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Weird Science: Building Better Display Ads!

by Cedric Poole

published on 2017-05-09 09:02:00

So, you have a company that is bucking for position in it's particular market segment. Competition is tough! You need to gain traction and every ad that is placed during your campaign has to serve a purpose as well as drive conversions. In comes creative, and with a whisk of their magical wand you have a "pretty" digital display ad... but your click-through rates fall a little flat... why so?

The answer is simple my friend... SCIENCE! Well not exactly, but your creation will require an analytical, centralized approach of all it's elements to be successful.

Depending on the business vertical, there are a combination of creative attributes that will greatly affect a digital ad's success. Some of these attributes are:


This attribute is broken down into two distinct areas; Background-color and Button-color.

There are certain colors that pose themselves as the standard such as white, but playing it safe is not always the right methodology.

According to a study performed by RocketFuel (The Definitive Guide to Creative Optimization), though white backgrounds were represented in more than 40.6% of sampled ads across all verticals, "... ads with *red backgrounds had 31% higher conversion rates when compared to ads with other background colors."


Along with the actual button color that your "Call-To-Action" would be placed on, your CTA should invoke a sense of urgency but not sound too overbearing. Just as with the other attributes, vertical alignment will most likely dictate your CTA messaging.

With that being said, the one crown jewel that seems to increase conversion rates across all verticals the most is the CTA "Learn More." This indexes incredibly well within the retail market averaging a *32% click-through rate. Other key performers are: GET IT, FIND OUT MORE, ORDER NOW, BUILD YOUR OWN, GET STARTED, CLICK HERE among others.


To animate or not to animate, that is the question. Well, a static ad can have the same impact on your audience but speaking from the numbers, the visceral experience of animation captures the viewers eye. Animated ads tends to push the needle, increasing click-through rates by 7% when compared to static ads.

Also, ads that are between *6-9 seconds perform up to 38% better then those higher/lower in their category average.


Keep it simple. What more can I say... the more your ad becomes convoluted with imagery the harder it is for your audience to focus on the over arching message of the ad, while diminishing aesthetics. If you are using lifestyle imagery, try to keep the number of individuals in the ad down to one if possible.

Speaking of which, keep in mind that ads that feature an actual human face tend to *perform 4% percent higher than those without.

If the need is to show more than one product or offer, use more slides... that's what they are there for! Keep the attention centralized on one product at a time while pushing the over-arching message of the ad.

This is not an "end all be all" post by far, but hopefully you will have a little more direction in the art of ad creation. Need more help, contact us! Our creative team has a well spring of knowledge that is perfectly suited to push your ad further and drive better results.  

Connect with us here or give us a call at (313) 222-2775. We’re ready to put our creative team to work for you.

Submitted by: Cedric Poole, Multimedia Designer, Creative. 

Source: *RocketFuel (The Definitive Guide to Creative Optimization) 2017