Why Your Creative Is The Most Important Part Of Your Ad

Dorian Reeves
SH1FT CONSULTING HUB
7 min readJul 17, 2019

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Your Creative Will Grow Your Revenue

Have you ever met someone, shook their hand and were completely thrown off at how weak it was? They kind of give you half of their hand so you end up shaking two fingers.

Not a good first impression.

It’s the exact same thing with your ad. The first image people see sets the tone for what’s going to come next. It immediately creates an opinion about your brand. Do you want to make a good first impression?

If you do (I doubt you don’t), keep one thing in mind: aim for clicks. BUT, before you go and throw all the monies at Facebook with insane high contrast tie-dye images, make sure you follow the conversion scent principle.

Now, how do you make your ad clickable?

Let’s try a little exercise. Go ahead and scroll until you see the red dot.

Your eyes stopped to look at one ad in particular. Don’t even try and lie to me, it was the third one.

This shows us the first technique.

Table of Contents

1. High Contrast

Having bright colours that pop out is a very effective way to draw attention from viewers. You don’t need to put a green flash and bright yellow. See how Nike simply utilizes the pink and the red from the shoe and applies it to the background? It enhances the quality of the ad and makes it the focal point, creating a whole atmosphere around the product. Maybe it even gives you ideas to match clothes with shoes. A great way to upsell stuff on the website…

There are a lot more things you can do to create a high contrast Facebook ad. Here’s a few of them.

  • Adding a coloured border around your Facebook Ad image can double its CTR.
  • Putting a shadow or a drop shadow around your image.
  • Putting a bright colour around your logo on your profile picture can help draw attention first to your logo, then your ad. Some make your ad look good.
  • Using a complementary colour (choose harmony, first icon) of your product for the background.

2. Range of color

This is quite similar to the high contrast, but it’s a little more challenging. Basically, what you want to do is follow a “rainbow path”.

You start with a colour somewhere on a monochromatic circle and you follow a straight line until you reach another colour. It can be a complementary colour. You pick between 3–6 colours on this straight line, and this is your range of colour. It’s like a gradient between each objects on your ad.

It creates a transition that’s extremely easy on the eye and it allows you to play with your products in a fun way.

3. The click baity one

You may or may not like them, but truth is, they work if you know your audience. Kris Sugatan created that ad, and she’s got a 16.8% CTR to show for it.

Let’s break this one down :

  • They’re advertising for basketball shirts, so their creative is congruent
  • They use the Ball family (Lamelo) as a focal point. They’re pretty divisive (kind of like the Kardashian’s/Jenner’s, most people either support them or hate them. Both make a good case for the clickability of the ad: go show some love, or go troll them. This is very good for engagement.
  • Their title invites basketball fans to engage: it makes you wanna tell your opinion about Lamelo.

“Naahhhh fam, he ain’t doing that in the NBA. I still wanna see the video though.”

“Cut the guy some slack, he’s a good kid, he’s putting in the effort. I’ll enjoy watching this video.”

You may think I’m over analyzing it, but I’m not. These are all normal thoughts that run through your brain when you see a good ad that’s targeted for the right audience.

Now, they did a good job of getting people to click through. That’s step 1. Hopefully, their landing page was good enough to convert.

4. Captivating Creative Images

This one is a bit more ambiguous, as something captivating is really subjective to one’s taste. However, you’ll see what I talk about in the ads below.

They’re clever, creative, and pleasant to look at. This is a recipe for clicks.
Wait… This is a total dad joke and I’m 23… Whatever I fully assume it.

Not only do these ads creative draw attention, but they also improve the perceived value of your brand.

Keep in mind that with ads like these, it’s important to have a call to action in your copy and in your title, because the goal of that image is to draw attention, so there’s no immediate call on the image itself.

You’re likely to also drive a lot of engagement with ads like these. So get creative, and make ads people want to see.

5. Use of space around the product

This is incredibly efficient for eCommerce creative ads. I remember when we started selling products online. We wanted to create incredible pictures of our fashion accessories to communicate a lifestyle.

A watch on the sand, sunglasses beside it, maybe a nice little cocktail to add a bit of colour.

A bracelet on a wooden table with a cup of coffee, a plant and hum… an iPad. Just because.

A little like this :

Keep those beautiful creatives for posts, not ads.

Okay. We got incredible pictures now. They look good. They get likes. Problem?

They don’t sell.

By adding too much stuff on the picture, you confuse the viewer.

“Okay, I don’t have all day. What is it you’re trying to sell here: the earrings, the books, the iPhone, the iPhone case…”

Nothing shows a product better than making it the core of the image. Hey, I’m not saying to always put a PNG file of your product on a white background. You can add colours and small details around it. But make the product the star of that picture all right? All right.

6. Happy people

Smile, it is the key that fits the lock of everybody’s heart.

…or everybody’s wallet. Man, I kind of sound like a douchebag, but it’s true.

I don’t want to get all scientific and throw random stats from the University of Nebraska, so let’s just break the smile psychology by getting situational.

Think about a nice waiter/waitress that’s smiling to you throughout the whole night. You’re more likely to give a nice tip, right?

Or maybe if you think about a vendor that approaches you with a smile, looking genuinely interested in helping you, you’re more likely to buy?

Or simply, you’ll relate more to a vlogger that smiles a lot in his video, cracks a few jokes VS someone that’s voice tone and facial expressions varies as much as the heart rate monitor of a dead person? …that was cold.

In all seriousness, a smile (if it’s not a creepy one) transmits honesty. We instinctively trust people that smile a lot. So putting smiles behind your brand helps people trust it, and in turn, buy your stuff.

Notice how we’re drawn to the eyes? Having a smile for eCommerce products makes the newsfeed transition from posts to ad pretty seamless. It could be a “friend” that you added in 2009 and you don’t really remember. It also creates two focal points in the image: the person smiling and the product.

The person smiling trusts the product because of the smile from another human. You see how your creative matters?

I don’t think I can simplify it more than that equation… Hey, math isn’t as hard as I thought.

7. The disruptive pattern

Our eyes are used to seeing objects vertically and horizontally. Having something that’s not, attracts our eyes.

See how that kind of ad disrupts the whole Facebook page. You have horizontal menu lines. Squares. Rectangles. Rounds. 90 degrees. 180 degrees. And oh… a hexagon placed diagonally.

Using the disruptive pattern breaks convention. You’re like a little rebel. Doesn’t it feel great?

With all of this in mind, make sure to test, test and test again.

Until next time.

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