April 18, 2023

Powerhouse Creative is a key ingredient in ad effectiveness

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Digital advertising used to be simple. It all started with just a few channels and a couple of formats like hyperlinks and display. We should know – we were there. Founded in January 1994, Yahoo witnessed the first-ever banner ad. It was launched by AT&T in October that year and ran on Wired.com (then known as hotwired.com)1. The ad was such an interesting innovation that it generated a 44% Click Through Rate2 (CTR). Who wouldn’t want that kind of CTR today?

The Attention Economy

Whether it’s out on the street through Digital Out of Home, at work while on their laptop or desktop, or at home in front of their Connected TV, channel proliferation has opened up  touchpoints for reaching people almost anywhere. But with unprecedented access to consumers, we also face unprecedented competition for their attention. The question remains the same as it was at the beginning of digital advertising: what’s the best way to get consumer attention and communicate your brand message? The answer: powerhouse creative.

Great creative grabs attention and inspires action

The proof is in the pudding. Our recent study in partnership with IPG/Magna Global, Creative, The Performance Powerhouse, highlights the critical role of creative in driving awareness and intent. The results are eye-opening and show that creative drives:

  • 56% of purchase intent while media placement + targeting drives 44%3
  • 79% of top-of-mind ad recall while media placement + targeting drives 21%3
  • 77% of brand favorability while media placement + targeting drives 23%3

If you’re considering how to engage your target audience, quality creative is your best friend.

Best practices for creative that pops

If you’re thinking that only brands with big creative budgets can make standout creative – think again. Our research showed that even the smallest changes to ads can have a huge impact on results. Here are some of our best practices:

Up the visual impact: Ads with human presence or enhanced product imagery draw in those with propensity to buy showing +50% message association.

Be explicit about your brand proposition: Ads with more informative messaging including perks, value-adds and product benefits stay on screen an average of  +8 seconds than base ads.4

Make your logo more prominent: Larger, colorful and more visible logos drive higher transactional moment – +24% search intent than base ads.3

Encourage next steps: A more direct call-to-action drives higher interest and action with +41% visiting the brands website

1 thedrum.com/news/2016/03/31/1994-first-banner-ad-appears-hotwiredcom

2 theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2017/04/the-first-ever-banner-ad-on-the-web/523728/

3,4 Creative, The Performance Powerhouse, 2023

5 2022 Adweek's Readers' Choice: Best of Tech Partner Awards

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