Animated or Static Ads: Which One is More Effective?


In today's fast-paced digital landscape, capturing your audience's attention isn’t easy. As a marketer, you're not just competing against other brands, but you're also up against social media algorithms that dictate what content is worth showing to users. That's why the battle for eyeballs has led to brands vying for ways to stand out from the noise.


This battle brings a popularly debated topic into the light – animated versus static ads. With each asset having its own set of benefits and drawbacks, it can be tough to know which one to choose. So, let's see how animated and static ads stack up against each other.

The Difference Between Animated and Static Ads

Before deciding which one to use, it’s important to know the difference between the two.


Animated Ads – First, animated ads provide visual appeal through movement, capturing viewers' attention by engaging their interest. Animated ads invite the viewer to be a part of the experience, evoke stronger emotions, and generate empathy and relatability. With video content becoming more and more popular, animated ads have seen a rise in viewership.


The beauty of animation is that it simplifies your message, allowing you to tell compelling stories through moving images. That movement can make it all the more interesting and engaging for viewers. Animated ads can pause the scrolling of the viewer and capture their attention with moving elements.


Static Ads – While static ads do not move, they can still do an effective job of capturing the attention of users. Digital marketers are constantly finding ways to be more appealing to audiences that increasingly have shorter attention spans. Static ads can be interesting or thought-provoking and get your message across right away, which means that you only have to hold a viewer’s attention space for a few seconds.


Just like animated ads, static ads can be just as engaging if the creative is executed correctly. Whereas animated ads take a little more production time and technical requirements, static ads are more efficient.

Pros and Cons of Animated Ads

Animated ads can offer several advantages for marketers, as well as some potential drawbacks. Here are some pros and cons of animated ads for marketers:

Pros of Animated Ads

  • Increased Engagement: Animated ads can be more engaging and attention-grabbing, as they capture the viewer’s attention through movement and visual appeal.
  • Storytelling: With animated ads, marketers can tell stories and convey complex messages through moving images.
  • Emotion: Along with storytelling comes emotion. Animation can evoke stronger emotions through characters and storylines.
  • Good for Young Audiences: Animated ads are more appealing to younger audiences who may have shorter attention spans and preference for video content.

Cons of Animated Ads

  • Production Cost: While animated ads come out great, they are more complex, which means there is a larger investment of time and resources that goes into the strategy and execution of these ads.
  • Tech Requirements: Because they are more complex than static ads, animated ads require different types of software and file formats.
  • Overstimulation: Animated ads can be intrusive for some viewers as they can be too distracting on a page or feed.
  • File Size: Because each platform has its own file size limits, it’s important to make sure that your messaging is concise. Too many assets make it difficult to meet file size requirements.


Overall, animated ads can be a powerful tool for marketers to engage with their audiences and convey their message in a creative and impactful way.

Pros and Cons of Static Ads

Just like animated ads, static ads have their own set of advantages and disadvantages. You should consider the following pros and cons when deciding whether to use animated or static ads:

Pros of Static Ads

  • Production Cost: Since static ads have no animation, they typically take less time and fewer resources to execute.
  • Easy to Create: There is much less technical skill required to create a static ad. It also doesn’t require specialized software.
  • Consistent Messaging: With no variations in the ad’s appearance or content, static ads allow you to convey a consistent message.
  • Simplicity: Statics ads are easy for viewers to understand and digest, as they are not overly distracting and intrusive.

Cons of Static Ads

  • Lack of Storytelling: While still images can tell a full story, they don’t have as many storytelling capabilities as video, which can limit the ability to evoke emotions.
  • Simplicity: While simplicity is a strength of static ads, it can also be a weakness. If they’re not designed in a visually appealing way that captures the audience’s attention right away, they won’t be as effective.


Static ads can be a cost-effective and easy-to-create option for marketers, but just like animated ads, there are potential shortcomings if they aren’t executed correctly. So, when you’re deciding which one to use in a specific campaign, consider your audience, message and the platform.

Should I Use Static or Animated Ads for My Next Campaign?

As much as we want it to be, the debate between static and animated ads isn’t a one-size-fits-all answer. The reality is that both types of ads have their pros and cons, and the best choice for a particular campaign depends on many factors, including target audience, message and platform.


While animated ads can provide a higher level of engagement and storytelling potential, static ads can be more cost-effective and easier to create. Ultimately, the success of any campaign depends on its ability to capture the audience’s attention, convey a compelling message that connects with the viewer and drive action.


So, in the case of which one you should use, the verdict is... both.


Experimenting with both static and animated ads can help determine which approach is most effective for your goals and, more importantly, your audience. If you’re looking for a quick and efficient way to capture more eyeballs, a visually appealing static ad that focuses on brand awareness might be the best route. On the other hand, if your goal is to increase engagement through dynamic storytelling, animated ads are the way to go. Better yet, if you have the budget to do A/B testing, go for it. But no matter what your approach is, make sure to stay on top of current trends and adapt as the digital landscape continues to evolve.


Still not sure? For more information, schedule a free consultation, and we’ll make sure your campaigns get on the right track.