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Our best practice guide to creative display ads and how to execute them

Whether your client is running a fraction of their budget through Facebook paid ads, or they’re running a multinational campaign through the Google Display Network – you need to get the basics right. We’ve composed this best practice creative guide to help you create successful display ads for your campaigns.

What are display ads?

Display advertising is a method of attracting the audience of a website, social media platform or another digital medium to take the desired action. These are generally text-based, image or video advertisements that encourage the user to click-through to a landing page and take action.

Terms for display advertising can vary based on the different networks; paid social is through Facebook, programmatic is serving ads anywhere on the internet, such as through Google, and using platforms such as LinkedIn and Amazon would be referred to as display or marketplace ads.

Google Display Network

Google Display Network has an abundance of creative sizes, which can hinder your campaign as you can spend too much time trying to achieve 100% viewability. As long as you’ve got the basics covered, you’re going to be maximising reach, without excessive creative time:

Desktop IAB sizes:

·       160×600

·       300×250

·       300×600

·       728×90

Mobile IAB sizes:

·       320×50

·       320×320

We have some general recommendations when it comes to creating GDN ads; make sure your call to action (CTA) is clear based on the page you’re trying to land people on and the conversion type you want. Some examples – buy now, learn more, sign up.

GIFs should always follow the 3-frame rule: Introduce product and CTA in frame 1, explain the product or service in frame 2, finish with the CTA in frame 3.

Programmatic creatives should always adhere to all other brand guidelines. While these ads aren’t used on your website or social channels, you want to avoid brand disparity.


Facebook allows a range of different creative and placement options, but you can serve in most of these with standard sizes.


·       1080×1080


·       9:16 to 16:9

·       Videos can be 1 second to 240 minutes

When it comes to Facebook ads, use as little text as possible on your creatives. If an ad has more than 20% text, then you’ll likely see a reduction in potential impressions. The more text on the ad, the less your potential reach will be.

We believe that shorter videos work best and where possible, include closed captions. Given more than 80% of Facebook ads are viewed without sound, it will allow your target audience to understand your message.


LinkedIn has the ability to also serve a multitude of placements, with varying degrees of creative complexity. The simplest are single image ads,


·       1200×627

Video varies dependant on the orientation, but the general rules are:

·       Landscape max: 1920x1080px

·       Square max: 1920x1920px

·       Vertical max: 1080x1920px

Our best practice recommendations when it comes to LinkedIn display ads; like most video placements, shorter ads work best, ensure that all images or videos are relevant to the offering. The LinkedIn background colour is neutral, so making your creatives bright will attract more attention.

If you would like to learn more about display advertising or to discuss how we can help with your campaign, feel free to send us an email to

Download our full creative guide for free, simply fill in your details in this form.

Alex Jackson - Modo25
Alex Jackson
Alex Jackson - Modo25
Alex Jackson
Performance Marketing Manager

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