“Banner” is a word you hear a lot once you step into the world of digital advertising. After all, banners are still one of the most popular ways for advertisers to showcase their brand online.
Although you can see them basically anywhere – from websites to mobile apps – not all banners are created equal. Therefore, understanding the different standard banner sizes and their purpose is key for advertisers looking to maximize their campaign results.
To give you a better idea of the latest banner usage numbers and their performance for web, mobile, in-game, and DOOH, we looked at our internal data from thousands of campaigns and almost 4,5 billion ad opportunities.
Whether you're a marketer, a business owner, or simply curious about online advertising, this post will provide valuable insights into standard ad banner sizes and how well they work.
Banner ads are static or animated images shown alongside website or app content, usually promoting a brand, its products, or services.
The primary purpose of the banner ad is to sell, drive traffic to the advertiser’s digital channels (website, social media, etc.), raise brand awareness, and similar – it can vary depending on the specific campaign goals.
Put simply, it’s just like billboards or vinyl banners you see while walking in the city but in the digital environment.
Therefore, banner ads are typically placed in high-traffic places on the publisher’s page or app where visitors have a higher chance of noticing them.
Banner ads are still one of the oldest and most commonly used forms of digital advertising. Even though new online ads and advertising formats continue to emerge, banner ads remain among the most reliable ways to advertise.
In fact, the latest statistics show that global digital banner advertising spending stood at $66.53B in 2022 and is expected to grow to $69.59B by the end of 2023. Moreover, the figure is projected to increase annually at a growth rate of 4.6% until 2028 and exceed US$87B.
The success of an advertising campaign can highly depend on the banner sizes you choose (most of them are meant for particular screens or environments), so it’s essential to carefully think them through before launching your ads.
Since ad slots on different websites have dimensions (you obviously can’t just take as much space as you want with your banner ad), it’s important to respect those dimensions and, for your own good, use standard banner ad sizes. These are provided by Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB).
The ad size is not only crucial for visibility but can also impact the delivery of your intended message.
As you can see from the IAB recommendations, there are quite a few different banner sizes that you can choose for your advertising campaigns. It all comes down to specific website requirements, the content of your ad, or your campaign goals.
The sizes mentioned above are some of the most commonly used ones. But which of them shows the best results?
We at Eskimi wanted to dive a bit deeper and analyze the performance of each, splitting banner ads that advertisers use into several different categories – or what to consider if you focus mainly on desktop, mobile, in-game, or DOOH campaigns.
We pulled our internal data from nearly 4,5 billion ad opportunities on millions of sites and apps and identified the top-performing and most frequently used banner ad sizes.
Here are the results.
Static banners are ad format that doesn’t contain any moving elements. Those are still images that can consist of fixed graphics, texts, and/or calls to action.
They come in various shapes and sizes, including rectangles, squares, and leaderboards. They can appear basically on any channel as it’s a universal format that has been used for many years already.
As you can see from Eskimi’s data, advertisers serve their static banner ads in different sizes, although there are two obvious leaders – 300x250 also called Medium Rectangle, and 728X90, known as Leaderboard.
This doesn’t mean, though, that these two sizes should be used by everyone from now on since we already know that it highly depends on several different factors. So before following this blindly, go through your advertising goals again, consider the platform you’re advertising on, the content you want to show, and your target audience.
Once the decision is in place, ensure your banner ads don’t exceed 150 Kb, as it’s the recommended weight for these creatives. However, the smaller, the better – banners below this weight are more likely to load faster.
The data was divided into two categories for mobile devices to better distinguish the best-performing banner sizes for websites and apps.
Turns out, three out of seven banner sizes with the highest global frequency rank at the top 5 for each environment. Those are:
Considering the frequency and performance, those are a good choice if they match your content requirements and campaign goals.
Rich media refers to digital content that incorporates interactive elements such as video, audio, animation, gamification, and other engaging elements. One could say it’s the complete opposite of static banners.
Rich media banner ads can offer advertisers greater creative freedom, allowing them to craft ads that encourage interaction, therefore, can capture and hold viewers’ attention and provide an immersive and dynamic user experience.
The data shows that rich media and static banners are mostly served in the same sizes despite their different natures. Seven out of the ten most popular banner sizes match in both lists.
As for the mobile environments, Medium Rectangle (300x250) seems to be keeping its position as a leader, followed by:
Animated banners can sometimes be confused for rich media, and it’s not surprising – they both contain some kind of movement to grab the viewer's attention.
The key difference between these two is that rich media allows visitors to interact with the ad, slightly changing its appearance (play a game, spin a wheel, answer a question, etc.), while animated banners are more like static banners but with moving elements.
Animated banners, just like other banners, can be created in various sizes and shapes and may include text, images, and elements such as buttons or forms. Compared to static banners, animated banners can contain more information within the same dimensions and make it easier for brands to stand out.
These are the ten most popular animated banner sizes with their performance data served globally on desktop:
Animated banner sizes for mobile don’t differ that much from banners served on desktop – most of them are still used in both environments.
The difference mainly lies in traffic, as it’s clear that sizes that are designed for mobile specifically perform better than those suitable for most devices, e.g., while Leaderboard (728x90) is a common size between display ad units, it gets little traffic on apps as it’s simply not that suitable for this particular environment.
In-game advertising is quickly growing as a new, innovative advertising channel, allowing brands to reach diverse and engaged audiences. Besides, blended in-game ads make it less intrusive than ever, sometimes even enhancing the gaming experience.
In the game environment, ads can appear in different forms, including interstitials that cover the whole screen, rewarded ads, or previously mentioned blended ads that appear in the background of the game.
To get an idea of the top performers, here’s the list of the most popular in-game banners we compiled using our internal data from over 13 million ad opportunities.
DOOH, or Digital Out Of Home, advertising seems to be living its renaissance, which is highly impacted by the expansion of available DOOH screen inventory and the growing adoption of programmatic advertising.
Because of that, more brands can tap into this advertising channel and explore the opportunities it offers.
As for the most common creative sizes for DOOH campaigns, DOOH is more about aspect ratios and resolutions than specific sizes. However, there are also some general recommendations you need to follow, according to Digital Media Institute.
Most DOOH publishers accept a 16:9 aspect ratio, and, like other DOOH formats, it can be rendered in different resolutions from a single creative.
9:16 is basically the same format but in portrait mode, so the dimensions here are inverted:
For some DOOH screens, advertisers should craft a different creative with a 4:3 aspect ratio:
As for the static formats (usually where moving creatives are prohibited, e.g., highways), the resolutions are the same as for video formats, just the file itself should be delivered as an uncompressed JPG:
With all the lists combined, it might seem that brands use many different banner sizes in their campaigns, but the truth is that most of the traffic goes to only 14 of the most commonly used banners.
Let’s learn a bit more about each of them.
Medium Rectangle is a universal banner suitable for both desktop and mobile campaigns. That’s one of the key advantages of 300x250 banner size, making it a versatile option for reaching broader audiences.
You might have also noticed that this particular size leads the pack or ranks second in every list above.
Medium Rectangle typically appears within the content of a web page, as it provides enough space for engaging visuals and a concise message. It usually shows promising results when placed within text content or at the end of articles.
728x90 banner size, also known as Leaderboard, is designed for campaigns focused on the desktop and is often placed at the top of a web page, above the main content. This ensures high visibility, making it more likely to notice by website visitors.
Another reason why Leaderboard is a popular format is its width, as it can accommodate visuals, texts, and other elements that can capture attention and lead to better engagement rates.
As opposed to Leaderboard above, the 320x50 banner size is designed specifically for mobile devices, smartphones, and tablets (hence the name).
Therefore, it’s a good choice if you focus on mobile audiences, as 320x50 is optimized for smaller screens and has high visibility (typically appears at the top or bottom of the screen).
Visually very similar to 320x50 format, this banner size, called Mobile Banner, is also designed specifically for smaller screens.
Being slightly smaller than the Mobile Leaderboard, Mobile Banner can fit in even more compact spaces and also often appears at the top or the bottom of the phone screen.
300x600 banner size, also known as Half Page, is a tall and narrow format commonly used by advertisers who need to showcase more information about a product or service.
Besides allowing for more content to be displayed in the ad, another advantage of this banner size is its placement on the page, which is usually in the sidebar or actual content area. This makes Half Page ads easy to notice, helping advertisers ensure the delivery of their messages to their target audiences.
A banner size 336x280 is known as a Large Rectangle and is another common ad size on the web. It provides enough space for both text and visuals, therefore, advertisers find it fitting for different types of campaigns, including product promotions, brand awareness, or lead generation
Large Rectangle is often placed within the content on the web, making it more likely to be noticed by users.
320x480 banner size, also called Mobile Interstitial, is designed specifically for mobile devices and optimized for vertical orientation. It typically covers the whole screen, making it a format with one of the highest visibilities that is nearly impossible to ignore.
However, this also means that it’s more intrusive, and advertisers should make sure that their Interstitial ads provide value to their audience.
160x600 banner size, also known as Wide Skyscraper, is a tall vertical format commonly placed in the sidebar of web pages.
One of the biggest advantages of Wide Skyscraper is that its size and orientation allow advertisers to display more content in a smaller amount of screen space. It’s also often used in conjunction with other banner sizes (e.g., Leaderboard), which helps to ensure message delivery and increase the reach of an ad campaign.
Large Mobile Banner is designed to fit mobile environments neatly and is often placed at the top or the bottom of a mobile website or app. Compared to other mobile-focused banners, the shape of 320x100 size provides more opportunities for crafting a compelling message.
Large Leaderboard is a very similar format to Leaderboard, just wider, with more space for visuals and texts. The wide format also makes it a good option for displaying images or videos that showcase products or services.
Just like Leaderboard, it’s also designed for desktop mainly and typically appears at the top of the website, allowing it to capture viewers’ attention as soon as they enter.
250x250 is a popular size for online advertising, often used for different devices, websites, or platforms.
The main reason for this is that it’s large enough to fit everything you need, enabling you to convey your message, but not so large that it dominates the page, takes too much space, or annoys visitors.
The previously mentioned Wide Skyscraper banner is a common variation of this particular banner size, 120x600. The only difference between the two is that Skyscraper is a bit narrower, therefore, more compact but provides less space for content.
Despite this, it’s still a good choice for grabbing visitors’ attention as it’s visually striking.
As you can get from the name, Billboard is one of the largest horizontal ad formats, typically displayed at the top or bottom of the webpage.
It’s significantly larger than other standard banner sizes, which makes it perfect for ads that require more content. Advertisers often use Billboard to make a strong visual impact and attract attention, yet it’s important to make it easy to read and not overload with information.
3:1 Rectangle banner has, you guessed it, a rectangular shape and a specific aspect ratio of 3:1, which means that its width is three times bigger than the height.
This banner size is a good compromise between enough space for content and compact size, but it is mainly used for reaching mobile audiences since it can fit in tighter places.
Banners are an inseparable part of digital advertising, and the wide variety that they come in provides advertisers with a bouquet of opportunities to reach their target audiences in ways that best fit the needs of both sides.
Becoming familiar with each banner size's characteristics and when to use them for maximum effectiveness helps you plan your ad campaigns better, leading to better efficiency and results.
You can use the top lists above that we compiled based on Eskimi’s internal data from thousands of ad campaigns as guidance, but always make sure it’s what’s best for particular campaign goals.
And if you need help going further, contact the Eskimi team or book a demo for a smooth start.