Top-6 Most Common Programmatic Advertising Types and Formats

May 18, 2023

During the last decade, the whole marketing industry got changed by programmatic advertising. Programmatic ads appeared in every classic format, making them more efficient and purpose-dedicated. The range of programmatic ad types is extensive, and it keeps growing. Check out this guide to learn the most popular ones and structure the knowledge about them. We will explain where these formats fit and how to involve them in your advertising campaigns effectively.

Table of Contents

Display ads [Banners]

Almost any visual advertisement can be called a display ad. You may also know and use it as a banner type. Regularly it frames the content on the web page and can be located on any side, at the top and bottom of the page. That is why they are called banners. Display ads may be static without animation or include a dynamic GIF or HTML5, an audio file, or any other content type. They create revenue from clicks and impressions.

The specific feature of programmatic display ads is that they exist only in the banner format. Buyers and sellers trade them via the Real-Time Bidding (RTB) system. The cost depends on the chosen website and the size of the ad.

The most efficient way to use banners is to make them personalized and choose websites with closely related topics for ad placement. For example, you can promote a coffee shop on a website dedicated to desserts, or offer your cyber protection programs on the page with hardware, etc. It is a classic advertising strategy that can guarantee your audience increases.


  • Easy to design and cost-effective


  • Not original and might not be recognizable enough

Video Ads

Watching videos has become a daily habit for most internet users during the last five years. In 2022, almost 82% of internet traffic consisted of online videos.

Most videos on the market appear on ad-supported video-on-demand platforms or AVOD. Their users access the content after watching short promotional videos. Advertisers are actively using this instrument to promote their products: it is expected that the revenue of AVOD platforms will grow to 31 billion dollars by 2027, according to research by Statista.

Videos are the most tempting content type that attracts customers with guaranteed efficiency. They help to deliver promotions quickly and memorably in just a few seconds. A video ad can exist in various forms.


  • Attractive and engaging


  • Production might be lengthy and expensive

Audio Ads

Audio ads are the least intrusive of all types. More than 39 million people listen to podcasts in the UK, and you can reach almost any audience this way. You can efficiently get those busy people who only have a little time on scrolling social media but use streaming platforms while on the road, etc. You don’t need their screens to get heard.

Besides their popularity, audio ads still provide new experiences to customers and engage a precisely targeted audience with a 71% brand recall rate, according to Nielsen research. They are in podcasts, radio, audio articles, and music streaming services.

Programmatic audio allows you to use the same targeting algorithms for display or video ads. Your ads can match the user’s location, weather, and music genre. You can even check your advertising to playlists with certain moods or podcasts with specific topics. Geo-based, contextual, and technological targeting mechanisms are also available.


  • Sound naturally
  • Non-intrusively for listeners


  • Only fit some categories of products

Native Ads

Native advertising is not new in online ads, but programmatic technologies make it revolutionary. Regular native ads match the website’s form and content where they appear.

A classic example of native video is YouTube recommendations. Native ads can also appear in articles non-intrusively, between paragraphs.
Programmatic native ads make them more efficient by automating buying advertising space. Algorithms decide which ads to buy and how much they should cost. Compared to regular native ads, programmatic ones save time and make ads more customized and audience-fitting.

Programmatic native advertisement helps to make ads look natural. When AI and automation come into the game, the efficiency of ads grows compared to regular native ads. This algorithm also allows ad creators to save on publishing a lot.

Two sides agree on the impression price before an ad appears on the website, and all impressions are guaranteed. It is considered more efficient than banner ads and fits the mobile format fantastically.


  • Guaranteed efficiency
  • Format flexibility


  • Only a few types of ads to choose from

Rich Media

The Rich Media Ads are interactive objects that make contact with users via videos, audio files, images, and other instruments (even flash games might be there!). The best thing about them is their versatility. Rich media ads are created via HTML5 and JavaScript, making them quickly adaptable to different screen sizes, operational systems, and other technical requirements.

Rich media helps stand out from the regular pictures and text banners with animation and interactive formats. Another important thing about them is that they are measurable and data-saving. Rich media ads provide information about views, clicks, and other interactions. In general, using them will make your promotional campaigns richer.


  • Noticeable and memorable due to the interactive format


  • Difficult to create and requires long preparations

Digital Out-of-Home Ads [DOOH]

In addition to the above, let’s look at the new trend in programmatic advertising that reshapes classic advertising campaigns ー digital-out-of-home ads [DOOH]. Traditional out-of-home advertising is the oldest type described today. It involves all promotional content you can find on the streets. It can be a banner, a billboard, an audio ad in a shop, or a company promoter at the shopping center, and these are only part of the range. Technological development enriched these kinds of ads and opened new opportunities and formats.
Digital OOH ads add action to static banners and make them more attractive. While customers are blind to regular out-of-home advertisements, they are still attentive to bright, moving pictures. DOOH ad formats are the same as for usual out-of-home kinds. They can be large billboards, medium street place-based media, or small screens in shops.
Out-home ads have become annoying in recent years, but programmatic eliminates this problem. It helps brands to place their advertising in the most fitting spots where the audience will notice them better. Now your ads will not be seen by some people randomly but by certain shop visitors most interested in your offer.


  • More efficient than a standard OOH advertising campaign


  • A regular and intrusive kind of advertisement, which makes it unnoticeable

What’s Next?

We have described various programmatic ad types. They frequently work like improved classic advertising formats. We suggest you include programmatic technologies in your regular advertisements, track your progress, or experiment with entirely new ones.

It can be challenging to create an effective advertising campaign and choose the right type and format of advertising. If you want to help create an ideal media plan, don’t hesitate to contact us. BidsCube specialist will provide you with the best solution!


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