The Creative Ad Index report by mobile user acquisition firm Liftoff found that banner ads are 120% more effective when it comes to mobile advertising in comparison to video ads, which do not appear to be as effective as they seem.

Mobile advertising has never been more important, with mobile alone expected to drive 72% growth in online advertising spend. Yet, the findings suggest that advertisers still have a long way to go when it comes to creating ads uniquely for mobile programmatic, preferring to instead use repurposed social media ads and TV commercials.

The report draws from data spanning over 273 billion ad impressions over 4.5 billion clicks, 63 million app installs and over 22 million post-install events in more than 1,200 apps.

Price-to-performance ratio

Video ads saw the most impressive install-to-action rate (33.4%), signifying that they appeal to human senses, however, they don’t covert as well as other ad creative formats. Just 23.8% of people who installed an app after engaging with an interactive ad proceeded to convert in a post-install event.

When looking at the costs and deeper-funnel conversion rates by ad format, video advertising costs nearly double that of native and banner advertising. The report found that video is a 120% less cost-effective format than banner ads when looking at price-to-performance ratio, proving that high ad costs don’t always translate to higher action rates.

Scaling growth

Banner ads are often seen as dated but the report revealed otherwise as they offer broader reach and work with most publishers. They also cost less than other mobile ad creative types, while outperforming native ads when it comes to post-install engagement on Android. The format is 22% less expensive than native ads and also offers a higher install-to-action rate (38.1%) compared to that of native (35.8%).

The findings suggest that banner ads are the best creative solution for scaling growth in a developing market, although less is more when it comes to design and messaging.

“Though not as exciting as video or interactive ads, banner ads have stood the test of time and remain an important component of our overall marketing mix,” said Chris Chee, performance marketing manager at Apartment List.

“Native ads are our bread and butter. It’s critical for us to optimise native ads as they aren’t as distracting as other ad formats, which the performance shows,” commented Lomit Patel, vice president Growth at IMVU.