all know the famous “I’m Lovin’ It” slogan from McDonald’s. Not just the slogan but also the exact melody behind it. To give this slogan new life,  McDonald’s came up with another viral campaign for Valentine’s Day, simply replacing the “it” with names of loved ones across the world. 

The ad was everywhere, from display ads all over social media to billboards. And by putting it into the hands of visitors to personalize the ad, the results were incredible.

5. Adidas – Impossible is Nothing

Source: news.adidas.com

Every sports brand tries to do the same – connect with sports enthusiasts all over the world over their emotionally charged advertising. But not every brand achieves it like Adidas did. The ad displayed famous football players performing their individual rituals in anticipation of the FIFA World Cup in Qatar in 2022. 

The campaign was a reminder for fans about the essence of this tournament and what makes it so special. By creating the ad just in time for the World Cup and placing display ads on all sports portals and sites which were booming at the time, Adidas made sure to turn the campaign into a great success.

6. Dove – Real Beauty Campaign

Source: startuptalky.com

Dove is a pioneer at challenging traditional beauty standards, leading the way for promoting body positivity.

As part of their Real Beauty campaign, the brand captures your attention with display ads filled with thought-provoking images and messages. The campaign did an amazing job at promoting Dove products while making us all question what we consider beautiful, young, or attractive. 

This clever campaign also shows that short, thought-provoking questions can be particularly effective for attracting attention to your display ads. 

7. Samsung – Galaxy Z Fold5

Source: news.samsung.com

One of the latest and most unique Samsung products is their foldable Samsung Galaxy smartphone. And just like the phone brought a new dimension to smartphones, the company decided to do the same thing with their advertising. 

Their display ads featured characters seemingly leaving the screen and landscapes looking like they’re in 3D, showing their viewers what it would feel like to use their foldable smartphone.

Like what you see? Learn how to create animated HTML5 banner ads without needing any coding knowledge!

Source: news.samsung.com

8. Pfizer – More Than Medication

Source: images.google.com

Pfizer’s More Than Medication campaign showed how powerful pharmaceutical campaigns can be. Dealing with sensitive issues and sickness, pharma companies need strong, yet respectful display ads that comply with all regulations. And that’s not easy!

As part of their More Than Medication campaign, the brand shows the effort a young boy makes to create graffiti for his sick sister. The graffiti is supposed to cheer her up and give her hope in those difficult times. Without advertising any particular product, Pfizer gave everyone in the industry a lesson on how to connect with the audience and evoke emotion. 

Display ads that were published to accompany the endearing video campaign had a simple but powerful message: “Sometimes it takes more than medication”. This intrigued everyone who came across the ad which had a positive outcome on brand awareness.

9. Johnnie Walker – Keep Walking

Johnnie Walker
Source: prnewswire.com

The world’s most famous whisky brand, Johnnie Walker, released an impactful campaign back in 2021, motivating people to keep walking towards a positive change. 

As the world started to reopen after 18 months of the pandemic, the brand saw this as an opportunity to spread motivational messages and encourage everyone to seek a more positive future. One of the campaign’s main assets were display ads with various motivational quotes.

10. GoPro – Be a Hero

Source: gopro.com

As the world practically shut down during the COVID-19 pandemic, some brands used this unique situation to spread powerful and creative messages. 

One such brand was GoPro. As part of their “Be a hero, stay home” campaign, the brand released a series of creative images, evidently shot with their GoPro camera, inviting everyone to stay at home (this time). The brand that is usually known for inviting everyone on an adventure and exploring the world, used this opportunity to do the exact opposite. 

This display ad example could be seen everywhere back in the day, from social media to various news portals.  

Five display ad examples to stir up your imagination

If these great display ads weren’t enough to get your creative juices flowing, no need to worry. 

Here’s a list of five display ad types and examples along with explanations on why they work. 

1. Use real-life images and UGC content

People tend to connect better with genuine images that show real-life scenarios or feature real customers. That’s why creating banner ads using real life images instead of highly curated ones can be a good tactic. They help you gain authenticity, making them more relatable and trustworthy to your audience. 

Similarly, user generated content that highlights real people interacting with your products will resonate more strongly with your potential customers and help you increase engagement. 

Plus, display ads are all about grabbing your audience’s attention in the sea of generic stock photos.  And real-life images and UGC often give you a fresh and diverse perspective, helping you capture your viewers attention. 

2. Attract them with humor

Another powerful way to attract your audience’s attention is with the use of humor. Humor has a way to communicate difficult emotions and even reach the most hard-to-get audience. 

Among a bunch of similar content that simply screams at web users to “click on the link” or “buy at half the price”, you’ll definitely stand out with some fun, out of the box content. 

Here are a few ways in which you could use humor in your display ads: 

  • Use quirky illustrations, funny characters, or unexpected imagery to create a visually engaging ad that immediately grabs your viewer’s attention.
  • Craft clever and witty copy that adds humor to your ad. This could involve puns, wordplay, or humorous anecdotes that resonate with your target audience.
  • Take a satirical approach to highlight common pain points or challenges that your target audience faces. By poking fun at these issues in a lighthearted way, you can create a sense of empathy and camaraderie with your audience while subtly promoting your product or service as a solution.
  • Incorporate unexpected twists or punchlines to your ads to surprise your viewers. Whether it’s a plot twist in a video ad or a clever tagline that catches people off guard, adding an element of surprise can make your ad more memorable and shareable.
  • Encourage your audience to create and share humorous content related to your brand or products. User-generated memes, videos, or photos can be an authentic and entertaining way to connect with your potential customers. 

3. Use an interactive quiz or a poll

There are a bunch of benefits associated with the use of interactive elements like quizzes or polls in display ads. The most obvious one is that it grabs the audience’s attention and encourages active engagement, increasing the likelihood of the ad being noticed and remembered. 

By inviting users to participate in a quiz or poll, advertisers create an immersive experience that fosters a deeper connection with the brand. Quizzes and polls also provide valuable insights into the preferences, behaviors, and opinions of the target audience, allowing advertisers to gather data for future marketing efforts. 

This real-time feedback helps tailor messaging and offers to better meet the needs and interests of your consumers. Additionally, interactive quizzes and polls can drive traffic to the advertiser’s website or social media channels, facilitating further interaction and conversion opportunities. 

Check out a few examples of polls and quizzes in display ads to get a better sense of how it could look.

Source: digioh.com
Jasper's Market
Source: instapage.com
Source: wordpress.org

4. Engage audiences with animated storytelling

Picture a display ad for a travel agency that tells a captivating story through animated illustrations. As users scroll through the ad, they are taken on a visual journey to exotic destinations while listening to an engaging narration and music. 

The ad could also have interactive elements, like clickable hotspots that give more information about each location.

By transforming your ads into visually appealing animations, you can bring your brand story to life in a captivating and memorable way, making it more likely to resonate with viewers. 

Another important benefit of using animated storytelling in a banner ad is that it helps you simplify complex concepts or products, making them more understandable and relatable to your audience. This can be particularly helpful when creating ads in highly-regulated industries like pharma, consumer electronics, or logistics and supply chain.

5. Gamify the experience

Another powerful way to engage your audience in display ads is with a gamified experience. Try imagining a display ad for a fitness app that gamifies exercise routines to make working out more fun and engaging. 

The ad could feature a simple mini-game where users control a character through various workout challenges, earning points and rewards for completing exercises correctly. The ad could also include a call-to-action to download the app and continue the fitness journey.

Gamification helps you increase engagement by making your ad interactive and more enjoyable, encouraging users to spend more time with your brand. By incorporating elements like challenges, rewards, and levels, you can also create a sense of fun and excitement that captures the audience’s attention and keeps them coming back for more. 

Plus, offering a unique and entertaining way to interact with the brand, can leave a lasting impression on consumers, increasing brand recall and recognition.

Source: digitalland.tv

Final thoughts

Hopefully this list of best display ad examples gave you a good overview of everything you could do when crafting your advertisements. Effective display ads have the power to draw your audience’s attention to the content and increase their purchase intentions.

If you’re looking for an easier and more streamlined way to share your banner ads with clients and get approval on top of your display ad campaigns, make sure to try Filestage for free →