Ever since the death of the newsfeed news in January marketers have been waiting to see how paid social ads would be affected. Many hypothesized that ad prices would surge, time spent on Facebook would plummet, and the platform would cease in being a useful marketing tool.

And while many of the above predictions have come to fruition (Facebook ad costs increased 122% year-over-year following the announcement), Facebook ads are still an incredibly useful tool for reaching new audiences, converting existing ones and driving brand awareness.

Competition on the advertising platform has increased, so marketers need to keep pushing their advertising creative to stand out and engage audiences in order to continue seeing results. Below are a few Facebook ads that use ‘thumb-stopping creative’ to drive campaign goals.

Good hYOUman promotes charitable giving & new products


Instead of using an offer to drive clicks and conversions, Good hYOUman promoted their commitment to charitable giving along with their products. This is a smart strategy given that 9 in 10 millennials would switch brands to one that supports a cause. By alternating the type of creative in the carousel format they put their ‘feel good’ message front and center rather than relying on the audience to stop and read the ad copy.

Additionally, the photo selection features high-contrast, neutral images paired with the blocks of black to make a strong brand statement that isn’t easily forgettable. With so much going on in the newsfeed, sometimes it’s the simplest art that stands out the most.

Recommendations:

  • Find ways to highlight the value proposition
  • Think simplicity, bold blocks of color, and strategic use of text to break through the clutter

 

Ever recreates a painful mobile phone experience to drive app downloads


Ever is a mobile app that offers an unlimited private backup of photos and videos and offers a Free Space Tool which allows users to free up space by removing images from their camera roll.

Anyone who has ever run out of space on their mobile phone knows how frustrating it can be to see the ‘Cannot Take Photo’ message. And Ever capitalizes on that feeling by recreating the experience on their carousel ad. By alternating the error message with a beautiful photo Ever is reminding potential users of the memories they weren’t able to capture, and presenting a simple solution to this common problem.

This creative shows that Ever really understands their audience, by selecting imagery that they will connect to (capturing family memories) and by solving a problem for them.

Recommendations:

  • Think about what problem the product is solving for the audience
  • Use data insights about your audience to understand what type of visual content might resonate with them

 

Netflix responds to users’ social posts & becomes a part of the conversation


Ads on Facebook are different than other advertising platforms because viewers and users can so easily interact with brands. The conversation isn’t one-sided, so the best creative will always be social.

Netflix did an excellent job of this in promoting the premier of the second season of Narcos. Through social listening Netflix discovered that users considered the show a great way to learn slang Spanish. They responded by incorporating these social posts into the campaign and creating a video with actors from the show giving mini Spanish lessons.

The resulting creative is engaging, informative and funny. Humor works well for a brand like Netflix, and they hit the mark here. But be careful– humor can be tricky and not all brands can pull it off.

Recommendations:

  • Remember to be social– interact with customers and listen to what they are talking about. Find relevant ways to be a part of the conversation
  • Facebook users are searching for informational rewards– think about ways to teach them something or add value
  • Try humor, but only if that makes sense for your brand

 

Greetabl takes the guesswork out of their product


Greetabl is an online shop that offers personalized gifts and greetings; making it easy for customers to build their own gifts in just a few minutes. But despite the ease of the site, it can be difficult for users to understand exactly what the package will look like for the recipient.

This video retargeting ad was served to customers who started making their gift but left the site without completing checkout (a common e-commerce challenge). The video aims to answer some of the questions the user might have had about their gift– what would the package look like?, how does it get unwrapped?, and (maybe most important) will the recipient like it?

The upbeat tempo, bright colors and camera angle all reinforce the brand and align with the type of customer who would shop for a product like this. And although most Facebook videos are viewed with the sound off, Greetabl takes the extra step to make sure that whether the viewer has sound on or off they will be delighted by the viewing experience

Recommendations:

  • Answer questions customers might have that kept them from purchasing
  • Optimize for sound off, but delight with sound on

 

Conclusion

Designing creative that stands out can be challenging in the competitive Facebook environment, and it can be helpful to look at best in class examples to inspire new ideas and push the envelope. Facebook’s Ad Gallery and creative hub is a great tool for this.

Even if you don’t have the resources of some of these campaigns you can still develop thumb-stopping content by thinking about your audience– what problem can you solve for them? How can you answer their questions? And what information will they find useful or entertaining? Once you’ve asked these questions, design your creative to convey that message in a simple, straightforward and visually appealing way.