Nowadays, most advertising has focused on a particular look. It is easy to pinpoint the characteristics of the formulas that many advertisers use to create campaigns. Especially at the high-end level.
The idea of the “Instagram Effect” consumes everything. This has a major societal effect, but we will deep dive into this specific topic in another article.
People are starting to get tired of looking at ads while they’re surfing the web, their attention is no longer called by them. More specifically, these tactics don’t encourage any type of engagement with the ad itself.
Thus, it is important to be willing to explore by trying out different types of ads that promote engagement with users.
On Twitter, @AdsAlchemist made an interesting observation that is worth sharing with people in the industry. He was working with a client whose goal was to sell honey. So, he decided to test and see what type of ad would have a better effect.
He tested two ads, one was a standard image of honey, the other was a bizarre, weird photo of what seems to be a hand covered in honey.
Can you think which ad garnered the most attention? You guessed it. The bizarre image had 10 times the CTR of the other. The answer may seem obvious, it is easy to guess what leads to more engagement, so it is worth it to try this type of tactic.
This is a direct example of how you shouldn’t try classic, direct, and simple ads using product photos and stock images. You have to be open to trying bizarre ways of advertising.
Some people in the industry refer to this as “Oddvertising,” which can be used in image display ads, as well as in TV or YouTube commercials. As Mike Johnston states in an article, “adding these layers of oddity makes the situation more and more absurd, and the commercial more appealing.”
The Ads Alchemist points out that it’s important to consider your specific product and how it can be showcased bizarrely. But it is important not to confuse the use of bizarre ads with a portrayal that’s disgusting or overwhelming.
For example, think of a small company that’s trying to advertise its face cream. It’s different for them to differentiate themselves. Especially among all the major beauty corporations selling similar products. Will they stand out by simply using display ads with the image of a beautiful model, following the formula of the Instagram Effect? No!
They will gain a few more glances at their ad by trying something fun and bizarre. This will also likely influence customers’ perception of the brand. Using funny ads that are tailored to your audience eliminates the idea that you are a major corporation only looking for profit. It shows that you are in tune with their needs and are having fun with your company.
It is important to note that this tactic of using bizarre ads may not fit every company or every context. If you are a bank, for example, users may expect a more serious, firm image. Or if you are selling something sensitive, such as in pharmaceutical companies, bizarre ads will likely not sit well with your customers.
But how will you know whether this will work or not? By testing! Test different approaches and see what works, or doesn’t work, with your customers.
Think about your current campaigns, what are some truly weird alternative ads you could try out? Go listen to some creative music, stare at the windowpane, and test, test, test!
Morgan Friedman has been building and running Display campaigns on top of GDN Network of Adwords, err, he means "Google Ads," for almost 15 years. Friedman is, by nature, an obsessive optimizer, and has been A/B testing every obscure option, configuration, strategy, and tactic on Display Ads. Oh and search ads, as well as figuring out how to grow companies and politicians from just the seed to hundreds of thousands of users, or voters, as well. His favorite number is eleven. He enjoys writing about Managed Placements.