Advertisements: What they are, key elements and examples

Advertisements are messages that aim to promote a brand, product or service, and persuade the public to take a desired action.

Advertisements can be transmitted through different media, such as television, radio, the internet, social networks, etc.

What are advertisements?

Digital advertising ads are those that are displayed on online platforms, such as web pages, mobile applications, social networks , search engines, etc.

These ads can be in different formats, such as text, image, video, audio, banner, pop-up, etc.

Digital banner ads have several advantages, such as:

  • They allow the target audience to be segmented according to their characteristics, interests, behaviors, location, etc.
  • They allow you to measure the performance and impact of campaigns , using indicators such as the number of impressions, clicks, conversions, etc.
  • They allow campaigns to be optimized and adjusted in real time, according to the results obtained and the objectives set.
  • They allow you to create personalized and dynamic ads that adapt to the preferences and needs of each user.

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Some relevant data

  • Global advertising spending in 2021 was about 657,000 million dollars , which represents an increase in the 10.2% Over the previous year.
  • The most used medium for advertising was internet , with a 59.5% of total spending, followed by television , with a 25.7% .
  • Within internet advertising, the most used format was mobile , with a 75.9% of total spending, followed by video , with a 17.8% .
  • The countries that invested the most in advertising in 2021 were United States , with some 285 billion dollars , China , with some 110 billion dollars , and Japan , with some 40 billion dollars .
  • The sectors that invested the most in advertising in 2021 were the retail , with a 15.9% of the total expenditure, the automotive , with a 11.9% , and the technological , with a 10.6% .
  • In Mexico, the active population on social networks was 94 million people , which represents the 73.4% of the total population.
  • The most used social networks in Mexico were Facebook , with a 92.9% of the users, WhatsApp , with a 92.2% , and Messenger , with a 80.3% .
  • The average time spent using social networks in Mexico was 3 hours and 21 minutes a day, in more than 7 platforms a month.
  • The reach potential of Facebook advertising in Mexico was 83.75 million people , which represents the 82.7% of the active population in social networks over 13 years of age.
  • The reach potential of advertising on Instagram in Mexico was 36.70 million people , which represents the 36.2% of the active population in social networks over 13 years of age.

Global spending of around $85 billion on advertising is expected in 2024. According to data from Statista.

What are the key elements of a digital advertisement?

For a digital banner ad to be effective, it must have some key elements, such as:

  • A clear objective : The ad must have a specific purpose, such as generating brand recognition, increasing web traffic, generating leads, increasing sales, etc.
  • A persuasive message : the ad must convey a benefit or solution to the user, and motivate them to take a specific action, such as visiting a web page, downloading an application, purchasing a product, etc.
  • An attractive design : the ad must attract the user's attention, through the use of colors, images, fonts, animations, etc. that are consistent with the brand identity and the tone of the message.
  • A call to action : The ad should include a button or link that invites the user to take the desired action , such as “See more”, “Buy now”, “Sign up for free”, etc.
  • A landing page : the ad must direct the user to a landing page that is relevant, coherent and optimized, where they are offered more information about the product or service, and the conversion process is facilitated.

What examples of advertising can we find?

Below, we show you some examples of digital advertising ads that have been successful, and that you can take as a reference to inspire you and create your own ads.


Spotify is a music and podcast streaming platform, which offers a free and a premium service.

To promote its premium service, Spotify created a digital ad campaign, based on its users' streaming data, that displayed fun, personalized messages, such as “Did you know that someone listened to 'Sorry' 42 times on the day of Valentine's Day? What did you do?" or “Did you know that someone listened to 'Bohemian Rhapsody' 1,567 times this year? It's you?".

These ads managed to capture the attention and curiosity of users, and generate an emotional connection with them, by showing them that Spotify knew their musical tastes and habits.

Additionally, the ads included a call to action inviting users to try the premium service free for 30 days, boosting conversions.

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Netflix is ​​a series and movie streaming platform that offers a varied and exclusive catalog of content.

To promote its content, Netflix created a digital advertising campaign, which was based on the use of memes, gifs and short videos, which made reference to scenes or characters from its series and movies, and which generated expectation, intrigue or humor in users, such as “When you realize that tomorrow is Monday” or “When your crush tells you that he doesn't like Stranger Things.”

These ads managed to generate engagement and virality among users, and awaken their interest in watching or continuing to watch Netflix content.

They included a call to action that invited users to view the full content on the platform, increasing traffic and subscriptions.


Airbnb is an accommodation and experiences platform that offers unique and original options to travel and see the world.

To promote its offer, Airbnb created a digital advertising campaign, which was based on the use of high-quality images, showing the most incredible and surprising accommodations and experiences that could be found on the platform, such as a tree house , a cabin in the snow, a surfing class, etc.

These ads managed to convey the differential value of Airbnb, and generate aspiration and desire in users, by showing them that they could live unique and unforgettable experiences with the platform.

The ads included a call to action that invited users to explore more options on the website, driving bookings.

How can I measure the performance of my banner ads?

To measure the performance of your digital advertising ads, you must take into account some indicators or metrics that allow you to evaluate the impact and profitability of your campaigns.

Some of the most important metrics are:

  • He reach , which measures the number of people who have seen your ad, regardless of whether they clicked on it or not.
  • He CTR (Click-through-rate) , which measures the percentage of people who have clicked on your ad among the number of people who have seen it.
  • He CPC (Cost per click) , which measures the cost generated by each click that your ad receives.
  • The conversion rate , which measures the percentage of people who took the desired action after clicking on your ad, such as purchasing a product, registering on a page, downloading an app, etc.
  • He Customer acquisition cost (CAC) , which measures the total cost of acquiring a new customer, including the cost of advertising and other associated expenses.

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What are the 7 types of advertising?

The 7 types of advertising that you should know are:

  • Brand advertising : seeks to promote the name, image and identity of a company or product, and generate a favorable attitude in consumers.
  • Retail advertising : send communication messages announcing products or offers in a specific geographic area, to encourage traffic and improve the image of stores and stores.
  • Direct response advertising : seeks to engage in a direct conversation with a potential consumer to achieve a sale, through means such as telemarketing and e-mailing.
  • Business-to-business (B2B) advertising : it is aimed at other companies that may be potential clients of a product or service, through media such as specialized magazines, trade fairs, etc.
  • Institutional advertising : seeks to create or improve the image of an organization, such as a public entity, an NGO, a university, etc., through messages that highlight its values, its mission or its social responsibility.
  • Non-profit advertising : seeks to promote a social, environmental, cultural cause, etc., and mobilize citizens to support or participate in it, through media such as posters, brochures, social networks, etc.
  • Public service advertising : seeks to inform, educate or warn the population about topics of general interest, such as health, safety, the environment, etc., through media such as spots, spots, banners, etc.

Written by Moises Hamui Abadi : I am an entrepreneur, founding partner of Viceversa and SoyMacho. After leading several digital businesses and advising several other businesses; I decided to form MHA Consulting, a digital marketing consultancy dedicated to growing and enhancing digital businesses in more than 7 countries and generating more than 1,500 million pesos.

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