How To Talk About Individual Online Ads

There are many ways to talk about the most simple thing in online advertising – the ads themselves. Depending on who you are talking to and what their role is in creating/running the ads they’ll probably say something different.

As we’re always talking about here at The Online Advertising Guide – advertising is filled with jargon. Knowing which bits are useful, and which bits aren’t takes a special kind of madness. Luckily for you, my chickens flew the coop long ago, so I am here to help.

Below is a quick breakdown of the four main ways in which online ads are talked about.


Names for Individual Online Ads

There are four ways to talk about individual online ads. Each means something slightly different, but each also just means “an ad”. Knowing the difference can help you deal with different stakeholders in a campaign.


  • Creatives: Each design of an ad is a creative.
    • For example, someone might refer to the “Summer Sale Creative 1” or “Red subscribe banner” etc.
    • This phrase will mostly be used by designers and ad platforms.
  • Ad Type: This includes all creatives in a campaign of a specific type.
    • For example, someone might ask about a “carousel ad” or a “video ad”.
    • This phrase will mostly be used by marketers and digital agencies.
  • Ad Size: Each ad unit is a specific size, and one creative can be replicated in multiple ad sizes.
    • For example, someone might say “the 300×250 is performing especially well”.
    • This phrase is mostly used by ad sellers (websites and ad platforms).
  • Ad Unit: The most generic way to talk about an ad. It just refers to an individual ad.
    • For example, someone ask you to “ditch all the worst performing ad units”.
    • This phrase is used by everyone.



How To Talk About Individual Online Ads [Infographic]Click to enlarge