By: Jaimie Hefelfinger

Think about the last time you saw a really clever advertising campaign. Now think of the last time you saw something mundane. It’s probably harder to imagine the last boring campaign you saw because it didn’t have the impact to break through the clutter. We often get asked how to set up a campaign for success, but success doesn’t just lie in tactics or segments we choose. A large part of an effective campaign comes from the creative. It needs to make an impact. It is easy for creative to get overlooked when you’re planning for a new campaign, but ideally it should be a focus as creative can make or break a campaign. Providing creative input can help solidify you at their digital media expert/consultant, but also will help to ensure an effective campaign. Let’s take a look at some of Centro’s best practices for creative.

Each method of advertising has its own set of creative rules to live by. For billboards, you should only have six words or less. For radio, you need to repeat your telephone number at least twice. In digital, less is more. You want the ad to be clean and compelling. As a guide, each digital ad should have five main components:

  • Consistent Company Branding: Make sure the look and feel of the ad fits the look and feel of the advertiser, their website, their other ad campaigns and their mission.
  • Hero Image: Limit yourself to one hero image that draws the viewer’s attention.
  • Headline: This could be the company’s tagline or part of their jingle. Remember to keep it consistent with the rest of the branding.
  • Logo: Sources say this is best in the corner of the ad and uses a color that stands out against the background.
  • Call to Action: People need direction! Tell them what you want them to do.

Don’t forget to keep the user’s device in mind. If you’re creating a mobile ad, you have far less space than a desktop display ad. Feel free to forego either the hero image or the headline, as you won’t have room for both. Creating a video ad? Keep in mind that “less is more” is important here too. You’re ideally executing a :15 or :30 spot. It’s also advantageous to have the logo/branding in the first 5 seconds of the digital video in case the user skips or closes out before the end of the spot.

You knew we had to mention the KPI at some point, right? It is imperative that the Call to Action aligns with the client’s overall goal.

  • Awareness: Mention whatever is going on with the advertiser that they want their customers to know about. E.g. 50% off sale this weekend! Grand opening!
  • Site Traffic: Draw them into the site with your ad copy. E.g. Click here to save more! See Our Inventory Here!
  • User Action: Push people down that funnel. E.g. Enroll Now! Book Your Reservation Today!

Don’t be afraid to be creative with the creative! Have some fun and try a few things. You can always test a couple versions of the creative to see which is getting you the best results. If you’re using Retargeting as a tactic, try a different copy/creative or a coupon for anyone that has been to the site. This will help break through the clutter and get them to re-engage.

It’s easy for the creative to take a backseat in the planning stages of a campaign, but with a little bit of attention, it can dramatically impact the success of the campaign. Make sure their creative is clean, compelling, and aligns with their KPI. A successful campaign means happy customers which means more renewals (and commission dollars!).

Creative FAQ – Screenshots

How do I create a screenshot?

Chances are you have had an advertiser ask you for a screenshot. When you execute an audience extension campaign a live screenshot can be very tricky to obtain. This is because you may not fit the targeting of the campaign and/or there are just too many websites the ad could potentially run on that the likelihood of you finding the ad is slim. The good news is that “mocked up” screenshots are ok’ed by the IAB as an option as the screenshot does not provide proof of delivery, that instead falls to the delivery report. You can easily mock up a screen shot and we have resources to show you how! Click here to learn how to mock up your own screenshot.