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Responsive display ads: key benefits, ideas, and examples

Back in the Stone Age of advertising, big brands—with their equally big budgets—could easily tap into the wide reach offered by traditional media. Small or medium-sized businesses, though? Not so much.

Luckily, a digital world means big change for marketers—and businesses of all shapes and sizes. Here's how the rise of digital display advertising has created a more level playing field for SMB brands.

What exactly is digital display advertising?

You've already seen digital display advertising in action: It's nearly everywhere you look online. And there's a wide variety of formats to choose from to fit any marketing goal—whether that's traffic, awareness, consideration, purchase intent, or conversion.

At its most basic level, a digital display ad is a simple, static image that links to a URL. But these days, many digital display ads make full use of rich media—text, images, audio, and video—to create compelling messages that speak directly to your target audience.

The most common types of digital display ads include the banner ads that adorn many websites. These range from leaderboard units to the ubiquitous MPUs (or the 300x250, as they're commonly called) to skyscraper (or vertical) ads. Display ads can also be interactive, such as the interactive item cards and call-to-action (CTA) ads listeners see on Spotify.

Responsive display ads: One size fits all (screens, that is)

Today's world is on the move, and that means your digital display ad will be viewed on a variety of devices. Sounds problematic, but with responsive ads, the situation's under control.

So, what's a key benefit of responsive display ads? Put simply, they fluidly adjust themselves—size, appearance, and format—to fit any screen. This means a seamless ad experience for anyone viewing your campaigns.

Reap the benefits of digital display ads

Remember that level playing field? These days, there's no need for SMBs to have a massive ad budget to reap the same high-end benefits that big-name advertisers saw in the olden (but not-quite-golden) days of advertising.

With the right digital display advertising strategy, including responsive digital ads, here's what SMBs can accomplish:

Increased reach. The ability to set precise targeting parameters gives you the potential to reach more of your ideal market.

Fine-tuned targeting. With today's spot-on targeting tools, you can develop laser-focused campaigns to help you reach your audience, wherever they are online.

Better brand awareness. Marketers around the world list brand awareness as their top priority.1 Digital display ads are an efficient way to drive this awareness.

More established brand identity. Digital display ads are also the perfect vehicle for emphasizing that special something that sets your business apart.

Ease of measurement. Unlike more traditional ads, you have access to key metrics to not only track your current campaign's success, but also give you the data you need to build on for future campaigns.

No ad creation experience? No problem

You can always use your own creative for your campaigns—but help is available if you need it. Spotify Ad Studio, for example, gives you display advertising services and tools to create and manage your digital advertising campaigns, including free creative and voiceover services that bring your audio scripts to life.

Interactivity with CTA cards

It's no secret that Spotify listeners are an engaged and attentive audience, whether they're streaming music or podcasts.2 But isn't it tricky to convert during those screenless listening moments?

Not with Spotify's newest ad format, CTA cards. These eye-catching visual cues accompany your digital audio ad to bring interactivity to the Spotify streaming experience.

Powered by Spotify's Streaming Ad Insertion (SAI) tech, CTA cards show up on screen while your audio ad is playing and again after listeners have heard it. This feature allows listeners to tap on the CTA and journey to wherever you're sending them—either in the moment, or later on.

Get inspired

Want more inspiration? Read more about the different types of advertising or read on about five Spotify advertisers who created digital display ads to strengthen their audio advertising campaigns and achieve great results.

#1 BNP Paribas

With Ad Studio's targeting tools, BNP Paribas developed targeted creative assets with CTAs driving clicks directly to each new installment of its podcast, We Love Cinema!

The results? 1.3M impressions and more than 7,500 conversions to the podcast.

#2 Neutrogena

Neutrogena worked with Ad Studio to create upbeat digital audio and display ads that resonated with its target audience.

The results? +12 point increase in brand awareness and +13 point increase in purchase intent.

#3 Baskin-Robbins

Using Ad Studio, Baskin-Robbins created display ads to drive listeners in-store to experience the brand's two new summer drinks, Sundae Shakes and Ice Cream Lattes.

The results? 430K in-store visits, marking a 12% lift—over 4x above the Placed QSR benchmark.

#4 ESPA Skincare

ESPA Skincare turned to Ad Studio to promote its new product line and drive sales using a unique promo code.

The result? A clickthrough rate of 0.38%, exceeding Spotify's UK audio benchmark of 0.06%.


Global brand GROHE used Ad Studio's free creative tools and voiceover services to create awareness for its customer cashback program.

The results? 1.3M impressions and a 0.53% clickthrough rate.

Inspired to do the same with your SMB brand?

Find out how you can use Ad Studio's free creative tools and services to advertise on Spotify.


  1. The State of Content Marketing 2022 Global Report, Semrush

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