How one picture will decide the fate of your advertising campaign

Everything from budget to design influences ad performance, but without compelling creative, the entire campaign can be meaningless. In this article, we will consider how to make a creative one on which you can build your entire advertising strategy, as well as the TOP mistakes that will kill any conversion.

What is creative in advertising and what it can be:

An ad creative is an ad on a website page, a social network. It can be static or animated, in general, like banners in the subway or on billboards, only on the Internet. They are the ones that users first of all pay attention to before clicking and following a link.

Depending on the site, ad creatives are:

  • Google Adwords and YAN («РСЯ») - banners on the pages of Yandex and Google search engines and partner sites. Most often it is a static image with a title that can be written either on the image or in the ad text. They look like this

  • For targeted advertising, this is advertising on platforms that cover the MyTarget network and Facebook. That’s all that we see on Instagram, VK, OK, on YouTube, that is, on social networks. There is already more freedom for creativity, and advertisers are almost not limited either in formats or in the flight of imagination. Vivid examples of targeted advertising creatives:

4 reasons why your banners aren't working

In our experience, we have tried about 1000+ ad creatives in different formats for 75+ niches. Most of them gave good results, but there were some that gave almost no response. Even experienced specialists have mistakes, and for you to not have any errors, we have collected the most common mistakes when creating banners for advertising.

1. The text takes more than 20% of the creative

On such banners, everything is usually blurred, information is not perceived, and many users generally flip through them at once - no one wants to read long canvases. Your message should be clear, short, but informative.
An example of a failed creative where text takes up almost the entire image:

2. Lack of persuasion of action and offer

The purpose of any advertisement is to get a person doing one or another action. When a user sees a beautiful picture of something and decides: “I want it!”, He must know what to do for this, otherwise he will just scroll by. No matter how good the message, beautiful and attractive picture, if there is no call to action, then there will be no response.

An example of such an advertisement:

The lack of title and value of the offer is just as important as the lack of a call - the creative must contain a message that awakens the user to want to click on the banner. Below are examples of good creatives that lose a lot due to the lack of a powerful proposal.

There is an offer here, but it is vague. the discount percentage is a print on the background, not clearly marked text, so the user simply doesn’t notice it.

3. The picture does not match the title

Creatives, and they are creatives, because you can create everything that imagination is capable of. But sometimes advertisers and designers overdo it, and you can see one thing in the image, but quite another in the proposal.

4. Originality of idea, creativity

Users see hundreds of advertisements on the Internet, and you constantly have to fight for their attention. With default photos with happy faces taken from images in a search engine, you are unlikely to attract someone's attention, rather even alienate. Examples of such advertisements:

Sometimes you can go overboard with creativity and generate a wave of hate and loss of reputation. But it's also a great way to resonate with users and get their attention with provocative ads.

Create something of your own, invent something that no one else has seen, and then the flow of interested users is ensured.

How to create a picture that will support the entire advertising campaign

The main thing is to understand that you are creating not just a picture, but an advertising creative.
The word "creative" is responsible for visually standing out from a great variety of pictures. You need to come up with a concept that will make you unique or refine the creative concepts of competitors. The task here is to understand who will interact with the creative and identify the visual methods and approaches that will make you stand out.
The word "advertising" is used to ensure that the creative has a clear selling proposition that has potential value or interest for users interacting with the advertisement. And in order to make a powerful advertising tool out of just an original image, you need to lay down a competent marketing base for it.

Marketing base

This is the foundation on which all advertisements are built. To prepare it, you need to study in detail the product, target audience and competitors. Let's take a look at these concepts from the creating creatives point of view.


A product is not a physical product, it is, most often, a solution to some of the customer's problems. They pay money for this and they want to get it in the end. Therefore, it is important to understand who and how to offer it. Let's look at an example.

Sale of designer lamps

Let's say a company sells designer lighting from Europe. That is, if a person wants to buy beautiful lamps, add them to his design project, or even develop a project specifically for this, he does not actually need the chandeliers and floor lamps, but, for example, he need a lighting project for the interior. It is very difficult to find lamps that will match the style, and also be combined with each other, in one place. This is a huge investment of time and money. Therefore, the task is to sell not a specific lamp, but a beautiful visual of the future interior, and complement this with the first step that will help the client simply choose the right lamps for his interior, so that it is visually attractive.
It turns out that the company is not selling lamps. It sells a finished interior with fully engineered lighting. This means, we need appropriate creatives, which will not show the lamps themselves, but the interior of an apartment or house, a selection from a designer.
In creatives, it is better to use real photos of completed interiors, real designers who work for the company. We did just that, and our creatives looked like this:

They evoke positive emotions. In the first image. The second photo shows a real designer who works for the company. This is how we build trust and show that real people will work with the customer.

It is rare that the same people buy a product. As you study your audience, you will likely identify several user segments that differ in their needs and behaviors. Therefore, it depends on who your target audience is, what kind of emotions the images should evoke.

The audience

In order to create effective advertisements, it is important to study your audience: who your potential buyers are and what they want. I will show the necessity of this with one more example.

Renovation of restaurants

This niche is going through tough times right now. The owners of commercial real estate do not have extra money, let alone for repairs, sometimes even for rent.

In addition, not all restaurants survived the crisis, and those that are still afloat are unlikely to pursue the goal of expanding or making repairs, they would have more customers. You can increase the attractiveness of your offer for restaurant owners with a fresh renovation. This means that the offer can be like this: "Renovation of cafes and restaurants, adapted to the coronavirus at anti-crisis prices, in just 15 days."

Sounds logical?

The worst sin a marketer can commit is looking down on customer service and sales. After all, they know perfectly well what consumers want, because they are in constant contact with them.

Real marketing research is carried out in the fields:

  • study the experience of colleagues who actively work with clients;
  • complete an internship in the sales department;
  • chat with clients (old and new) and, of course, with those who never became a client;
  • become a customer yourself: Compare the buying process from you and your competitors.

State the benefits that differentiate you from other companies. Let me dwell in more detail on when it is worth studying competitors.


Customers are comparing you to more than just those you consider your competitors. They are considering completely different options for solving their problem. Therefore, study your audience firstly – that’s who will exactly tell who your competitors really are.

You should only compare yourself with other companies when such a comparison is unavoidable: the competitor is better known than you or their ad appears next to yours, for example, in search ads.

If you are a market leader, your ads on social media will be seen by users who may not even know your competitors and their offers. Therefore, concentrate in your ads on the needs of your audience, without looking back at the proposals of other companies.

How to communicate your competitive advantage

Even if you are a market leader, it is worth studying your competitors in order to at least articulate your advantages.
Here's an example of typical text that companies write about themselves:

«We are not just a team of highly qualified specialists with many years of experience. We are a team of passionate people who know their business and strive for the maximum quality of service to our clients. We find an individual approach for each client, provide a full range of necessary services, find optimal solutions for everyone. We do not chase after quantity: the main thing for us is the quality of services. And the highest award for us are high marks from our clients».

In such a description, there is no specific advantage or anything that would distinguish this company from everyone else. On the contrary, almost any company with any product could write such a text about itself. Do not do it this way.

You need significant differences - things that other companies cannot say about themselves. "High quality" and "professional staff" will not convince customers to buy from you. After all, none of the competitors admits that his product is of poor quality or that his employees are incompetent.


So, you have already decided what your product is, what your audience is interested in and what your competitive advantages are. Now that you understand what exactly and to whom exactly you are offering, you can formulate offers for each audience segment. An offer is the essence of your suggestion.
Let's try to formulate an offer for Lead Me. Let's choose a segment of the audience that needs clients from the Internet. Next, let's combine this with a bright image. And here's what we got:

The metrics for these creatives were as follows:

So with the help of marketing, you can create a picture that will pull out the entire advertising campaign. Download the checklist of “TOP 15 tricks for powerful creativity, which are not used by 90% of“ targetologists ”and find out how to double the CTR from an advertising banner in 2021.
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