Banner ads part two: Banner ads we love

Part one outlined best practices for designing your banner ad. But nothing brings advice alive like examples. That’s what this post is all about. We’ve chosen ads to exemplify one banner ad component, but these are so good they offer more than that. See if you can spot the bonus elements that make the ad excel beyond its category.


Size matters 



House of Cards banner ad

House of Cards' Claire in the seat of power

Who holds the power in these ads? You do, if you choose your sizing wisely. In the world of banner ads, certain sizes outperform others (more below), but it’s all relative to the impact you want to make. Netflix is a master of this. They play with different sizes to appeal to varying demographics by subtly offering different slants on any given show. These House of Cards examples offer two ways of seeing the show. A widescreen banner is simple and democratic, but the square banner below it puts Claire in the seat of power atop the Lincoln Statue.

Bonus element: The examples above are both top-performing banner ad sizes. Below is a graphic of standard sizes. Remember to check with your advertising platform or chosen publisher for their specific requirements.


Sizes of banner ads

Clean fonts

Spotify sings with confidence and versatility. The simple text uses a sans serif font, making messaging clear while being easy on the eyes. This font and its consistent use keeps the focus on the visual message: this company has music for everyone.

Four square Spotify banner ads

Bonus elements: notice the single color that tints each ad for more impact despite its simplicity.


Great images

All these examples feature great images, but the next one is very crisp. Notice how few elements this ad uses, yet how much it says. Proof that less can be more. This telecommunications brand must be visually stunning if it wants to keep viewers tuned in. Their cat might be fuzzy, but their image is clear. Compelling, high resolution images will pull viewers into your call to action.


Telus banner ad with lioness

Bonus element: purple and green colors pull the ad together and keep the brand and its message memorable.


Your branding speaks for itself

This logo is immediately recognizable even if the brand name was left off. Harley-Davidson did all the heavy lifting branding early in their business – now they can leverage their unique elements and the trust they’ve built. Viewers know who this is and what they do by the winged logo and call to the road. But the ad goes further, removing one more barrier to entry: if you can’t ride, we’ll teach you.

Harley Davidson banner ad with open road


Bonus element: a strong call to action, irresistible to the rider in all of us who can’t wait to open the throttle full tilt.


Laser focused

Talk about passing the squint test! Viewers know all key points of this brand and product line in mere seconds. Beyond that, this campaign creates demand. Did you know you needed colorful socks? Bet you do now. The image of dancing feet and socks is too unique to deny. One more smart choice: their call to action offers a gift. All this is done with simplicity and focus: a memorable picture, great header, a clear offer and call to action.

Bonus element: the animated image conveys the main benefit of their product: happiness. Eliciting a response is one of the key things an ad must do. We think this banner ad is just about as perfect as a new pair of socks.



Banner ads can generate sales while showcasing your brand. They can be a creative, cost-effective way to advertise. Now that you know what makes a successful banner ad, you can create your own.

1 Comment

  • Francis Davis on August 16, 2018

    Some of the best ads campaigns are Super Bowl ads and anything Budweiser makes. Also Apple and Samsung always make great ads.

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