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Pathmatics Blog
Ad Intelligence 101 |


Ad Creatives That Work and Why: Three Examples

October 05 2017 by Ken Roberts

The most important part of any advertising strategy is, of course, the ad itself. Regardless of placement, your ad will fight an uphill battle for attention alongside thousands of other creatives in the marketplace. You have only a moment to catch consumer attention, and make a lasting impression (literally).

So, how are top advertisers breaking through the noise?

We used Pathmatics' marketing intelligence software to assess popular creatives by number of impressions, and identify why they’re effective. As best practices, we wholeheartedly agree with three simple rules for successful ads courtesy of Think With Google: Be compelling. Be concise. Be clear.

Below are three examples of ad creatives that work (and why they work). Each ad featured below made Pathmatics’ list of top creatives for each individual brand over the last 12 months.

1. Hulu 

This creative generated 208,914,700 impressions in about six weeks (first seen in late March and last seen in early May). 

competitive ad intelligence

Why was it so impactful? Hulu’s message is, above all, compelling. It takes a direct approach to the burning question: Why should I choose you over the biggest competitor in the space (Netflix)? 

The language is powerful and succinct, demonstrating competitive advantage and immediacy in only 11 words. Plus, the collage of images—spanning genres—adds relevancy for various segments of consumers without overwhelming the design.

The takeaway: Don’t be afraid to address the most compelling—or most painful—aspect of the buyer conversation head-on.

2. Apple

Apple’s top creative drove 858,449,800 impressions, also in roughly six weeks (between February and early April). 

Apple, a powerhouse advertiser, is always concise. In this creative, the product itself creates intrigue—ultimately driving the consumer to click on “Pick up a pair” for more information. The ad design goes hand-in-hand with brand messaging; it’s clean, functional and sleek. 

competitive ad intelligence

In the words of Neil Patel, “This is part of [Apple’s] brilliance in content marketing; high tech without high tech terms. This approach doesn’t confuse their customers with too much information.” 

The takeaway: If you have a strong visual to represent your product or service, let it do the talking for you.

3. Warby Parker

This top creative from Warby Parker generated 6,351,600 impressions over the span of about eight weeks.

competitive ad intelligence

White space, combined with a high-quality image of the product, gives this ad a minimalist feel. But, what makes this really clear is the no-nonsense copy. The ad states what you get, how much you pay, and all the value adds that come with it.

It communicates literally everything you need to know to make a purchase now. 

The takeaway: Ad creatives don’t have to be flashy or complex to make an impact.

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About Author
Ken Roberts

Ken Roberts has been immersed in marketing and technology for over a decade, merging creative strategies with the latest technology, to bring products together with the people who need them. With degrees in Engineering, Computer Science and an MBA, Ken’s background in product management, marketing, sales, analytics and technology lends to his ability to attack product challenges on multiple levels. Ken began his career developing software solutions for medical records before transitioning to marketing. Ken focused on building marketing departments and operating in-house agencies. Ken’s experience with digital platforms, internet based marketing, lead scoring and business intelligence, and reporting, as well as a keen market understanding, are a welcome addition to Pathmatics, only matched by a leadership philosophy that encourages high creativity and ownership from his team.

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