Case Studies
Apr 13, 2023

3 types of ad creatives that outperform all the others

3 types of ad creatives that outperform all the others

Crafting ad creatives that stand out in a crowded digital landscape can be a challenging task. With so many businesses battling for attention online, it's no wonder you're feeling a bit overwhelmed when hearing big words such as *ad creative strategy*. 

Time and time again, we see businesses giving their designers and video editors vague instructions to make some “really cool” ad visuals, and then expect magic to happen when they launch a campaign. Usually many ads go unnoticed or fail to generate the desired results. 

At Bighead Lab, we've had the privilege of creating over 20,000+ ad creatives working with 100+ brands. And let's just say we've learned a thing or two along the way. 

We're sharing our step-by-step process of ad creative preparation and 3 types of ad creatives that outperform all the others. We'll break down each type and provide tips on how to create ad visuals that grab your audience's attention and keep them engaged.

Ad creative preparation process

1. Competitive analysis and current ad creative audit

We start by taking a deep dive into bigger players in the industry and market and analysing their creative approach. In practice, this means we go through the Ad Library to see their current best-performing creatives. Then we check their Instagram profiles to get a sense of their brand's visual direction and see what type of content they're putting out.

We compile all of our learnings into a spreadsheet that serves as a base for launching new creatives. This type of creative document is updated regularly as we collaborate with the client. We believe that everyone on the team, from designers, project managers to media buyers, has to be aware of the creative approach that competitors are utilising at a certain moment to generate ideas on how we can do it better.

Before we start brainstorming our own video concepts and static ad designs, we carefully review all the available video and photo material we can work with to understand if we can use existing content, or if we need to create new videos from scratch (Then our video production team rolls up their sleeves). This step is super important for making the most out of our resources.

2. Brainstorming and idea generation

In the second phase of our ad creative preparation, we get our creative juices flowing. We start brainstorming ideas and concepts for video angles and hooks that could really resonate with the target audience. 

We consider testing out tried and tested formulas that have worked well for a specific segment or industry in the past or trying out new, interesting trends. 

Once we have a long list of potential and creative ideas, we start to prioritise. We begin to develop ad briefs for each idea, including the video materials and scripts that will be needed to bring them to life.

3. Creative testing plan

We establish a plan for ad creative testing which will allow us to gather data on the performance of different ad variations and optimise our creative strategy accordingly. 

Our testing plan typically includes:

  1. Defining testing variables: Before we launch any tests, we first identify what variables we want to test, such as different ad formats, visuals, messaging, or CTAs. 
  2. Defining metrics for success: Next, we define the metrics that will help us determine the success of each ad variation. We usually focus on click-through rates, cost per purchase, number of conversions, ROAS.
  3. Launching the tests: Once we have everything in place, we launch the tests and gather data on the performance of each ad variation.
  4. Analysing the results: We then analyse the results and identify what worked and what didn't. Based on this analysis, we make data-driven decisions on how to optimise our ad creative strategy moving forward.

3. Ad variations

Based on the results of our testing, we make adjustments to the underperforming ads and create new variations to test. This iterative process allows us to continuously improve our ad creatives and optimise for the best results.

3 types of ad creatives that outperform all the others

After crafting over 20,000 ad visuals, we've discovered that certain creative types consistently outperform the others in terms of CTR and ROAS.

1. UGC video creative

When it comes to creating ads that really pop, self-shot videos made by brand ambassadors and customers are our secret weapon! We've found that the most successful UGC ads feature the product in action and highlight its amazing benefits and features while also telling a great story or sharing a personal experience.

What worked best for us:

  • Starting with an effective hook in the first 3 seconds (surprising fact, thought-provoking question, a compelling story, using humour or a playful tone)
  • Incorporating dynamic shots, including different camera angles, movements and transitions that create visual interest and movement within the video
  • Featuring a confident speaker who knows how to captivate and engage the audience through their voice, storytelling and presence.

2. Mashables

Combining various visual elements in ad creatives can effectively enhance engagement and elevate the overall ad experience. Also, using an iterative approach allows us to quickly test and refine our ideas for maximum impact.

What worked best for us:

  • Gathering a variety of assets, such as UGC and studio videos and photos, graphics, animations, and combining them in various different ways, focusing on the hook (first 3 seconds of the video).
  • The key message communicated in a clear manner, utilising large and easily readable text.

3. Raw images

Raw images vs. highly designed ads? This might surprise you but raw imagery usually wins! Not only that raw images feel more authentic and genuine, but they can also help to create a stronger connection with your audience.

What worked best for us:

  • Using raw images created by brand ambassadors that have a natural look and feel, which can help to create a sense of trust and authenticity with the audience.
  • Choosing properly composed and lit to make sure your product looks its best.
  • Promoting them through ambassadors’ profiles to increase their reach.
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