Ad Review: What Makes A Good Display Ad

Today let’s talk about what makes a good Display Ad. However, sometimes, to go forward, we must first take a step back. In other words, to understand what makes a good display ad, it may be imperative to first understand what doesn’t…..or how about we understand both simultaneously? I could go on and on and expound on the textbook criteria of what distinguishes an effective display ad from an ineffective one. 

However, in the interest of saving time and mixing things up a bit, I thought it may be wiser to review an ad instead so we could discuss exactly what it gets wrong and what it gets right. So here goes: this is an ad I came across when I was blissfully procrastinating on Instagram:

Let’s talk about the targeting of this ad before we dive in, shall we? I’ve been gearing up for a vacation lately and have been shopping left, right and center so I’m not surprised that I came across this particular ad. I’d go so far as to say that I was glad to be coming across this ad since it let me know about a great limited period offer from The Body Shop. In other words, Google’s mighty algorithm impressed me yet again with its ability to find me the kind of ads I’m genuinely interested in. Great targeting, Google! Bullseye! 

Now, let’s discuss the content that you see in the ad and the description below it. First things first, what struck me about the ad was the array of colors and patterns that are splattered across it. They’re quite eye-catching, wouldn’t you say? The overall design of the ad itself is quite impressive with the 6 boxes of body butter arranged around the lines of text like the petals of a flower. For a skincare brand, that’s surely the kind of imagery you want to go for. Since people generally associate flowers with beauty and their petals with suppleness and radiance, you can see why the ad designer decided to go with this display. After all, isn’t that the message that a top beauty brand would like to send out – that its products can enhance your physical appearance? Of course, this makes me think of the importance of hiring a PPC with good taste criteria

Whoever designed the ad knew what they were doing, that’s for sure. However, pretty as this display may be I couldn’t help but pick out one flaw in it: you can’t see the names of the products. Granted, adding only half the images of each product somewhat adds to their allure, but it may have been more useful for impatient viewers such as myself to just be able to see the names of the products. That way, they could save time and add the product which they liked to their cart on The Body Shop website. Another way to say this would be that to encourage positive engagement, it’s usually helpful to add the names and links to your products so customers can act swiftly. 

Also, the font could be better. Take a good look at the ad. Doesn’t it give you the impression that the image is being stretched against its will because of the font? I can readily imagine that I’m not the only person to be put off by a font like that, so thankfully there isn’t too much written content in the ad. Speaking of, I can’t seem to fault what’s written in the ad, no matter how critically I look at it. 

Big brands like The Body Shop generally keep it simple and bank on their reputation to bring in customers, so they don’t have to try too hard to be witty with what’s written in their ads. Granted, every big company launches a truly memorable ad campaign every few years. However, for the most part, they rely on the fact that customers are familiar with the quality of their products and so all they need to do is call their attention to new product launches, discounts, promotions, etc. That’s exactly what’s been done here, easy work for a PPC expert!

All that the text in the ad tells you is that The Body Shop is running a promotion wherein you receive 40% off on your purchase of 2 body butters. That’s it. And we have to ask ourselves, does there even need to be any more than that? This seems to be about adequate information to bring in customers: the name of the brand, the terms of the promotion being offered, and the products that are being promoted. The only creative line used here is the rather cheesy ‘Spread The Love’. But then again, who can blame them? That’s the only creative liberty that they’ve allowed themselves here. 

Additionally, the little description box that Instagram allows you on your stories is a true blessing for advertisers. It gives you the freedom to design your main ad as concisely as you want to capture the attention of viewers and elaborate on your products or services below that. Therefore, if a viewer is interested they’ll turn towards the text below the ad and if they want to read more, there’s still a chance that they’ll click on the link to check out your website. Win-win!

In conclusion, this was one of the better display ads that I’ve come across lately. It was eye-catching, concise, and well-targeted. Think about it, what more could viewers want from an ad that interrupts their blissful procrastination on social media?

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