The thing with trends (of any kind) is that they’re rarely predictions. And yes, that includes display advertising trends as well.
More than anything, trends and display advertising statistics are clues about the direction the industry is taking. So we thought we could give our yearly display advertising trend analysis a new spin: instead of making assumptions, we took an in-depth look at creatives made in 2022.
Here’s why this matters:
- Trends are mostly based on past behaviors, and understanding how people behave when it comes to display advertising designs helps create a solid foundation for what we can expect in the next year.
- Analyzing this year’s data can give you an even more in-depth understanding of how the market is likely to evolve.
- Knowing how the market is evolving can help you get one step ahead of the competition and increase ad conversion by making better decisions about where to invest your resources.
Easy peasy data squeezy, right?
So, without further ado, let’s jump into what display advertising stats told us in 2022.
…Which is a fancy way to say “How we did this.”
We wanted to get a bird’s eye view of how the industry evolved this year. So we took a look at 2022, to see how people actually used our platform for their display ad designs. This gave us an understanding of where advertisers are putting their best efforts nowadays when it comes to campaigns.
Internally, we looked at statistical data from more than 3 million display designs. It’s easy to get lost in data, so we wanted to make sure our research is as laser-focused as humanly possible. To this end, we analyzed four large verticals and their adjacent subcategories:
- Types of ad design
- Display ad sizes (static, animated, and video-only)
- Formats for download
In a rush? Jump to the category you’re most interested in, here:
- Most Popular Types of Designs for Display Ads
- Most Popular Display Ad Sizes
- Most Popular Fonts
- Most Popular Formats for Download
- 63% of the designs are (drum roll) animated
- 300×250 and 728×90 are the two most popular display ad sizes
- Roboto remained the most popular font
- JPG is still the most in-demand download format, but HTML came in on the same spot, showing a boost in popularity
Knowing what type of display ads people used most in 2022 can help you figure out your PPC plan for 2023, so we thought this would be one of the most important metrics to look at.
And oh, data did not disappoint.
Out of the pieces of meta data in 3+ million designs we looked at, more than 2.3 million designs made in 2022 were animated. Percentile-wise, that means 63% of all display ad designs in 2022 were animated.
This goes to show that the growing popularity of attention-grabbing content is not a fad, but here to stay. We’ve been seeing it since before 2020, and judging by the current data, it’s likely that engaging content is here to stay.
Static images were still quite popular, with 35% of display designs (more than 1.3 million) falling into this category.
Display ad sizes can feel like an impossible maze to navigate, but we wanted to see if there’s a pattern in the ad sizes that people prefer.
As it turns out, the tides of ad sizes have changed a bit since 2021. While last year the Large Rectangle (336×280) size dominated the general ad size landscape, in 2022, 300×250 took its place. Interestingly, the Large Rectangle ad size couldn’t be found anywhere in the Top 5 ad sizes used this year.
Although this top of the most popular ad sizes might seem random, there’s logic behind these choices. Both the 336X280 and the 300X250 ad sizes are effective. However, the latter has a large inventory available, can be displayed on both mobile and desktop devices, and tends to perform well within text content or at the end of an article.
This is not entirely true with the 336X280 ad size. Although efficient in many ways, this ad size is too large for mobile devices – so moving away from it (in terms of popularity) might signal that more advertisers are focused on making sure their ads can be displayed on both mobile and desktop.
As pointed before, animated ads gained a lot of traction in 2022 — and with good reason. Animations capture attention faster, engage customers, look more modern on any device, and are easier to customize (especially as compared to static pictures.)
The most popular animated ad size was 300×250 — taking the same first place that it did for static ads. Following it, we saw the 728×90, 300×600, 160×600, and 320×50 options ranking in the top most commonly used animated ad sizes.
Of all the categories we looked at in the 2022 display ad analysis, animated ad sizes showed the least changes in terms of popularity — the top looks pretty much the same as it did last year.
Among static ad sizes, the 300×250 size was the clear winner in 2022 — taking the first place, followed by 728×90, 300×600, 320×50, and 160×600. In 2021, the same category pointed towards 336×280 as being the most popular ad size (with this year’s winner in second place.)
Things didn’t change much in the video ad sizes category either. The top 3 most popular video ad sizes in 2022 are pretty much the same as they were in 2021: 300×250, 300×600, and 728×90. Interestingly, however, the percentages changed (quite drastically so.) If in 2021 only very few video ad designs used the 300×250 video ad size, in 2022, the same ad size was used by 36% of the video ad designs.
The subsequent contenders in the Top 3 ad sizes used in 2022 (300×600 and 728×90) dropped in popularity.
The fourth and fifth most commonly used video ad sizes changed in 2022. If in 2021 these spots were taken by the 336x 280 and 160×600 sizes, in 2022 they were replaced by the 160×600 and 970×250 ad sizes (in fourth and fifth place.)
Fonts are a tricky little thing. They might seem like a minor detail, but they can have a huge impact on the quality of your design, as well as the results it drives.
Luckily for those of you in love with Roboto, not much has changed since 2021. In other words, Roboto remained the most popular font (which makes a lot of sense, given that this font seems to be… universal.)
In fact, the Top 3 most popular fonts didn’t change much, as Poppins and Montserrat still rank as the second and third most common ones. More even, the fifth most popular font didn’t change in 2022 either, as Roboto Condensed maintained its place.
Place #4 and #6 have seen some changes in the last year, however. While in 2021 these spots were taken by Lato and Roboto Condensed, in 2022, Lato fell to sixth place and was replaced by a newcomer in the top: Open Sans.
Everyone has their own opinions on fonts, but the fact remains: the world of ad fonts has changed quite a lot since 2018, when we first started running these studies. Back then, Gotham, Myriad Pro, and Helvetica Neue LT Std were all the rage — so we cannot help but wonder what will happen with Roboto, Lato, and the other top favorites we’ve seen in 2022 designs.
Times New Roman Comic Sans is really making a comeback? Brr. OK, we’re gonna stop it with the scary stories now.
You are what you download — or at least that’s the case when it comes to creatives.
In 2022, JPG ruled supreme — which is probably not a shocker for most of us. To be more specific, this year, 32% of the downloads were made in this display ad file format, showing a pretty significant increase in popularity. This makes JPG the undisputed winner of our analysis.
There’s more to our format download analysis, though. In 2022, HTML ads grew in popularity, as more than one-third (32%) of downloads were made in this format. This might mean that the demand for HTML ads is growing (which is also in line with the interactive ad trend we’ve been noticing in the Type of Ads section mentioned above.)
The third place on the formats download top was taken by GIFs, a change from the MP4 file format that ranked in the same spot last year. PNGs, MP4s, and AMPs ranked in the fourth, fifth, sixth, and seventh places.
Instead of a Conclusion
Trends come and go, or as a famous saying goes, “the more things change, the more they stay the same.” Ad trends are no different, regardless of whether you look at ad sizes, display ad templates, or fonts. In fact, in many instances, trends are set by brands – like in the case of color combinations, for example.
While there have been some changes since 2021, we can’t say much has rocked our world, which is actually good news: it means the design world is going steady on its choices and not taking too many risks.
It makes sense, right? The world’s been quite crazy lately, so it’s comforting to know at least some of the ads on the internet look roughly the same. We’ve definitely got more interactivity with HTML and animated ads growing in popularity, but that’s something we can all celebrate! Other than that, the boat is sailing steadily.
For the largest part.
Which, knowing how things in the creative world work, means we should expect some pretty drastic changes over the course of 2022 and 2023, as more people get bored with old choices and creatives have to come up with new ones. The Rise of Gen Z as a buying power is also likely to influence the display marketing trends we see over the next 12 months, so stick around to see how it all unfolds.
And if all else fails, remember: Roboto will save the day. At least for now.
But then again, that’s probably not news to anyone. 🤷