Things that work:
• Humans – displaying believable emotional expressions (joy, dismay, content or some sort of positive or negative satisfaction) around the product. This one is by no means revolutionary but, it’s often overlooked. Human facial expressions are capable of connecting with your audience in ways that character limitations can’t compete with. The key is to keep it dialed in to what seems believable. It’s obvious when an out of context stock image is overlayed against other creative, so always do what’s best for the product or service by matching the tone of the messaging and imagery of the rest of the creative.
• Animals – Simple and conceivably as effective as a well expressioned human, yet, typically more like-able. When the product or service can lend itself to sharing the spotlight the way an animal can– or would benefit from the expressions we typically associate with an animal. Theses don’t have to be the joy and cute expressions. Using animals to strike the tone of anger, hesitation or embarrassment have an opportunity to meet and share an expression in ways a human paring can’t strike the balance of.
• Simple Gradients – Based on the platforms you’re running your ad creative on you’re likely going to be on white or light colored backgrounds, hitting the right balance with the contrast is key to strike the balance of gaining or losing your customers attention. Choose the right tones based on the mood you’re aiming for and keep things simple. Keep it to 2 but no more that 3 color gradients (max).
Keep the embedded text to a minimum. Short and sweet.
Timing – If you’re running ads on FB or IG, (most social channel really – YT is an outlier – based on what type of ads you’re running. ) aim for a duration of 7-8 seconds if not less. When creating, go into thinking about the experience on a phone where the users endlessly scrolling. If you’ve ever watched people use IG, (it’s fascinating- the scrolling is so second nature that you need to throw out the spike strips to catch attention) you’ll know how precious it is to create a hook in the first 3 seconds.
I’ll try to keep this post periodically updated.