The 5 IAB Display Rising Star Ads
6 minutes read

Some might say that display advertising is a limited industry. You can’t be very creative and also you can’t do campaigns like you could do on social media or big projects like you are doing with content marketing.

A lot of marketers, advertisers, publishers and even designers are struggling with the limitation of the rectangle, inserting a lot of information and trying to make it through the banner blindness.

But what if I told you that no one can limit you but yourself?

And that also goes for display advertising.

In the last few months I saw a lot of interesting display advertising campaigns, sharing their drop of creativity that also drives results. Exactly. And guess what? they used banner ads. Also, whether we’re talking about social media or content marketing, if you want to be in front of the right people, at the right time in the right place, your choice should be paid ads.

But what are the best display advertising rules? How can you know more about how to create and launch a display advertising campaign? Which display ad unit works best?

For the learning part, we launched our first dedicated Banner Design Academy last month and we have some aces up our gloves for the near future. So you better stay tuned.

Today I want to show you the 6 display rising stars units presented by IAB.

Here you will learn where these displays will show, what’s their size, what’s the maximum expanded dimensions, if there is an animated/video guideline and other specific notes.

But let’s start with the beginning.

What is IAB:

IAB is an abbreviation from International Advertising Bureau. It’s a United States based advertising business organization that develops industry standards and conducts research along with providing legal support for many different advertising companies.

IAB is involved in educating marketers and media companies about the importance and the value of interactive advertising, recommending ad units and standards, and they also make available critical research on the subject.

According to IAB, the Rising Stars ads attracted gaze at a 63% higher rate than traditional UAP ads, and had 5 times longer total gaze duration. 

They conducted a study using 4 display Rising Star Ad formats. These ad units illustrated a mix of industries and creative executions.

4 Display Rising Star Ad Formats


And they found out that the ad effectiveness draw a higher attention and interest. Exactly! These 2 words that every marketer should consider when launching a display ad campaign. Get the user’s attention and make them interested in your ad.

Also, these ads were more engaging and persuasive. Why? Because they’re a different kind of ads compared to what you already see on the internet so the user gets curious about this new format of content.

But the most interesting thing we should look at it is that about 65% of the respondents think that these Display Rising Stars ads offer more personality to the brand, 64% believe they get them to engage more, 60% give the consumer more control, 60% think they find out more information from these ads, and 58% believe that they are more attractive and entertaining.

Here you can read more about this study.

Are you ready to learn more about the display rising stars ad units? Great. Go grab your coffee and let’s get started:


1. Billboard

Billboar IAB Display Rising Star Ads


This is a brand-centric format that performs well only when it’s placed in a premium position on the top of the web-page or above the main content of the page.

Details about Billboard:

  • Dimensions: 970 x 250
  • Format: Rich Media, Standard Flash, HTML5
  • Frame Rate: Up to 24 fps
  • Bandwidth Detection: Not allowed
  • Maximum Initial File Load Size: 200KB


2. Filmstrip

Filmstrip IAB Display Rising Star Ads


Or other may know it as “Half Page”. This display ad offers a larger space for advertisers to promote their message across and can mean an increased user engagement.  

Google said that 300×600 is one of the fastest growing sizes judging by impressions. Also, it’s recognized by the publishers that it offers a more visual message, a feature preferred by many brands.

Details about Filmstrip:

  • Dimensions: 300 x 600 (viewable in window in which total ad size of 300 x 3000 scrolls (5-300×600 segments)
  • Format: FLA and exported SWF, Flash 9+, AS2 o rAS3
  • Frame Rate: Up to 24 fps
  • Maximum Initial File Load Size: 200KB
  • Animation Time: 15 seconds max


3. Portrait

Portrait IAB Display Rising Star Ads


This ad is a brand-centric format that performs very good when placed in a non-intrusively manner, alongside content on the left or right side of the page

We always recommend our users to try not cover the content with the ad and also think about their customers’ experience on their websites. If the customers are happy, then our user is also happy.

Details about Portrait:

  • Dimensions: 300 x 1050
  • Format: .jpg, MPEG 4 encoded to H.264 (video),
  • Frame Rate: 18 or 24 Frames / secs
  • Maximum Initial File Load Size: 200KB
  • Recommended minimum Image Size: 2048 x 1536 for aspect ratio stage 4:3


4. Pushdown

Pushdown IAB Display Rising Star Ads


Or other may know this format as “large leaderboard”.

The great thing about this format is that it can expand to 970×415 while “politely pushing” all page elements down.  It’s a great ad where you can insert high-definition content such as videos, photos, animations or applications showcase.

Details about Pushdown:

  • Dimensions: 970 x 90 (teaser image) – 970 x 415 (maximum expanded dimensions)
  • Format: .jpg, MPEG 4 encoded to H.264 (video),
  • Frame Rate: 18 or 24 Frames / secs
  • Maximum Initial File Load Size: 200KB


5. Sidekick

Sidekick IAB Display Rising Star Ads


This is an interesting ad with a kick ass name – Sidekick.  It’s an load-in-page display unit that delivers with a call to action. The banner ad appears on the right and is “pushing” the editorial content to the left. No worry, it’s just pushing the content, not popping up on top of it.

The user can engage with all of the interactive content from this banner ad while the content is still visible and fully interactive. But if the user doesn’t want to engage with the banner ad anymore, he can just click the “Close” button.

Details about Sidekick:

  • Dimensions:  300×250 (Additional options include 300×600 and Billboard 970×250)
  • Format:   FLA and exported SWF, Flash 9+, AS2 or AS3
  • Frame Rate: 24 FPS max
  • Load Size: 50KB max (in-page display) and 100KB (sidekick)


6. Slider

Slider IAB Display Rising Star Ads


This format is the floating banner that initially appears at the bottom of the web page. This ad is a very engaging banner ad with an interactive format. The Slide Bar appears anchored to the bottom of the browser window and in front of the publisher’s page content.

When the user is clicking or rolling over, it triggers the publisher’s page to slide to the left, revealing the Slider Content on the right. Quite interesting, right? There is a close button that can bring the publisher’s content to its original position while sliding the Slider Content back to the right.

Details about Slider:

  • Dimensions:  
  1. Slide Bar: width is 100% of the window width
  2. The Slider Bar Active Ad Content width is 950 px (this is the active content area for most publishers)
  3. The Slider Bar height is 90 px (or 50px based on publisher decision)
  4. The Slider Content width is 950 px
  5. The Slider Content height is 550 px aligned to the bottom of the page and is behind the Slider Bar
  • Format: FLA and exported SWF, Flash 9+, AS2 or AS3
  • Frame Rate: 24 FPS max
  • Load Size:
  1. 50KB max (initial banner)
  2. 100KB max (Slide Content)



A lot of marketers think designing banner ads and launching display advertising campaigns is a lot harder than it is in reality. That’s because they don’t try it, test it and experiment it.

I believe in the power of experiment marketing so this is why today’s modern marketers should experiment more. My recommendation for you is to design a banner ad, launch a display ad campaign, optimize it and make the best of it.

Now back to you, which one of these 6 Display Rising Stars would suit your brand strategy and why? Let me know in a comment!

Robert Katai
Robert Katai is the Product Marketing Specialist at Creatopy. His work was featured on Adweek, Entrepreneur, Marketing Profs, Content Marketing Institute and other places.

1 Comment

  1. Best practice is to follow the data. When you have the resources, I propose creating 3-5 variations of the message in every size. Start there with 20+ banners and within $10K spend (data) your top performers will be 5X as effective as your bottom. I help brands do this through my boutique trade desk, BlanketTheWeb(dot)com.

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