How To Create Top-Notch Ad Creatives to Boost Campaign Performance

 20 min read

In today’s digital age, we are bombarded with an overwhelming amount of content and advertisements on the internet. It seems like everywhere we look, there’s something trying to grab our attention.

However, as users, we have developed a selective blindness, ignoring things that don’t interest us directly. This phenomenon is commonly known as “ad blindness” or “banner blindness,” and it has expanded beyond traditional banner ads to include video ads and even some native advertising.


To combat this ad blindness, marketers need to adopt both short-term and long-term strategies. In the short term, it’s crucial to optimize for mobile devices since mobile traffic dominates the digital landscape. Paying special attention to iOS traffic, which can be harder to reach, can yield significant benefits.

Another short-term strategy is to experiment with different ad placements on webpages, trying out various locations to improve visibility and click-through rates. Additionally, customizing ads can be effective in the short term. This can be achieved by seamlessly blending them with the platform’s native elements or by using visually striking designs that catch users’ attention.

However, these short-term strategies are not long-term solutions because users eventually become accustomed to customized ads and new ad placements. To minimize the impact of ad blindness in the long run, marketers should focus on research, adaptation, and innovation. Staying ahead of the curve requires continuous research, keeping up with the latest trends, monitoring competitors, and adapting to new platforms. By anticipating changes and taking proactive measures, marketers can truly stand out from the crowd.

Investing in the right ad formats is another long-term solution to combat ad blindness. Some formats, like Smartlink (or Direct Link), seamlessly integrate with the user’s browsing experience, making them resistant to ad blindness.

Collaborating with ad networks that prioritize innovation and offer highly engaging ad formats such as Social Bar can be beneficial in finding effective solutions. These networks have dedicated research and development departments that develop and fine-tune formats designed to withstand the challenges of ad blindness.

Key Elements of Successful Ads

To overcome ad blindness, it’s crucial to focus on key elements that contribute to a successful ad campaign. These building blocks form the foundation for achieving outstanding results. Clear objectives, a targeted audience, compelling messaging, eye-catching visuals, and a strong call to action are all crucial components that can make your ad campaigns truly stand out.

Defining your objectives is absolutely essential. Whether you aim to increase brand awareness, generate leads, drive website traffic, or boost sales, having a specific goal in mind helps create focused and effective advertisements. For example, if your objective is lead generation, your campaign could include a lead capture form or a clear incentive for users to provide their contact information.

Understanding your audience is vital when crafting impactful ads. Identifying their demographics, interests, and preferences allows you to tailor your messaging in a way that truly resonates with them.

Crafting persuasive messages is the key to capturing attention. Your ad copy should highlight the unique value proposition of your product or service, address pain points, and provide solutions. Language that truly resonates with your target audience and evokes emotion can greatly enhance the effectiveness of your ads.

Visuals play an essential role in capturing attention and communicating your message with utmost effectiveness. Incorporating high-quality images or videos that are relevant to your offering enhances the visual appeal of your ads. By leveraging eye-catching designs, vibrant colors, and striking imagery, you can create a visual experience that compels your audience to engage with your brand. Consistency is also vital in building brand recognition and creating a cohesive experience. Incorporating your brand’s colors, typography, and design elements into your ad creatives establishes a visual identity that helps your audience recognize your brand amidst a sea of other advertisements.

A strong call to action is what encourages users to take the desired action. It should be clear, concise, and prompt further engagement. Effective CTAs include phrases like “Shop Now,” “Sign Up for a Free Trial,” or “Call Now for a Consultation.” A strong CTA significantly increases the chances of converting viewers into customers.

Continuously monitoring and analyzing the performance of your campaigns allows you to make data-driven optimizations and improve results over time. Remember, great advertising facilitates decision-making and delivers clear messages to customers who are often overwhelmed with choices and information. By focusing on these elements, you can create ad campaigns that truly resonate with your audience and drive meaningful results.

How to match ad creatives to specific products and verticals

Let’s dive into how to align ad creatives with specific products and verticals.

VPN, Utilities, Antiviruses

When it comes to VPNs and Utilities, it’s essential to make use of push ads that function as notifications, effectively notifying and grabbing attention. To convey the message effectively, consider incorporating catchy and meaningful icons, along with larger pictures that capture the audience’s interest.

For VPN campaigns, it’s crucial to create native visuals that seamlessly blend with the user interface, while delivering a clear message. Focus on highlighting the importance of privacy protection and the potential increase in productivity that VPN services offer. Emphasize how using a VPN can safeguard sensitive information and provide a secure browsing experience.

When advertising antivirus software, it’s important to highlight the potential risks and vulnerabilities that users may face without adequate protection. Create a sense of urgency by emphasizing the expiration of the offer, encouraging users to take immediate action. Showcase how the antivirus solution can safeguard their devices and protect them from malware, viruses, and other online threats.

Remember, the key is to align the visuals and messaging with the specific product and vertical you are promoting. By tailoring your ad creatives to address the unique benefits and concerns of VPNs and Utilities, you can effectively engage your audience and drive meaningful conversions.

Software Vertical

In the software vertical, where desktop ads hold prominence, it’s beneficial to utilize larger creatives such as interstitials and custom widgets. These formats provide ample space to showcase the features and benefits of the software you are promoting.

Interstitial ads, which appear between content or during natural breaks, can capture the user’s attention effectively. Make use of eye-catching visuals and compelling messaging to pique their interest. Highlight the unique selling points of the software, such as its functionality, user-friendliness, and time-saving capabilities. Showcasing before-and-after scenarios or demonstrating the software in action can be highly impactful.

Custom widgets, on the other hand, allow for seamless integration within the user interface, providing a non-intrusive yet effective way to promote software products. Design these widgets to complement the overall aesthetics of the platform or website they will be displayed on. Ensure that the widget clearly communicates the value proposition of the software and entices users to explore further.

When creating ad creatives for software, it’s important to consider the target audience and their specific needs. Tailor your messaging to address pain points and provide solutions. Use visuals and graphics that convey the functionality and versatility of the software. Incorporate testimonials or customer reviews to build trust and credibility.

Dating and Social Apps

When it comes to dating and social services, creating a personalized and inviting atmosphere is key. Instead of using icons, opt for real faces in your ad creatives to establish a genuine connection with your audience. Incorporating faces in the ads helps create a sense of familiarity and relatability.

To make your dating ads stand out, consider designing them to resemble private chat messages or playful invitations. This approach adds an element of intrigue and personalization. Engage people by asking thought-provoking questions that spark conversations and make them feel like they are receiving a genuine personal message.

In terms of visuals, steer away from glossy magazine pictures and instead use profile-like photos. These images convey authenticity and give a more realistic representation of the people using the dating service. Incorporate chat icons, speech bubbles, notifications, and video streams to grab attention and create a sense of dynamic interaction.

Gaming Offers

When it comes to gaming ads, it’s important to capture the excitement and thrill of the game to entice and engage the audience. Utilize captivating visuals and compelling calls to action (CTAs) that evoke a sense of anticipation and adventure.

To make your gaming ads stand out, incorporate dynamic animations that showcase the game’s action-packed moments. Whether it’s characters leaping into battle or breathtaking landscapes, these visuals help immerse the audience in the gaming experience. Another effective strategy is to feature gaming characters in action, showcasing their unique abilities or highlighting their epic feats. This not only adds an element of excitement but also allows players to connect with the characters and imagine themselves in their shoes.

Immersive gameplay footage can also be a powerful tool in gaming ads. Showcasing snippets of actual gameplay helps potential players visualize themselves in the game and get a taste of what they can expect. This can be particularly impactful when highlighting the game’s impressive graphics, mechanics, or unique features.

Remember to craft compelling CTAs that prompt users to take action. Effective CTAs can include phrases like “Join the adventure now,” “Unlock epic rewards,” or “Be the first to play.” These CTAs should be clear, concise, and convey a sense of urgency and excitement.

iGaming Offers

When it comes to promoting jackpot-based services, it’s crucial to create a sense of excitement and possibility. Use energetic colors and powerful calls to action (CTAs) that make users believe they have a chance to hit the jackpot and win big.

Incorporate animations that mimic classic slot machines. Consider adding elements like a lever to pull or a slot-machine screen with spinning reels. These interactive visuals can create a sense of anticipation and engagement, making users feel like they’re part of the action. In your ads, showcase success stories of previous winners to inspire and create trust. Include payment proofs or testimonials from real people who have experienced the thrill of winning. This helps build credibility and gives potential users confidence that they too can achieve success.

When crafting your CTAs, make them bold, persuasive, and action-oriented. Use phrases like “Claim your jackpot now,” “Spin to win big,” or “Join the winners club.” These CTAs should instill a sense of urgency and convey the idea that taking action now could lead to incredible rewards.

E-commerce Vertical

To captivate and entice users, it’s essential to tease them with irresistible discounts, secret bonuses, and limited-time offers. By creating a sense of exclusivity and urgency, you can drive engagement and encourage quick decision-making.

One effective strategy is to utilize time counters or countdowns to highlight the limited duration of the offer. This visual reminder of scarcity instills a sense of urgency and compels users to take immediate action before the opportunity slips away. Mentioning the limited availability of the discount or bonus adds to the appeal and motivates users to act swiftly.

When showcasing your products, make sure to display high-quality photos that accurately represent their features and benefits. Clear, attractive visuals help users visualize themselves using the product and increase their desire to own it. If applicable, emphasize any unique selling points or special features that set your products apart from the competition.

In addition to discounts, consider offering incentives like free shipping or cashback to sweeten the deal. These added benefits can tip the scale in favor of making a purchase, especially when combined with a time-limited offer. Highlight these perks prominently in your ads to grab attention and make them even more enticing.

To encourage users to make quick decisions, emphasize the need for immediate action in your messaging. Use phrases like “Limited stock available,” “Grab it now before it’s gone,” or “Limited-time offer, act fast!” These prompts create a sense of urgency and emphasize the significance of seizing the offer without any delay.

Sweepstakes Offers

To attract users and pique their interest, it’s important to communicate messages that revolve around winning bonuses and exciting prizes. Highlight the potential rewards and create a sense of anticipation that captivates your audience. However, it is crucial to maintain honesty and transparency throughout your advertising efforts. Avoid making false promises or exaggerating the likelihood of winning.

Instead, focus on showcasing genuine opportunities to win bonuses or prizes. Emphasize real success stories and testimonials from previous winners to establish credibility and authenticity. Sharing genuine experiences can help users connect with your brand and instill confidence in the potential rewards.

When it comes to engaging your target audience and driving conversions, customizing your ad formats and visuals and matching them to your product or offer is crucial. It’s important to continuously track and optimize your ad campaigns based on performance data to ensure they’re highly effective and aligned with your marketing goals.

At Adsterra, we offer a wide range of customizable templates that can help you achieve these objectives. With these templates, you can create captivating experiences, triggers, and teasers that truly resonate with users, resulting in an impressive average click-through rate (CTR) of 10 to 30 percent. What’s more, our managed users have access to comprehensive customization options, allowing you the freedom to create ads of any size or shape that perfectly represent your brand.

At Adsterra, within the Social Bar platform, we bring you exclusive ad formats such as In-Page Push, Custom Widget, and Icon Notification templates. These templates come with 20 converting skins and advanced targeting options, including OS version, browser version, mobile carrier, and IP range. By conducting A/B tests with up to 15 creatives using these selected templates, you can optimize your campaign for maximum performance and achieve exceptional results.

Case Study

Next, let’s examine some additional figures. I’d like to share a case study that highlights the potential impact of template creatives on campaign key performance indicators (KPIs), even when initial results may not be impressive.

The case study involves a solopreneur affiliate who ran a campaign for the popular social media app, Josh, in India (CPI – $0.13, Android). This individual conducted a daring experiment by relying solely on Social Bar creatives for the campaign.

To optimize the results, the affiliate employed CPC bidding, tested multiple creatives per campaign, and started with a minimum bid of $0.002. Only the best-performing placement received an increased bid using the Custom Bid tool. Even with some default templates, he achieved ROI of 150.8%.

This case study serves as an illustration of a non-enterprise campaign. It showcases how an individual, leveraging their skills and alternative visuals, was able to achieve profitability.

Best Practices at Adsterra

Embrace Variety

Avoid using the same creative for all your campaigns. Instead, introduce multiple variations. At Adsterra, we often include 2-4 different ad versions when testing new creatives. This allows you to understand how your audience responds to various offers and formats.

Stay Informed

Stay connected with your Adsterra manager to stay updated on trending topics relevant to your target audience. We constantly monitor the market and can provide valuable insights that align with your campaign objectives.

When working with direct advertisers, don’t hesitate to request high-resolution images and product profiles. CPA networks often offer affiliates access to useful image sources from advertisers, so joining their public pages and chats can provide you with relevant information.

Seek Inspiration

Tap into helpful spy tools and creative libraries to find inspiration and discover effective marketing techniques. However, remember that while these tools can help generate ideas and teach you new strategies, it’s important to use them for inspiration rather than directly copying visuals.

Authentic Imagery Matters

When selecting images of people, try to avoid using overused stock photos. Platforms like Unsplash and Kaboompics offer more natural and authentic visuals that can enhance the appeal of your ads.

Sell and Engage

You don’t need to be an exceptional content manager or copywriter to create ads that convert. Put yourself in the shoes of your target audience and think about what would trigger you to click and potentially make a purchase. Remember the AIDA formula (Attention, Interest, Desire, Action) when crafting your ad text. Aim to align your creative, content, landing page, and offer to increase user motivation.

Regular Retesting

There are no strict rules for how often you should refresh your creatives. Some visuals may lose effectiveness due to competitors copying them or the audience becoming oversaturated. If your top-performing creatives start to decline, don’t worry.

Take a break from them for a few months and then retest. If the results remain unsatisfactory, repeat the process. Over time, new users who haven’t seen your previous creatives will be exposed to them.

Regularly assess your campaign components, starting with creatives and pre-landers, whenever you notice a drop in click-through rates (CTR). Conduct thorough check-ups at least once every 14 days, ideally once a week, to identify areas for improvement and maintain campaign performance.

Stay Relevant

Stay up to date with current events and incorporate them into your ads when relevant. Sometimes, a simple mention of an upcoming holiday or event can make a significant difference. Compare “Great sportswear sale” to “Thanksgiving sportswear sale ends in 2 hours” and observe the impact on user engagement.

Personalize Ads

Make use of special dynamic tags provided by Adsterra to personalize your ads with language, city, and country-specific information. This level of customization helps create a more tailored experience for your target audience.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

Avoid Cheap-Looking Creatives

Steer clear of using pixelated icons, poorly cropped images, or visuals that infringe copyright. Such elements give your ads a cheap and untrustworthy appearance, which can discourage conversions.

Eliminate Typos and Grammar Mistakes

Spelling and grammar errors can turn off users and undermine the credibility of your ads. Always double-check brand names, use grammar correction tools, and allocate enough time to proofread your copy. When translating your creatives into unfamiliar languages, especially Asian or Arabic languages, exercise caution. It’s advisable to seek assistance from native speakers to ensure accurate translations.

Ensure Creative Translation

Make sure your headlines and ad copy are translated into the language of the country where your campaign is running. While English may be considered a universal language, it’s crucial to provide alternative creatives translated into local languages when targeting non-English speaking audiences in specific regions. Utilize publicly available data on the country’s population to determine which languages to use and tailor your creatives accordingly.

Maintain Consistency in Languages

Avoid using different languages in your creatives compared to the landing page or pre-lander. Ensure that the pre-landers you select align with the language targeting in your campaign. Running multiple campaigns with different pre-landers and creatives in parallel, each with the appropriate language targeting, can provide more accurate data for analysis and enhance traffic segmentation.

Ensure Consistent Messaging

Make sure your creatives align with the final landing page to create a seamless user experience. Verify that the URL links accurately lead to the intended destination to avoid wasted clicks and low conversions.

Avoid Misleading Content

While high click-through rates are desirable, it’s important to avoid misleading users or making false promises. Promising free items without delivering or using product photos or brand names that don’t match the landing page can lead to zero conversions and harm your reputation. Maintaining transparency and providing accurate information will yield more sustainable results.


In conclusion, designing outstanding ad creatives requires careful planning, creativity, and a deep understanding of your audience’s needs. By incorporating storytelling, captivating visuals, and clear calls to action, you can unlock the full potential of your advertising efforts.

Remember to evoke emotions, align your campaign with the brand visual identity, collaborate with creative teams, conduct market research, and leverage data and analytics to inform your decisions. The digital landscape is constantly evolving, so it’s essential to remain agile and adaptable.

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