5 Key Entertainment Display Advertising Trends 2021
6 min read

5 Key Entertainment Display Advertising Trends 2021

As a brand in the entertainment space, tapping into display advertising trends for 2021 and beyond could be key to maintaining relevance and customer loyalty.

The in-home entertainment industry has experienced a boom across the board over the past two years as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. As cinemas and other venues closed, consumers turned to smartphones, tablets, TV, radio, newspapers and magazines for entertainment. As a result, the services and products of your entertainment brand have likely experienced growth in customers and subscriptions.

This is because consumers have turned to content they can access at home, via their smartphone or tablet. Statistics show brands have benefitted from these changes. Here, we review the data to investigate the display advertising trends entertainment brands can use to maintain success.

What will our entertainment display advertising guide cover?

  • The entertainment boom explained
  • The 5 key entertainment display advertising trends
    1. Tap into key shopping days
    2. The use of video in ad production
    3. The power of data feeds
    4. A mobile-first approach
    5. Design for all ad sizes

The entertainment boom explained

Forbes has reported digital entertainment as the leader in entertainment revenue growth, with an increase of 31% totalling $61.8 billion. Its findings also show there are now 1.1 billion online video subscribers globally, which is a 26% increase from 2019.

Recent findings from Ofcom, highlighted by the BBC, show adults in the UK alone spent almost a third of the time they were awake in 2020 watching TV and online content.

The data shows more households had a subscription to Netflix than they had a paid TV account for the first time. Internet-connected, or smart, TVs have also become increasingly common, with nearly 80% of households having one.

Radiocentre also found radio – another of the entertainment industry’s key players – benefitted from lockdowns and subsequent working-from-home audiences. It discovered that eight million adults working from home listen to commercial radio every day.

As the world opens up, consumers will have their attention drawn to other entertainment possibilities. How can your brand maintain the loyalty of audiences gained during the pandemic, stay on the pulse and remain relevant? Having strategies in place to get the most from your entertainment display ads could be crucial.

The 5 key entertainment display advertising trends

1. Tap into key shopping days

Don’t hesitate to align your campaigns with key shopping days – they aren’t reserved exclusively for traditional retailers. If you have a service, subscription or product to market to your customers, why not?

Shopping days such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday show incredibly positive revenue trends, so they should form a part of your entertainment display advertising strategy.

All advertisers in the digital space understand the importance of producing creative that performs. In the lead up to Christmas, especially, consumers are ready to buy, so you need to be ready to sell.

Case study – Supla+

Audiobook subscription service Supla+ provides a case study for the success an entertainment brand can enjoy on key shopping days with the right creative and strategy.

Its Black Friday campaign won our Autumn 2020 award for the best display advertising campaign, and for good reason. Designed specifically for Black Friday, the campaign was live for just 24 hours and featured a countdown timer widget.

This entertainment ad tapped into shopping trends, created urgency using HTML5 animation, and packed a visual punch with exemplary design.

2. The use of video in ad production

The entertainment industry and visuals such as video go hand in hand – so it’s no surprise one of the best entertainment ad trends is to use video in campaign creative.

Video is proven to increase engagement and influence click-throughs, and the numbers certainly bear highlighting to underline the point. Compared to static ads without dynamic content, our research shows video offers 85% more click-throughs.

Stat for video in retail display ads trends

Between January and August 2021, entertainment ads featuring video experienced a click-through-rate (CTR) uplift of 442.86% compared to average display creative.

Uplift for Black Friday for consumer ads

This is up from 2020, which itself saw a CTR uplift of 138.10% for video ads. Data such as this serves to prove that the use of rich media is vital in the world of entertainment display advertising.

If you’re an entertainment brand decision maker and your ad spend portfolio doesn’t currently use enough video or other rich media, you’ve got untapped potential at your fingertips. The use of ad creators, such as Bannerflow’s Creative Studio, makes it incredibly simple to add video to your campaigns – so you don’t need to miss out on those all-important clicks.

3. The power of data feeds

One of the biggest entertainment display advertising trends for 2021 is the use of data feeds. As a digital leader for your brand, you could use this exciting development to help meet conversion targets.

Between January and August 2021, our research shows entertainment display advertising with data feeds experienced a 64.9% better CTR compared to those that don’t.

Stat for uplift in entertainment blog

In fact, 19% of impressions for entertainment ads during 2021 so far have come from those that contain data feeds. That’s up from 12% in 2020 and 1% in 2019 and 2018 – an incredibly positive trend.
If your creative team cast doubt over the importance personalisation to your brand, these numbers work to shine a clear light on the facts. They show data feeds are an effective and efficient tactic for reaching the right people at the right time.

Data feed stat for entertainment display advertising trends

Powerful information for any brand – but especially a brand in the competitive entertainment and media space.

How Bannerflow can help

With Creative Studio, your brand has the power to design and animate entertainment ads bespoke to your vision. This includes adding automatic and live data feeds to creatives.

As entertainment ad trends go, this is high on the list, as data feeds make your campaigns hyper-relevant thanks to the inclusion of live content.

While automatic feeds use spreadsheets to update ad content, live feeds can deliver up-to-the-moment information about your products and services.

Using the assistance of software such as Bannerflow Creative Campaign Management, these types of ad campaigns can be seamless to work with. Across ad sizes and variations, at scale.

4. A mobile-first approach

It’s also important to note the weight and power that focusing on mobile could have for your brand. If tapped into effectively, entertainment brands can experience quality conversions, incredible CTR and surging ROI when they invest in mobile ad spend.

It’s clear more people are spending increasing amounts of time on mobile devices. During 2020, there was a 13% rise in mobile ad views. The impact of the pandemic is clear in this statistic, but it’s behaviour that’s been maintained, with a slight growth in mobile views during the first two quarters of 2021.

state for retail display Advertising trends

If entertainment brands can ensure their display ads are mobile-optimised, the possibilities are wide ranging. This may be especially true when campaigns are deployed to align with key dates in shopping, entertainment and shared experiences, too.

For example, during the European Championship football tournament held in the summer of 2021, the share of mobile impressions grew to 70%. When the data was recorded on 26 June, desktop’s share was 26% in comparison.

Euro 2020 stat for display advertising trends

Combining technologies can produce amazing results. Success here is a melting pot of automated production, using data feeds, campaign management in real-time and thinking mobile-first.

5. Design for all ad sizes

With ad views rising for mobile, it’s clear that being mobile-first when creating entertainment ads could be crucial for success. The gold stamp will certainly fall with brands that ensure they design ads for a variety of screen sizes and swiftly automate ad production.

Mobile ad sizes are currently dominating the display advertising space. The most popular and most frequently used across both 2020 and 2021 so far are 300×250 and 320×320.

Why not opt for less popular ad sizes, too? It will be easier for your team to deliver campaigns and reduce your CPM as there’s less competition for these sizes. Plus, your demand side platform (DSP) will also perform better.

Creating for mobile and a range of sizes and formats is one of the most important entertainment ad trends. Design for all ad sizes and your brand can scale each campaign for multiple versions and screen sizes. Automation and the use of an ad creator will be key for your brand to outsmart competition moving into 2022.

Case study – Readly

Creative production automation can be crucial when you’re working across multiple sizes of entertainment ads. If you’re wondering how making multiple sizes of display ad quickly and efficiently could work for you, check out our catch up with Readly.

The digital newspaper and magazine subscription service is fantastic at making numerous entertainment display ads, fast. Active in nine markets across the world, Readly needs to make each campaign work in five languages. This equals the need for over 100 creatives for every one of its campaigns. By using Bannerflow, Readly manages this seamlessly.

Key takeaways

Entertainment display advertising is experiencing a purple patch – but to keep customers loyal and remain relevant it will be key to be on the pulse of trends.

Consumer loyalty will be seamless if you reach customers where they want to be found. Thinking mobile-first and creating cross-platform ads, in different sizes, will be vital. As will be innovative use of data feeds and featuring rich media such as video in your entertainment ads. Planning relevant campaigns around key dates can also be invaluable.

Combining these trends will see the CTR and conversions rise for your entertainment ads and the ROI for your efforts will come to fruition.

Download our 2021 Display Advertising report to gain the full picture and discover how your marketing team can get ahead of the competition and boost its display advertising performance.


Interested to see how our total solution Creative Management Platform could work for your brand, or any of our products – such as Creative Studio? Get in touch with our team to book a demo and experience the power and agility of Bannerflow for yourself.

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