Building a Better Display Ad: Tips for Effective Creative

A successful display campaign hinges on serving compelling creative to consumers.  In a world where there are new, flashy options for display constantly emerging, you should ask yourself, ‘what creative works best?’ The most effective display ads are relevant, attention-grabbing and straight forward.

To effectively catch the eye of a shopper, your call to action should be prominently displayed, straightforward and simple. Does the consumer need to act? If so, what is the desired action? Any copy should be minimal, but too often advertisers try to squeeze multiple lines of copy into limited real estate rendering their advertising ineffective.

Your landing page should be where the content itself lives, with the ad acting to give a quick hook and then a call-to-action (CTA) being the only copy. An internal analysis of OEM ads on Cars.com revealed that ads are most effective when a single CTA is used, placed near either the bottom or right edge of the ad.[1] That same analysis also found that white text against a black, purple, or red button background were the most effective designs for CTA buttons.

Dynamic ads are also a great way to serve applicable, real-time information to shoppers while at the same time creating a personalized experience. Dynamic creative allows you to feed in up to date inventory to their display ads based on the shopper’s search and location. This is a win-win for both the shopper and the advertiser. The shopper has a more tailored, one to one experience, while allowing the advertiser to be more efficient and targeted. It also eliminates any risk of your creative becoming outdated or irrelevant, since it automatically updates with the relevant available inventory.

Often, we are in such a rush to get something out the door that we forget how important the creative element is in our advertising’s success. Creative should be at the forefront of every advertiser’s conversation. Consumers see hundreds of ads a day, how will you stand out amongst the crowd?

[1] MOAT Analytics & Cars.com Analysis of Internal Data: Feb – Sept 2015

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