Using Non-traditional Ad Sizes in Display Campaigns

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If you’ve ever run an online display campaign, there’s a pretty good chance you’re familiar with these classic ad sizes: leaderboard, medium rectangle, and the wide skyscraper ads. These are the most popular ad sizes on the internet. We see them just about everywhere we go online and there’s a lot of inventory available for advertisers buying these ad spaces.

Have you ever considered running non-traditional ad sizes? At, we offer just about every ad size on the planet along with a tool that creates them. We also have some data on what’s working and what isn’t.


If you’re running an ad campaign and expect to fulfill say, a couple hundred impressions or more, you’d better include the classic ad sizes because there probably won’t be enough non-traditional ad space available. In other words, it’s not a good idea to move to a completely non-traditional strategy, but you could supplement your campaign with some of the non-traditional ad sizes – especially if your goals involve increasing CTR or lowing costs.


Because there’s less inventory, and because it costs time and money to create ads in multiple sizes, most advertisers won’t take the time to go after those less popular ad sizes. That means that there’s less competition for the ads that are available. If you take the time to create your ad in sizes that aren’t as competitive, your ad stands to dominate for those visitors that do run across it.


Less competition means that fewer advertisers are bidding for non-traditional ad space. If your goal is a lower CPM or you want to over deliver on your budget, consider using these. Bids for these ad sizes run about half those of traditional ad sizes:

    • 120×600 Skyscraper (desktop)

    • 180×150 Small Rectangle (desktop)

    • 200×200 Small Square AKA Avatar Square (desktop)

    • 300×100 3:1 Rectangle (desktop)

    • 468×60 Full Banner (desktop)

    • 250×250 Square Pop-up (desktop)


Sometimes you pay for more real estate. These two ads take up more space on the user’s screen and run about one and a half to two times what traditional ads cost.

    • 300×600 Half Page (desktop)
    • 320×480 Full Page Interstitial (mobile)


If you’ve ever heard me talk about measuring targeted display, you already know that I don’t believe that click-through-rate (CTR) is the metric that determines if an ad campaign is performing well or not. That said, it’s a metric that advertisers rely on and CTR can be used as a “success indicator.” So if CTR is your goal, leverage what has learned about the following ads. These sizes tend to get a lower than average CTR.

    • 300×600 Half Page (desktop)
    • 336×280 Large Rectangle (desktop)
    • 120×600 Skyscraper (desktop)
    • 468×60 Full Banner (desktop)


In our tests, we’ve discovered that these non-traditional ad sizes can get better than average CTR, especially the tablet ads which we’ve seen get three and four times higher CTRs than traditional ad sizes.

    • 300×100 3:1 Rectangle (desktop)

    • 320×480 Full Page Interstitial (mobile)

    • 768×1024 Tablet Vertical Welcome Mat or Interstitial (tablet)

    • 1024×768 Tablet Horizontal Welcome Mat or Interstitial (tablet)


Depends on your goal. Do you want to spend less for more impressions? Do you want higher CTRs? Do you want to take advantage of more screen space on users’ desktops and mobile devices? Hopefully these ideas will point you in the right direction.