Rich Media Ads: 18 Examples that Grab Your Attention

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Rich media ads can be created in a variety of formats and some are more captivating and effective than others. Use these 18 award-winning examples as inspiration for your next rich media ad campaign!

1. Bates Motel (A&E)

In order to promote season 3 of Bates Motel, A&E got creative and utilized a new medium for their rich media ads. They used over 100 different cameras to capture Norma and Norman’s Season 3 transformation in 360°. The ad demanded attention as it jumped out of the banner and into the center of the computer screen in a visually interesting way.

As a result of this unique ad campaign, A&E saw a 49% jump in new viewers for the premiere that had not tuned into A&E in the month prior. The premiere also became the #1 cable show on TV that night at 9pm.  

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2. Trolls

DreamWorks aimed to do something different to generate buzz around the release of the Trolls movie. A total of over 550 ads were launched which varied by medium across 36 different global markets. DreamWorks turned to the art of the website takeover as their primary promotional creative. These brightly colored rich media ads captivated audience attention and proved to be effective as the film grossed $346 million worldwide.

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3. Intel

Intel aimed to demonstrate their new sleek laptop in a way that enticed their busy customers to try it out. They implemented the use of 3D technology to allow the user to see for themselves how thin the product was. They also used 360° video in their ad campaign with hotspots that showed users the differences between their product offerings.

Through this rich media campaign, Intel was able to drive brand engagement and achieved over 35,000 hours of content exposure and 413,000 consumer visits to the site.

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4. Narcos (Netflix)

Netflix turned to interactive ad technology for their award-winning Narcos release campaign. They used many forms of digital media to promote the release of the new show, but the most innovative rich media ad that they implemented was the “blow-activated” ad unit.

As shown above, this ad was able to detect a blow into the phone’s microphone after which a hidden animation would be revealed. This campaign had over 100 rich media ad variations and proved to be successful as Narcos was immediately picked up for a second season.

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5. Sally Hansen

In order to provide customers with the best brand experience possible, Sally Hansen wanted to allow consumers to virtually try-on their different Miracle Gel polish colors within their banner ads.

These ads utilized AR technology and allowed each user to use their phone’s camera to try on different nail polish colors in real time. This ad campaign incentivized users to interact with Sally Hansen’s rich media AR ads which resulted in a high CTR of 0.08%.

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6. Impractical Jokers x Travelocity

TruTV’s popular show Impractical Jokers teamed up with Travelocity for a unique spin on the usual show. In order to promote the show during the popular spring break time frame, TruTV created original content featuring the Travelocity gnome on a trip to Vegas.

This special edition video clip featured the show’s typical comedy antics while also focusing on the Travelocity brand. This was a seamless rich media ad campaign that creatively cross-promoted both brands with the production of customized Impractical Jokers content.

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7. Harley Davidson

With the mission to introduce a new product line in an innovative way, Harley Davidson implemented interactive ads that walked consumers through their new models. These ads were run on Hulu as 30-second experiences during commercial breaks.

Instead of passively viewing a Hulu ad, users were invited to explore the different Softail motorcycle models within the commercial experience. Users were able to learn as much as they desired about each bike before either clicking out, or visiting the website to learn more. This campaign was wildly successful–earning a 9.9% mobile CTR.

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8. Sonic

Last year, Sonic wanted to promote a summer deal that offered half-price shakes and ice cream slushes after 8PM. To raise awareness around this deal, Sonic created rich media ads that would captivate users in a way that would last longer than a second.

To do this, Sonic first used bright pops of color to pull the user in where they would then see the neon colored countdown to 8PM. The countdown was live and provided the exact amount of time until the special half-off deal at 8PM. The interactive ad also featured a “find my Sonic” button so that the user could also know exactly where to head after viewing the ad.

This Sonic campaign earned an extremely high CTR of 6.6% and an average engagement time of 50 seconds.

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9. Infiniti

The phrase “Experience Infiniti” was brought to life when Infiniti launched 360° rich media ads that allowed users to test drive their cars online. These ads were run as banners across the internet so that anyone could have the chance to experience Infiniti.

The 360° video put users in the driver’s seat as they sped through various places with different kinds of exciting terrain. The ad simulated an experience that a user might not ever get to have organically–but one that can be crucial when purchasing a car. This campaign saw record engagement and inspired future brand campaigns.

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10. Mike’s Harder Lemonade

In order to expand the brand spread the word about Mike’s Harder Lemonade, Mike’s ran an ad campaign that challenged people to be “harder.”

They created a rich media experience based on a popular carnival game to entice users to interact with the ad. Only those who were able to make it through all of the rounds of this game were considered worthy of the “harder” lemonade.  

Users spent an average of 75 seconds interacting with the ad unit, and purchase intent for Mike’s Harder Lemonade went up by 53%.

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11. Truth

To further their mission to talk to teens about Tobacco use, Truth launched an ad campaign that warned people about #CATMageddon. This campaign was based on the principle that second-hand smoke can lead to cancer in cats which puts their lives at risk.

If cat’s lives are at risks, then popular cat videos will no longer be in existence.

This quirky yet realistic idea combined with rich media creative led to an award-winning ad campaign. These banners were interactive and allowed the user to upload pictures of their own cats to spread the word about the potential tobacco risk.

Users spent an average of 58 seconds interacting with the ad and about 4.4% of users shared their creations on social media. Both the engagement time and the ad’s reach drastically surpassed benchmarks– making it one of the best rich media ads of 2017.

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12. Takis

Takis aimed to reach their younger audience in a relatable way so they turned to 3D and 360° mediums to launch a hip, new campaign. The first ad unit featured the brightly-colored Takis chip bag in 3D. Users could interact with the 3D image before clicking on the ad to see the other creatives.

360° video was used for the other two ads: a dance battle and an interactive game. The Dance Battle featured high schoolers who represented each chip flavor through different dance styles in a 360° video. The interactive 360° game allowed users to search for hidden bags of Takis chips in a 360° video.

The campaign proved to be successful as the 3D experience boasted a 7.7% engagement rate and the unit CTR’s surpassed industry benchmarks.

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13. California Milk Advisory Board

The California Milk Advisory Board (CMAB) needed to be sure that their logo was recognizable and memorable so that consumers would remember to take special consideration at grocery stores.

To do this, CMAB upgraded their traditional logo and launched an interactive campaign that allowed users to “moove” the cow on the logo back to reveal more information about their dairy products. This interactive and educational ad received a CTR of 16%–making it one of the most successful ad campaigns of 2014.

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14. Mission Impossible

Paramount aimed to deliver ad creative that jumped off of mobile phones in the same exciting way that Ethan Hunt jumps out of helicopters. The MI6 display ad invites the user into an interactive 360° experience where they can follow Hunt throughout the highlights of his mission from the movie.

Not only did this ad successfully promote the upcoming movie, but it also provided users with an exclusively immersive Mission Impossible experience.

Ultimately, this unique and interactive ad creative earned a 12.3X uplift in CTR relative to a standard 2D display.

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15. Virgin Mobile

In an attempt to stand out, Virgin Mobile implemented a new kind of interactive ad that used face and blink recognition to play the ad. Once the user allowed webcam access, the ad was able to detect whether or not the user was engaged.

This unique technology compelled users to spend a significant amount of time engaging with the ad, making it an extremely successful rich media launch for Virgin Mobile.

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16. ESPN

To promote NBA coverage on ESPN, ABC and ESPN launched a digital ad campaign that kept up with popular game-time scores. This turned what would normally be an obnoxious display ad into a helpful widget that allowed users to keep up with NBA games while they were surfing the web.

This was a relatively new technology at the time of its release in 2013-2014 and it proved to be a huge success. The 2013 NBA Christmas tripleheader was ESPN’s most-watched and highest-rated Christmas tripleheader ever.

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17. Ikea

Ikea developed an interactive ad that perfectly summed up their brand message. What better way to advertise a ready-to-assemble furniture company than to have the customer virtually assemble furniture?

It starts as the user is prompted to click on the box which will open to a piece of paper with instructions. The instructions will tell the user exactly how to easily assemble the virtual bedframe. Then, the user will be prompted with a message that says that Ikea will do the rest at a discounted rate.

The effectiveness of this ad was entirely due to the creative rich media that allowed users to get an early taste of the brand experience.

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18. Probiotic Pearls

To educate the masses about probiotics and why they’re necessary– Probiotic Pearls went to work with their new brand ambassador, Scuba Steve. This tiny pearl character was easily recognizable in stores and was clearly very different from the brand messaging of other competitors.

This quickly set Probiotic Pearls apart as their product was top of mind and packed with educational information. Scuba Steve swiftly became a rich media ad success!

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