Ad Review: When A Display Ad Doesn’t Get It Right

Since I spend hours upon hours on the internet every day (which one of us doesn’t?), it’s not often that I notice the Display Ads that I come across online. After all, there are several of these ads on each page we visit online and it could drive us up the wall if we were to register every single one of them. The worst of these ads are those that flash and change as you’re staring at them.

If you don’t know what I’m talking about, it’s those ads that appear to change images like a slideshow every few seconds. Not only are those ads distracting, but they’re also headache-inducing. Who thought it was a good idea to make ads like that in the first place? I mean, I get it, if you use more than one image you have more space to feature content for your ads. However, what advertisers don’t seem to get is that if we’re not paying attention to one image, what makes you think we’re going to stick around for a slideshow?

I came across one of these ads the other day when I was online reading an article about my favorite football player and suffice it to say that I was not amused. I’ll let you have a look at the ad first before I dive into the review:


As you can see, it’s an ad for an online pharmaceutical store. The first thing that struck me about this ad was its irrelevance to me. I never purchase medicines online and I’ve never looked for websites that sell drugs on the internet so I don’t know why Google decided it wanted to show me this ad but oh well, who am I to question Google’s mighty algorithm?

Moving on, let’s talk about the main content of the ad. First, let’s start with what this ad does right: the color palette. I can’t be the only one who thinks that ads that feature a riot of bright colors are a little difficult to like. These ads feel more like an assault on the senses than an image inviting me to explore a product/service further. Therefore, I liked that the only bright color this ad features is a pale pinkish red that doesn’t take too much away from the written content of the ad.

However, I wouldn’t mind if the ad featured an image of the products it’s advertising. It wouldn’t hurt to have a picture or illustration of pills and syrups to jazz things up and make the ad more visually appealing. I’ve often found that ads for essential products such as medicines or sanitary products that feature colorful illustrations capture the imagination and make a viewer look twice. This could be because no one’s expecting an ad for a drug store to feature cartoonish images or animation so it adds an interesting dimension to what would otherwise be a pretty basic, run-of-the-mill ad.

Anyway, this ad doesn’t feature any illustrations or images or a loud color palette so we’re left to focus on the written content of the ad. Did you spot the line ‘India’s Leading Digital Healthcare Platform’ right below the name of the brand? Of course, you did, this line was written in a large enough font to take up a considerable amount of space on the ad, so clearly, the PPC expert working on the ad didn’t want you to miss that.

However, I didn’t find this line particularly impressive for one reason and one reason alone: that it was designed to impress. Now, since I live in India I know for a fact that very few people buy their medication online and drugstores with a physical location enjoy good footfall here. Therefore, I would say that it wouldn’t take much to be ‘India’s Leading Digital Healthcare Platform’ by any stretch and this line sounds more self-congratulatory than sincere – which is never a good sign.

Then there’s the line featured right in the center of the ad which goes, ‘Get Flat 25% Off on medicines and many more offers’. Is it just me or does this line sound a bit off? I feel like it would’ve made more sense without the word ‘get’ in there or if they’d have added ‘and more’ or ‘other products’ after ‘medicines’ instead of ‘and more offers’. I know, I know, these details may not seem very relevant but trust me, these things can make all the difference between a viewer scrolling past the ad and engaging with it.

If brands truly want to boost their click-through rates (CTR), they’ll need to hire specialists who are familiar with the nuances of PPC marketing. A good PPC specialist would be able to frame the content in the article far, far better than whoever’s written it. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to undermine the efforts of those who made the ad. At the very least, this ad is simple and gets the point across, which is more than I can say for most Display Ads I’ve seen lately.

Besides, what I liked about this particular ad is that the promo code for the discount alluded to in the main body of the ad is mentioned in the ad. This reassures viewers that the ad is not making any false claims and that there is indeed a discount they can take advantage of. This could help boost the brand’s image, especially since it’s selling something like medicines that people prefer to buy from traditional drug stores.

All said and done, this ad isn’t as ineffective as a few other Display Ads I’ve seen on Instagram and other platforms online, but it’s still not as effective as it could be. A little bit of imagination goes a long way when it comes to creating engaging content and a talented PPC expert would be able to deliver well on the same. Therefore, it’s important to keep a keen eye out for quality content creators who can help boost your conversion rates and brand image in the long run.

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