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How rich media works

What is rich media?

Rich media is a digital advertising term for an ad that includes advanced features like video, audio, or other elements that encourage viewers to interact and engage with the content.

While text ads sell with words, and display ads sell with pictures, rich media ads offer more ways to involve an audience with an ad. The ad can expand, float, etc. You can access aggregated metrics on your audience's behavior, including number of expansions, multiple exits, and video completions to get granular data on the success of your campaign.

Rich media lets agencies create complex ads that can elicit strong user response. Using HTML5 technology, the ads can include multiple levels of content in one placement: videos, games, tweets from an ad, etc. If you have a simple objective to generate clicks or a more ambitious goal to create brand awareness, rich media is the format to go with.

Rich media creative types

DoubleClick Studio supports different creative types to display rich media ads in different ways on a target website. Creative types—or formats—include both single asset types (like expanding) and dual asset types (like banner with floating). The creative type is assigned when a designer creates a creative in DoubleClick Studio.

Visit the Rich Media Gallery to see real creatives of each type.


A creative that expands beyond its initial pixel dimensions. Expansion can take place after a user interacts (for example, by click, tap, or mouse-over) or automatically when the page loads (auto-expand). Can be customized to expand in any direction, shape, or effect and to collapse on user interaction, automatically on mouse-out, or based on a timer. See also multi-directional expanding below.

Expanding creatives expand over page or in-app content by default, but you can also enable them to push content down on a page (see push-down, below).

Image of a collapsed banner ad across the top of a web page   Imaged of an ad expanded over top part of page content

An expanding creative is an ad with two sizes, an initial collapsed size blue letter a and an expanded size blue letter b.

View sample expanding creatives


A creative that either floats on top of a page's content or appears as a fullscreen ad during natural transition points in mobile apps, such as during launch, loading, and video pre-roll. Interstitial creatives served on web pages can move with content or maintain a locked position as a user scrolls. The "Locked" option is enabled at the trafficking stage.

Illustration of an interstitial ad on a fake website

View sample interstitial creatives


A creative with a fixed size that is in a fixed position on a web page or in a mobile app. Banner creatives typically include video assets and polite download technology, which waits for the web page to completely load before loading the creative.

Image of a static in-page ad placed in page content, right side center

View sample banner creatives

Banner with floating

A banner creative and an interstitial creative displayed at the same time.

Image of two ad assets: one that floats over content and one that

View sample banner with floating creatives

Multi-directional expanding (MDE)

A creative that expands in multiple directions, depending on where the ad appears in the page. For example, when the ad is on the left side of the page, it will automatically detect its location and expand to the right. If the same ad is served on the right side of the page, it will expand to the left.


2 expanding ad images, one on left with inpage ad that expands right, and one on right with inpage ad that expands left

blue letter a Expand right    small green letter b Expand left

View a sample multi-directional expanding creative

Multi-floating interstitial

Multiple interstitial creatives (a maximum of four) that work as a single creative delivery, commonly to border or surround a page's content. Like an ordinary interstitial creative, this creative can move with content or maintain a locked position on a page as a user scrolls.

View sample multi-floating creatives

This format isn't available when you push from DoubleClick Studio to DFP.

An expanding creative that pushes down the content of a webpage when the creative expands, moving the web page out of the way to display the ad. If the push-down is frequency capped (a user can only see it auto-expand a certain number of times during a given period), then you must build both a user-initiated expanding version and an auto-expanding version. You must also select a setting for this option in the trafficking stage.

Stylized image of a push-down ad: green rectangle entire page of content

View sample push-down creatives

Stylized image of a push-down ad: green rectangle entire page of content

A Peel-down creative is a type of expanding ad that shows a glimpse of an ad in the corner of a web page. When the user interacts with the creative, the rest of the ad appears to peel down to reveal the full message.


Video(s) can be included in all other formats. See VPAID below to learn about ads that are displayed within or alongside publisher video content instead.


VPAID stands for Video Player-Ad Interface Definition. A VPAID creative is displayed in an a publisher's in-stream video player (like the YouTube player), and typically includes video content. Studio supports VPAID linear creatives, which appear before, between or after the publisher's video, and fill the entire video player.

View sample VPAID creatives


Availability of creative types may vary, depending on your level of support.

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