2020 brought about dramatic shifts in the online advertising space. Marketers have panicked as privacy has taken precedence over audience targeting capabilities, headlined by “the death of the cookie” and similarly dramatic blog posts. Facing political and social pressure, advertising platforms have implemented more self-regulation for different ad categories as well. 

Cap that off with a pandemic that significantly impacted consumer and business buying trends across all industries, marketers are halfway through 2021 and still wondering what the heck to do with their ad campaigns this year. 

Our advice at Wisdom is to make really good ads. That’s it. It’s that simple. 

You could (we have) spend hours of time researching workarounds to the audience targeting limitations on ad platforms. Or you could spend that time leaning into an ad creative strategy that embraces your brand and gets people excited about your company and what you have to offer the world. No matter what limitations you face in audience targeting, solid ad creative will always win. 


A few pillars of great ads: 

  1. Every ad is an opportunity to showcase your brand, no matter how small the branded element is. Developing brand standards that include basic elements such as a color palette and typography can communicate your brand subtly yet effectively. Branding can also be executed through your tone of voice in the ad copy. Showing off your brand’s personality can help your ad copy not only remain consistent and impactful, but relatable to your target audience 
  2. We like to think people make decisions based on logic, the truth is that they are largely, if not entirely, emotion-based and conveying emotions in ads is incredibly effective. Wordstream regularly compiles words that elicit emotion in ad copy and should be embraced by ads to elicit emotion for their brand. But of course, great imagery should also be used to convey emotion in your ad. 
  3. Using great images is a steadfast tradition in advertising that needs to be embraced. Instagram has raised the bar and the masses now expect great images in all content they consume. Companies need to be prepared to invest in finding/creating great images to ensure their ads grab users’ attention. 
  4. While it’s effective to start a campaign and test audiences with still images, expanding to video/motion-based graphics can engage audiences even further with your campaign. Marketers have a tendency to overthink video campaigns and get overwhelmed in production. A few basic rules are: design videos for sound off, but delight with sound on, keep it short and sweet, and design for a mobile-friendly experience to be universally successful across multiple ad platforms. 
  5. Rinse and repeat—even if you design an ad that’s impactful it will eventually get stale. Refresh that ad copy and imagery regularly. But don’t completely throw a good ad away, chances are audiences won’t remember it a year from now and it likely can be used again! 


Great Ads That We’re Seeing Right Now

Showcasing Branding

Conveying Emotion

Great Imagery

Video/Motion-Based Graphics


Blog by Dana Farmer – VP of Performance Marketing at Wisdom Digital 

Interested in making really great ads? Email me at [email protected] to get started or check out our website. 

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