Advertising is one of the rare endeavors that is equally rooted in art and science.
In fact, with the possible exception of architecture, advertising represents the best example of the two forces – usually portrayed at odds with one another – working in unison for a common purpose.
To that point, ad creative is the mechanism where they collide, a convergence of art and science that is both qualitative and quantitative in nature.
Even in the digital age, where technological innovations in the ad space enchant and appeal to brands and agencies with their incredible efficiencies and power, advertising ultimately still relies on creative to grab the audience's attention, wake it from its doldrums, and envelop it in its message.
In other words, the various types of ad creative in digital advertising – text, image, video, and HTML5 at the forefront – each have their unique abilities, capable of capturing the imagination, immersing the viewer in a brand, and engaging the audience to foster the ever-important ROI and conversions when used appropriately.
Simply put, strong creative remains an advertising campaign's most powerful weapon, accounting for 89% of in-market success on digital channels. Suffice it to say, brands are best-served investing adequate time, effort, and resources towards strong, engaging creative.
Copy Should Sing, Not Whisper
Effective copy puts the advertising steering wheel squarely in the hands of a brand.
It allows a message to be precise and curated, delivering a honed message that keeps the reader on track, conveys a story, and guides the viewer through a meticulously planned narrative that, when combined with a convincing call-to-action, entices the consumer further down the sales funnel.
Although the relationship between ad design and copy is at times a tenuous one, where advertisers are often tempted to minimize the importance of effective copy through dazzling design, it's actually the opposite that should occur – copy should dictate design rather than mold itself around it.
Think of the relationship between design and copy like a car.
While it might be the looks of the vehicle that initially draw the eye with clean sloping lines and aerodynamic elegance that appeal and attract, copy is the engine that makes that car move.
No matter how beautiful that automobile might be, ultimately it's the ability to move from point A to point B that provides it function and utility.
Furthermore, although counter-intuitive in a world that seems to prefer its information in bite-sized morsels rather than in anything of significance, longer form, text-based content has proven to be more effective for SEO purposes and search rankings.
Longer-form content ranks higher with newer search algorithms, creates social proof and authority, and is likelier to be shared which, collectively, is effective at prompting customers along the sales funnel.
The lesson to be learned, of course, is that advertisers should not discount the reader's attention span or capacity to ingest valuable information that is thorough and comprehensive.
Treat the Eye to a Feast
Most human beings are remarkably visual creatures, able to construct entire narratives from the mere glance of a still image.
In advertising, visual creative is obviously nothing new, but that doesn't mean its unique and innate powers have diminished over time.
In fact, the still image is still an extraordinarily useful tool that allows brands to leverage the audience's own past experiences and personal affinities to construct a nearly full-fledged story around the brand and their products.
Although also visual in nature, video engages in a different way than the still image, much more akin to text-based content than pictures.
Like copy, video advertising gives a brand control over the distribution of its message, guiding the viewer along the way with precision. Unlike copy, however, it is multi-sensory and, therefore, able to quickly immerse the viewer into the specific imagery and story that the brand chooses for its content.
Those unique characteristics lend video ads significant relative recall rates, with the average viewer recalling 95% of information compared to 10% for purely text-driven content.
HTML5: The Power of Interaction
With flash-based video going the way of the dinosaurs, the seamlessness and cross-platform functionality of HTML5 makes it an advertiser's dream for visually arresting, engrossing, and interactive creative that, like other forms of content, envelops the user in a brand's message.
HTML is, to a large extent, the convergence of powerful text-based copy, visual creative, and an interactive format that is uniquely potent in engaging the audience in forming emotional bonds and enduring awareness that lead directly to ROI nirvana when a part of sound digital campaign strategy.
In many ways, HTML5 is the epitome of advertising in the digital age, infusing traditional forms of creative with binary-driven charisma, blending the old and the new into an evolutionary marvel that entices, engages, and once again, conveys a story with its interactive format and refusal to go unnoticed.
When properly implemented, interactive ads – a hallmark of HTML5 – boasts 70-90% completion rates compared to the 20% industry average, and a 300% lift in lead generation.
However, like any other form of creative, HTML5 must be utilized appropriately to fully take advantage of its unique characteristics and reach those lofty heights. That, of course, is where the scientific side of the equation comes into play.
Test Your Creative to Find Its True Power
Harkening back to our original thesis, ad creative is a mixture of art and science.
Although developing copy, still imagery, video, and engrossing HTML5 content is an absolutely vital component of effective online advertising, brands are best served taking a scientific approach to their advertising artistry through rigorous A/B testing and metric analysis.
Fortunately, in this age of machine learning and AI-fueled platforms, the term rigorous doesn't have to mean laborious. While split testing procedures of years past required immense investments of time and resources to test creative variances through repetition, technology allows advertisers to carry out the process with far more depth and efficiency than ever before.
As innovators in the space, Creadits gives such power and control to advertisers looking to strike the ideal balance between art and science, drawing the most impact and accompanying ROI from the ad creative and overall marketing campaign. Advertisers no longer have to sacrifice time and effort to reach the most impactful conclusion from their creative testing.