Can You Use GIFs in Display Ads?

GIFs are allowed in display campaigns, with a maximum size of 150 KB. There is no mention in the link that gifs are not supported, so they should work with display ads. GIF files are 8-bit, meaning they can only display 256 colors. When you create HTML5 digital ads, you have around 16.7 million colors to choose from.

On the high-end (retina) screens we have today, an 8-bit GIF quickly becomes very boring. Other than that, GIFs cannot respond to different size requirements. While HTML5 ads are designed to adapt, they are created using separate files, allowing them to enter and reduce their size. Creating assets or images with specific sizes can offer more granularity for displaying individual images that you can report on than for responsive search ads. However, there are some specifications for standard image ads in Google Ads.

Acceptable image types include GIF, JPG, and PNG with a maximum size of 150 KB. Please note that sizes vary by pixel and style. Below is an example of a standard square image ad. Static banners are the original format of display advertising and continue to exist today. These ads consist of a single image without audio, video or animation.

Static banners work well for simple, direct messages. JPG, PNG, and GIF files are acceptable formats for static ads. You can upload images using Google's interface tool to scan your website or any corresponding website (such as Facebook pages or Instagram accounts) or upload specific photos you want to display. Technically, GIFs are not videos, but rather a series of still images that are reproduced in a sequence that simulates movement. Whether you're creating a new display campaign or want to re-target users who visited your website before, creating display ads in any capacity is a plus for your overall marketing goals. One thing to consider when designing an animated GIF ad, whether it's selecting the color palette or conceptualizing the text, is the demographics and culture of the target audience.

GIF images work well when the graphic has large areas of uniform color, such as logos and illustrative elements. Chances are you've seen them: Ad banners appear on more than 2 million websites on the Google Display Network alone. Whether it's a carousel of summer dresses or a montage of must-visit places in Istanbul, GIFs have the ability to convey a message more strongly. Animated GIFs comprise a series of images (frames) that are displayed one after the other and thus create the feeling of movement. Display ads, also known as banner ads, appear all over the Internet on websites, social networks, favorite blogs, and more.

Since GIF is an 8-bit format, it works well with images that are composed of a limited number of colors. Here are the different most common banner options available in display advertising, and the pros and cons of each format. Banner ads come in all sizes, as there is no one-size-fits-all formula for all animated GIF ads. This is precisely why familiarizing the audience with subtle GIF banners and gaining their trust, unconsciously reverses their psychology. This is the third and final “lesson” on the differences between flash, static and gif banners.

Karina Mangold
Karina Mangold

Tea ninja. Hipster-friendly coffee practitioner. Hardcore bacon fan. Infuriatingly humble burrito guru. Award-winning bacon aficionado.

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