Image ads vs Video ads: Understanding the Differences

HomeDigital MarketingImage ads vs Video ads: Understanding the Differences
Image ads vs Video ads Which performs better?


Key Takeaways

According to Statista, video ads are expected to account for 82% of internet traffic by 2022. 

Gartner reports that 64% of consumers are more likely to buy a product online after watching a video ad. 

SEMrush data reveals that businesses using video ads on Facebook experience a 25% higher engagement rate compared to those using image ads. 

Both image ads and video ads have their strengths and weaknesses.

Nowadays, there’s a big competition between image ads and video ads in the online world. With so many platforms and people’s tastes changing all the time, businesses are trying hard to grab attention and get people interested. Image ads have been around for a while, with their pictures and short messages, while video ads offer cool stories and really bring things to life.

For marketers, it’s important to know what each type of ad does well and where it might not be as strong. That way, they can choose the best type of ad to match what they want to achieve and what their audience likes. It’s like picking the right tool for the job!

Introduction to Image Ads vs. Video Ads

Advertising is super important in today’s online world for reaching and connecting with the right people. With so many places like social media, search engines, and websites, businesses have lots of options to show off what they offer. Image ads and video ads are two popular ways they do this, and each has its own good points and tough parts.

This talk will dig into the differences between image ads and video ads, looking at how they’ve changed over time, what they’re used for, and which one works better in online marketing.

Importance of Digital Advertising

Digital advertising has revolutionized the way businesses connect with consumers, offering unprecedented reach and targeting capabilities. Unlike traditional advertising mediums such as print or television, digital ads enable precise audience segmentation based on demographics, interests, and online behavior.

This level of precision allows advertisers to tailor their messages to specific audience segments, increasing the likelihood of engagement and conversion. As such, understanding the effectiveness of different digital ad formats, such as image ads and video ads, is crucial for optimizing marketing efforts and maximizing return on investment (ROI).

Evolution of Image and Video Ads

Digital advertising has changed a lot over time, moving from simple text ads to more exciting ones like images and videos. While text ads still have their place, people nowadays really like ads with pictures or videos. Image ads, which are just still pictures with a short message, were some of the first digital ads.

But as technology got better, video ads became more popular because they can show moving pictures and make things feel more real. This shift shows how advertisers are trying to keep up with what people like and want to see online.

Purpose of Comparing Effectiveness

With so many ways to advertise, businesses often wonder which is better: image ads or video ads. Both have their good points, but figuring out the best choice means knowing what each does well and where they might fall short.

By comparing how well image ads and video ads do in areas like getting people interested, getting them to buy something, and making them remember the brand, marketers can decide where to spend their ad money wisely. And knowing how these ads stack up against each other can also help with bigger decisions, like what kind of ads to make, where to put them, and who to show them to.

Understanding Image Ads

1. Definition and Characteristics of Image Ads

Image ads are like the building blocks of online advertising. They use still pictures and short messages to get a point across to people who might be interested. Unlike video ads, which can move and make sounds, image ads are all about the visuals and a quick message.

Digital Marketing Services

With a Foundation of 1,900+ Projects, Offered by Over 1500+ Digital Agencies Across Asia, EMB Excels in Digital Marketing. We Design, Redesign, and Sustain Customer-Centric and Enterprise Strategies for Optimal Conversion.

Get Quote

State of Technology 2024

Humanity's Quantum Leap Forward

Explore 'State of Technology 2024' for strategic insights into 7 emerging technologies reshaping 10 critical industries. Dive into sector-wide transformations and global tech dynamics, offering critical analysis for tech leaders and enthusiasts alike, on how to navigate the future's technology landscape.

Read Now

You’ll see them as banners on websites, in display ads, or on social media posts. They’re made to catch your eye fast, especially with so many of them popping up on social media and websites these days.

2. Visual Impact of Static Imagery

Image ads are super important because they catch your eye right away. They use cool pictures or graphics to make you feel something, show what the brand is all about, and get a message across. Whether it’s a cool photo, an awesome drawing, or a snazzy design, the visuals in an image ad really grab your attention.

But because there are so many pictures and stuff online, advertisers have to make sure their image ads really stand out. They might use special designs or really interesting pictures to make sure you notice them.

3. Message Clarity in Limited Space

One of the challenges of image ads is conveying a clear message within the constraints of limited space. Unlike video ads, which can incorporate dialogue and narrative, image ads must rely on concise copy and visual cues to communicate their message effectively.

Advertisers must carefully consider the placement of text, the use of imagery, and the overall design to ensure that the message is clear and compelling. Through A/B testing and optimization, businesses can refine their image ads to maximize message clarity and audience engagement.

4. Cost-effectiveness and Production Time

Image ads are awesome because they’re super cheap and quick to make compared to video ads. With just the right tools, businesses can whip up really cool image ads in-house without needing fancy equipment or special skills. This makes them a hit with all kinds of businesses, big and small.

They can save money on making ads and even change them up fast if they need to. Plus, because image ads are so quick to make, businesses can try out different ideas and see what works best for grabbing people’s attention and getting the message across.

5. Examples of Successful Image Ad Campaigns

Numerous examples illustrate the effectiveness of image ads in driving engagement, brand awareness, and conversions. From iconic print advertisements to viral social media campaigns, image ads have played a pivotal role in shaping consumer behavior and perceptions.

By studying successful image ad campaigns across various industries, businesses can gain valuable insights into effective design techniques, messaging strategies, and audience targeting methods. These case studies serve as inspiration for advertisers looking to leverage the power of image ads to achieve their marketing objectives.

Understanding Video Ads

Video ads represent a dynamic and powerful tool in the digital marketing arsenal. Unlike static images, videos have the ability to engage viewers through movement, sound, and storytelling. These elements combine to create an immersive experience that captures the audience’s attention and leaves a lasting impression.

Video ads come in various formats, including short commercials, product demonstrations, tutorials, and brand stories, allowing marketers to tailor their message to fit different platforms and audience preferences.

1. Engagement Potential

Video ads are super engaging because they can move and make sounds, unlike pictures. This makes people pay more attention to them and even watch them for longer.

When you see a video ad, you might feel more connected to the story it tells, which can make you like the brand even more. This is why video ads are great for making people aware of brands and convincing them to buy things.

2. Importance of Storytelling

Video ads are all about telling stories. Instead of just talking about what a product does, they tell a story that makes you feel something. It could be about a customer’s experience, the values of the brand, or how a problem gets solved.

These stories make brands seem more like real people, which helps you remember them better. When you watch a video ad with a good story, it can make you feel connected to the brand in a special way.

3. Production Complexity

Making video ads is harder than making image ads. With image ads, you just need a good picture and some words. But for video ads, you have to plan everything out carefully, like writing a script and drawing storyboards. Then you have to film everything, edit it together, and make it look nice.

This takes a lot of time and money because you need special equipment and software, as well as people who know what they’re doing. So, while video ads can be really cool, they can also be a lot more work and cost more than image ads.

4. Distribution and Optimization

Once you’ve made a video ad, you need to get it out there for people to see. Choosing the right places to show your ad is important. It could be on YouTube, social media sites like Facebook or Instagram, or even on streaming services like Netflix. Each platform has its own audience, so you need to pick the ones where your target customers are most likely to be.

After your video ad is out there, you need to keep an eye on how it’s doing. Are people watching it? Are they interacting with it? Are they buying your product because of it?

By looking at these kinds of numbers, called metrics, you can see what’s working and what’s not. Then you can make changes to your ad to make it better and get even more people interested.

Understanding the Differences between Image & Video Ads

Now that we have understood what are image and video ads, we have listed below the differences between them:

1. Differences between Image and Video Ads

AspectImage AdsVideo Ads
ContentStatic imagesMoving images and sound
AttentionGood for quick attention captureHold attention longer
ProductionLess expensive, easier to createMore time and resources required
FlexibilityEasier to modifyCan convey complex messages effectively
MessageIdeal for simple messagesSuitable for storytelling
EngagementQuick captureEngage and entertain audiences
SuitabilityVisual products or servicesVersatile, suitable for various content

2. Difference in Impact b/w Image and Video Ads

ImpactImage AdsVideo Ads
AttentionQuickly catch attention, but may not hold itGrab and hold attention for longer periods
EngagementLimited engagement due to the static natureHigher engagement due to dynamic visuals and sound
MessageSuitable for simple messagesEffective for conveying complex messages
Brand RecallLess memorable compared to the videoMore memorable, increased brand recall
ConversionLower conversion rates due to limited engagementHigher conversion rates due to enhanced engagement
ShareabilityMaybe less shareable due to the static natureMore shareable, increases virality

3. Differences in Strategies for Creating Image and Video Ads

StrategyImage AdsVideo Ads
CostGenerally lower cost to produce and distributeHigher production and distribution costs
ReachMay have limited reach compared to videoPotential for wider reach due to engaging content
BrandingEffective for establishing a basic brand presenceEnhances brand image through storytelling
AudienceAppeals to audiences with shorter attention spansCaptivates audience with longer attention spans
EngagementLess engaging, may require complementary tacticsProvides higher engagement, standalone strategy
Message DepthLimited ability to convey complex messagesOffers depth for conveying complex messages
ConversionLower conversion rates due to limited engagementHigher potential for conversions with better engagement
SharingMay have lower shareability due to the static natureMore shareable, increasing potential virality

Engagement Potential of Video Ads

Video ads are special because they can grab people’s attention in exciting ways. They use movement to catch your eye, making the whole experience more interesting. Plus, they also have sound, which adds another dimension to the ad. This combination of movement and sound makes video ads really good at keeping people interested and engaged for longer.

1. Capturing Attention with Movement and Sound

In video ads, movement is like magic—it grabs attention in the crowded online world. Whether it’s a small animation or an action-packed scene, movement hooks viewers and keeps them engaged. Add in sound, and it’s even more captivating, enhancing the whole experience. Combining movement and sound creates irresistible magic in video ads.

2. Engagement Techniques

To keep viewers hooked, advertisers use various tricks. They might weave a story, add interactive elements, or use smooth transitions. By mixing things up strategically, advertisers ensure viewers stay engaged and get the message loud and clear.

3. Enhancing Engagement through Storytelling

Storytelling is key in video ads—it helps brands connect emotionally with viewers. Engaging stories that resonate with people’s lives or aspirations makes ads memorable and meaningful. Whether it’s relatable characters, exciting plots, or big dreams, storytelling makes video ads stand out and spark conversations.

4. Analyzing Viewer Behavior

Understanding how viewers interact with video ads is crucial for optimizing campaign performance. Through detailed analytics, advertisers track metrics like click-through rates and view durations. Analyzing these insights helps refine targeting and content strategies for better results.

5. Impact of Video Length and Format

The length and format of video ads affect viewer engagement. Shorter ads are great for quick attention-grabbing and conveying concise messages. Longer ads allow for deeper storytelling and brand immersion.

The format choice—pre-roll, mid-roll, or native—also influences viewer perception and engagement. By testing and adjusting these elements, advertisers maximize engagement and achieve their goals.

The Art of Brand Storytelling in Video Ads

In marketing, storytelling isn’t just about selling products—it’s about creating emotional connections. Brands craft stories that resonate with people’s dreams, desires, and values, making them feel something special.

1. Crafting a Compelling Brand Narrative

A great brand story has key elements that weave together seamlessly. First, it defines the brand’s personality, values, and mission—a foundation for the story. Next, it speaks directly to the target audience, ensuring relevance and interest.

A compelling story unfolds like a journey, with challenges and resolutions that captivate viewers. Authenticity and creativity make the story relatable and engaging, leaving a lasting impression.

2. Infusing Brand Values into Video Ads

Video ads serve as dynamic platforms for brands to showcase their story visually and audibly. They communicate brand identity and values through captivating imagery, music, and narrative, leaving a memorable impact.

Brands can highlight their commitment to environmental sustainability, creativity, or community involvement, fostering a deeper connection with viewers. Video ads enable brands to convey their aspirations and invite audiences to be part of the journey.

3. Emotional Engagement with the Audience

Emotions play a crucial role in compelling brand stories. By evoking feelings like happiness, nostalgia, or inspiration, brands forge strong bonds with viewers. Authenticity and empathy build trust and loyalty, encouraging viewers to share their experiences with others.

By connecting on an emotional level and demonstrating genuine care, brands cultivate meaningful relationships with their audience. This genuine connection fosters enthusiasm and advocacy, transforming viewers into loyal brand ambassadors.

4. Examples of Successful Brand Storytelling in Video Ads:

Lots of brands have made really cool video ads by telling stories. Like, remember Nike’s “Dream Crazy” ad with Colin Kaepernick? It was super powerful and showed how important it is to stand up for what you believe in. It really fits with Nike’s message of empowerment and standing up for what’s right.

And then there’s Coca-Cola’s “Share a Coke” ad. It’s all about making people feel good by putting their names on the bottles and bringing back memories of sharing a Coke with friends. It’s a great example of how storytelling can make people feel connected to a brand and want to buy their stuff.

These ads show how storytelling in videos can make people like a brand more, get them excited, and even make them want to buy things. It’s like telling a really good story that makes you want to be part of it!

Clarity in Image Ads for Digital Advertising

In the realm of digital advertising, clarity is paramount for image ads. With limited space and fleeting attention spans, conveying a clear message quickly is vital. Image ads rely solely on visuals and brief text, making each element essential for effective communication.

1. Strategies for Clear Messaging

Achieving clarity in image ads requires strategic planning and creative execution. Advertisers carefully select imagery and text that aligns with their brand and resonates with their audience. By focusing on essential elements and eliminating clutter, they ensure clear and effective communication.

2. Utilizing Imagery and Text Effectively

In image ads, visuals and words work together to convey the message. Images capture attention and evoke emotions, while text provides clarity. Advertisers must ensure synergy between visuals and words to tell a compelling story and drive action.

3. A/B Testing and Optimization

Advertisers use A/B testing to experiment with different elements like visuals and copy. By refining based on what resonates best, they ensure the message is conveyed clearly and effectively, maximizing ad performance.

4. Impact of Message Clarity

Clear messaging increases engagement and drives action. When ads communicate a clear and exciting message, viewers are more likely to respond positively. Ensuring message clarity is essential for impactful image ads in digital advertising.

Cost-effectiveness of Image Ads

1. Factors Affecting Production Costs:

Several factors influence the cost of creating image ads. The complexity of design, the skill level of the designer, and the use of premium elements like special images can increase costs. Additionally, urgency and the need for frequent revisions can escalate expenses.

Understanding these factors is crucial for budget planning, ensuring that resources are allocated efficiently.

2. Comparison of In-house vs. Outsourced Design:

Businesses can opt to create image ads internally or hire external assistance such as agencies or freelancers. Both approaches have pros and cons. In-house production allows for greater control and potential long-term cost savings but requires investment in design software, training, and skilled personnel.

Outsourcing offers access to expertise without the overheads of an in-house team but may entail higher upfront costs.

The choice depends on factors like budget, timeline, and project complexity.

3. ROI Analysis for Image Ad Campaigns:

Evaluating the effectiveness of image ad campaigns is crucial for optimizing investment. Metrics like click-through rates, conversion rates, and revenue generated are analyzed to gauge ROI. By comparing ad spending with revenue, businesses determine the campaign’s profitability.

Experimentation with different strategies helps identify the most effective approaches, ensuring maximum ROI.

4. Scalability and Affordability of Image Ad Strategies:

Image ads are cost-effective and scalable. Unlike videos, they are quick and inexpensive to produce, making them ideal for businesses with limited budgets or those exploring various ad ideas. Businesses can start with a modest budget and adjust spending based on performance, maximizing flexibility and affordability.

5. Tips for Budget Allocation:

To optimize budget allocation for image advertising, businesses should focus on targeted placement, compelling visuals, and engaging copywriting. Utilizing free design tools and resources helps save costs while maintaining quality. Regular monitoring of ad performance enables adjustments to spending based on effectiveness, ensuring efficient resource utilization.


So, when it comes down to it, deciding between image ads and video ads is all about knowing what each one is good at. Image ads are great for getting a message across fast and without spending too much money. On the other hand, video ads are awesome for grabbing people’s attention and telling stories in a really cool way.

Instead of thinking of them as rivals, businesses should use both types of ads together to make their marketing strategy stronger. By doing this, they can make a bigger impact and get better results. By keeping an eye on how well their ads are doing and staying on top of what’s popular, marketers can make sure their ads are always hitting the mark, even as things change online.

Get in touch with us at EMB to know more.


How do image ads differ from video ads?

Image ads use static visuals and concise messaging, while video ads incorporate dynamic storytelling and movement. Image ads are often more cost-effective to produce, whereas video ads offer higher engagement potential.

Which type of ad is more effective for brand awareness?

Video ads tend to be more effective for brand awareness due to their ability to captivate and emotionally resonate with viewers. Studies have shown that video ads generate higher recall and brand association compared to static image ads.

Are image ads or video ads better for driving conversions?

Both image and video ads can drive conversions, but the effectiveness depends on factors such as the target audience and the nature of the product or service. Video ads may be more effective for complex products or services that require demonstration or explanation.

How can businesses determine which ad format to use?

Businesses should consider their marketing goals, target audience preferences, and available resources when choosing between image and video ads. A/B testing can help determine which ad format resonates best with the target audience and drives the desired outcomes.

What are some best practices for creating effective image and video ads?

Focus on compelling visuals and clear messaging for image ads, and incorporate storytelling and emotional appeal for video ads. Continuously monitor and optimize ad performance based on key metrics such as click-through rates, conversion rates, and engagement metrics.

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 0 / 5. Vote count: 0

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

Related Post

Table of contents