The end of year is a time of review and reflection. Brands are looking for last-minute tips to boost their digital banner production and drive engagement during the holidays. Top 10 lists are everywhere.  While great for clicks, those listicles often fall short on lasting takeaways.

The best rich media holiday ads in 2016 were guided by a few simple lessons.

1. HTML5 is here to stay – Cross screen experiences

2016 was a year of drastic change for digital banner production and rich media ads.

Earlier this year, Google announced it would discontinue support for Flash, as of 2017. (Which is right around the corner, FYI.) Adopting HTML5 ad technology, or partnering with a capable production partner, is no longer optional for brands that want to continue reaching their target audience.

Proactive brands and digital media teams have spent 2016 overhauling their digital banner production process, often with the assistance of a rich media agency that specializes in HTML5 ads.

HTML5 ads may be resource-intensive, but they enable you to push through banner blindness and market across any screen, platform or device. As consumers spend more time on multiple devices, the ability to reach them with engaging ads becomes increasingly important.

2. Build engagement with rich media ads – Dynamic Rich Media

Lacoste campaign - Gamified ads

Lacoste campaign – Gamified ads

Engagement is the holy grail of advertising. It means better brand awareness, click-through rates and sales.

Gamification ads are always a great way to build engagement with consumers. But during the holidays, they become even more powerful.

The holidays are packed full of fun and festivities…..and year-end deadlines, cold weather, harried shopping excursions, errands, family drama and more. People are looking for an escape and a well-executed gamification ad can provide the break they’re looking for. (Like the interactive Lacoste campaign we recently developed – stay tuned for a case study later this month.)

3. Don’t forget your list – High impact ads

360 ads

360 ads

It’s easy to get caught up in the intricacies of digital banner production and rich media ad campaigns. But, email marketing still matters (and converts), especially during the holidays when consumers are faced with shopping paralysis (“What to buy Mom, Dad and the other 20 people on my list?”) and time constraints.

Nurture your list. Add value (shopping guides, time-saving services, useful tools) or leverage rich media capabilities to create an engaging, story-packed experience, like Sear’s did. (You can read the whole e-mail here).

4. Elevate the holiday (and everyday) experience with a 360 experience

360 creative ads

360 creative ads

360 technology has been quietly gaining momentum in 2016. Its capabilities open a whole new chapter in the world of rich media ads (and gamification ad possibilities). 360 experiences provide users with more interaction, building stronger engagement in the process.

Why aren’t more brands adopting rich media ads with 360 experiences? Most digital production agencies don’t know how to fully leverage the technology. It’s a field of untapped potential. Luckily, we’re well versed in 360 capabilities – get in touch if you want to find out how to incorporate the technology into your rich media ad campaigns.

And keep an eye on the blog – Digitaland recently produced an interactive, 360 holiday experience for clients and subscribers. We’ll take you behind the scenes of that project later this month.

5. Think beyond the ad – High impact creative

The holidays are approaching. You’ve chosen a digital production agency and they’re building out your rich media holiday campaigns. But, have you made sure to optimize what happens after a viewer clicks through on your ad? Once you have their attention, you want to keep it.

Double, triple and quadruple check that your customer service teams, site servers, opt-in forms and shopping carts are ready to handle the holiday rush. Sure, this goes beyond the scope of digital banner production and HTML5 ads. But, if you’re investing in a campaign, you want to make sure the time and investment yield proper returns.

6. Scale your reach with a production partner

HTML5 high impact ads

HTML5 high impact ads

More and more consumers are living, working, playing and shopping on their devices. Especially during the holidays.

AdRoll data released to Adweek showed digital advertisers increased Black Friday spending by 17.9 percent in 2016. The rewards were worthwhile: U.S. shoppers spent over $3.34 billion online during Black Friday, a 21.6 percent year-over-year increase from 2015. And Adobe reported Cyber Monday set a $3.45 billion sales record, a 12.1 percent increase from 2015. Even brick and mortar stores saw a 65% increase in foot traffic on Black Friday, according to Google.

How can your digital media team capitalize on those opportunities year-round?

In-house digital banner production is resource intensive, especially if you want to launch multiple, high-quality campaigns. A rich media agency is the perfect production partner, acting as an independent extension of your team and enabling you to deliver on-time, on-budget HTML5 ad campaigns.



As consumers and their devices evolve, digital display advertising efforts need to adapt accordingly. There’s no time of year where that’s more apparent than during the holidays. Now you have the groundwork to optimize your digital banner production efforts and rich media ad campaigns, not just during the holidays, but throughout the year.


What’s your favorite way to maximize holiday engagement with rich media ads?

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