In comparison to image ads, text ads are easy to create, but can leave much to be desired aesthetically.
We ran experiments to see whether adding a background image to text ads would affect their CTR. After our experiments showed that adding a background image increased the text ad's average CTR by 30% in ad networks, we began automatically adding backgrounds to ads currently without images.
The automatically-added background image both resembles the ad heading's text in color and matches the general context of the ad.
There is no price threshold for text ads with background images — they participate in auctions in the same way simple text ads do.
Images perform better than words
We regularly develop new designs and formats for ad blocks in ad networks in order to find the ideal proportions for screens and host sites. When showing “classic” Yandex.Direct ads, for example, some parts of the image remain hidden until the cursor moves over the ad. Our experiments have shown great results in terms of these new formats' clicks and their quality, but images featuring text and logos perform noticeably worse.
Therefore, we recommend letting the images in classic Text & Image campaigns speak for themselves — don't let images with additional elements like logos overload the ad.
Of course, Image Ads in Yandex.Direct are still better for branded messages. The tools available for image campaigns allow you to load pre-made banners or create new ones, giving you fully-loaded display banners: attractive images, logos, texts, and most importantly, high CTR :)