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The Seven Creative Elements That “Win”

How many advertisements have you seen today that you’ve actually remembered? Not that many, eh?

Whether we realize it or not, we are constantly bombarded by ads and brands that we don’t even think twice about. Looking down at my own desk I can see a Herschel backpack, a Contigo water bottle, half a tube of Laneige lip balm, and my iPhone — all of which I use every day without so much as blinking an eye. And I can’t even think of a single digital ad that I’ve encountered this morning. But I can recall, in great detail, every meme on my social feed.

We’ve become so immune to the white noise of advertising that it’s becoming increasingly difficult to reach audiences. Despite all the advanced targeting technologies that are now at our disposal, people simply don’t want to stop and smell the roses, no matter how frequently you’re planting them. So, what can you do to make your brand stand out in a world where Baby Yoda and the Coronavirus are battling #trends on your feed?

We’ve uncovered 7 creative elements from Facebook’s A/B testing course to help you create a more successful ad, so that trying to capture your TA’s attention no longer feels like you’re trying to wrangle a herd of stray cats.

1. Keep focus on what matters

Ads are often overlooked, and consumer attention spans are getting shorter. A clear and concise message combined with an obvious focal point in your design will make it easier for users to understand what you’re trying to convey.

Apple has always been a leader at delivering compelling, palatable messaging that is easy for audiences to digest. Their Shot on iPhone campaign from last year was no stranger to the fact, focusing solely on the high-quality photography perks that the iPhone camera has to offer. Too much information combined with an unfocused layout will only confuse and frustrate your consumers, so make sure that your big idea is the center of attention.


2. Understand your brand identity

Advertisements have higher performance and engagement when they establish a clear link between the ad and the brand being represented. This could mean having a strong, synergistic campaign or message that makes sense for your brand, or an initiative that resounds with your target audience. In any case, consistency is key for helping you guide your branded message. A successful ad should be able to explain itself, and the consumer should understand what the brand is trying to approach.

McDonald’s knew exactly what they were doing when they released a set of simple billboard ads for their McMuffin, Big Mac, and Filet-O-Fish. By using nothing but simple copy paired with strategically placed colours, consumers were easily able to identify that the ad was for McDonald’s iconic sandwiches, despite the fact that there wasn’t a single logo placed anywhere. They understood that their brand identity was strong enough to distinguish themselves with such a powerful and simple concept.

3. Own your brand personality

Your brand personality is a unique asset to your company. It should encapsulate your brand’s culture, and in many ways, speak to how you want your consumers to interpret your brand. Ask yourself: What differentiates your brand from your competitors? What is your brand doing that’s unique? If your brand was a person, what would they be like?

Answering these questions and personifying elements of your brand will help you deliver the correct tone and messaging that you can use to help fuel your company’s image. Taco Bell knows exactly who and what they are, and they express their personality online every chance they get. Their tongue-in-cheek banter with consumers and other brands is not only hysterical but incredibly strategic. While their risqué approach is definitely not something that can be applied to all companies, their personality is now solidified into their brand and what we expect them to represent.

4. Make sure any information you provide is rewarding

In a world where information is often instantaneous, people don’t like wasting time. While keeping copy short and sweet can be a good tactic, there will often be times where long copy is necessary to help guide or inform your audiences.

Make sure that you aren’t wasting your audience’s time with overly ambiguous prose. It’s important to be informative or interesting without losing sight of your objective. Knowing how your target audience is consuming information is equally important. Targeting them over the right media platform with the proper vehicles can increase engagement and help them connect to your messaging.

5. Connect with your audience’s emotions

Evoking emotional response in your ads can be a useful tactic to show your consumers that you can appeal to them on a deeper level. It can help guide your messaging in a way that audiences can relate to or accept.

To do this correctly, it’s important to understand your target audience and what matters to them, while knowing what your brand’s objectives are. Align your audience’s emotions with your brand’s messaging to create an authentic campaign that is genuine to your audience. Whether the emotions you’re trying to convey are positive or negative doesn’t often matter – it’s more important that your brand doesn’t come across as pandering. You should never try to elicit emotional resonance where it doesn’t belong, just for the sake of guilting or maddening your customers.

Amazon Japan’s Prime commercial is an exceptional example of connecting its audience’s emotional needs with its Prime service. It understands the importance of convenience for families and displays a combination of negative and positive emotions that its audiences could accept.

6. Monitor the success of your campaign

Measuring your campaign’s success is important at every stage in its lifecycle. This can be particularly true for digital campaigns where evaluating your analytics could be instrumental to its success. Evaluating and revising keywords and phrases, as well as the designs you’re using, by comparing them to previous ads you’ve done can help your brand succeed. You should always have an evaluation tactic in place at the start of your campaign so you aren’t wasting time and money on a strategy that might not be working.

7. Go beyond the call to action

Advertising should always have an objective. Whether it’s to increase sales, or market share, or to get more newsletter subscriptions, it’s important to solidify a goal at the beginning of your campaign. What did you want to achieve with your ad? What do you want your consumers to do? What did you need them to understand? Your ad needs to answer these questions in a clear and concise way.

Digital advertising makes it easy to direct your customers towards what you want them to do, but it’s important to remember to go beyond monotonous action items like “Register Today”, “Sign Up Here”, or “Shop now”. Get more creative with your copywriting by being playful with your audiences or rewarding them with something valuable to them, such as a sale on products. Being specific can help too, especially if you’re trying to increase sales for a new product. Glossier is the queen of e-commerce with its simplistic, pointed aesthetic and fun banter that makes you actually want to click.



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