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The Secret to Successful Ads: A Recipe for Copy and Creative

Advertising is a tricky business. With so many options and so much competition, it can be hard to know where to start.

But what if I told you that there's a formula for creating high performing ads that actually work?

Well, that’s why I’m writing this blog, to share what I think makes a massive difference to your ad performance.

So, In this blog post, I’m going to dive into the two key ingredients to successful ads: the ideal copy structure and the creative visual element.

Blog cover to blog post: The Secret to Successful Ads
The Secret to Successful Ads By Jack Willoughby

As a marketer, I've spent years experimenting with different ad formats and strategies. I’ve spent hundreds-of-thousands of ad spend for businesses looking to maximise return. And while there were certainly some trial-and-error moments (quite a few), I eventually discovered something that started working.

What I found had nothing to do with targeting, campaign structure, or any of that stuff. Obviously that’s important, but it’s not what I’m talking about today.

No, what I found worked the best came down to just two simple recipes or formulas for creating ads that resonate with audiences and drive results.

1) It’s All About The Copy Structure

First, let's talk about the ideal copy structure.

I found that the copy (primary text) part of ads is the backbone of any successful ad and is critical for capturing the attention of your audience.

When you use the right copy structure, you'll be able to create ads that are not only attention-grabbing but also very effective at driving a high level of conversions.

Take this ad from the Dollar Shave Club for example:

Headline/Hook: Dollar Shave Club. The Smarter Way to Shave.

Story: It’s 2016. Who says a lady’s razor has to be pink? Dollar Shave Club delivers amazing razors (to both genders)...

Promise: Dollar Shave Club delivers amazing razors (to both genders) for just a few bucks a month.

CTA: Try the Club today.

In addition to that, the powerful image that shows two identical boxes with razors for both men and women is powerful and highly effective. It also helps to reinforce their message that quality razors are for everyone regardless of gender.

Here’s another example by Soylent

Headline/Hook: What does it taste like?

Story: The number one question we get about Soylent is: “But what does it taste like?” You could scour the internet for answers…

Promise: Even though this ad doesn’t have a promise, the confidence in their copy helps to build trust, that they know what they are doing.

CTA: Order today and see for yourself!

So, what does this ideal copy structure look like?

Start by crafting a strong hook that grabs attention and makes your audience want to learn more.

Follow that with a mini-story that relates to your audience and establishes credibility.

Next, make a clear promise that addresses a specific pain point or need.

Finally, include a clear and compelling CTA that encourages the audience to take action.

Here’s a summary:

  1. Headline/Hook

  2. Mini-story that resonates

  3. A promise from us to you

  4. No fuss call-to-action


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2) The Creative Visual Element

Now, let's talk about the creative visual element. This is the second key ingredient to successful ads and is just as important as the copy structure.

When you use the right creative visual element, you'll be able to create ads that stand out and leave a lasting impression.

In fact, studies have shown that ads with strong visuals are more likely to be remembered and shared than those without.

So, what does this ideal creative visual element look like?

Start by choosing high-quality images or videos that are relevant to your ad and audience.

Next, use contrasting colours and bold text to make the ad stand out.

Finally, include a clear and compelling CTA that encourages the audience to engage with what you would like them to do.

Here’s some examples of great ad campaigns:

This ad by Nike is a great example of a thumb-stopping visual. It features a bright and bold colour palette, with a strong sense of contrast that immediately catches the eye of the viewer. The message is clear and direct, with a strong relevance to the target audience, demonstrated through the choice of language and imagery used. The ad is likely to grab the attention of the target audience, which increases the chance of them taking action or considering the product or service. Through the use of compelling visuals and a powerful message, this ad is an excellent example of how to effectively capture attention and create an impact with a single image.

Tropicfeel is a popular brand that specialises in minimal ads with stunning photography that captures the product in its intended environment. Through their ads, they demonstrate the intended usage of their product and often feature people in the photos. As a fan of their approach, I find their ads very appealing.

Concluding Point

In conclusion, creating successful ads requires a combination of both a strong copy structure and visually appealing creative.

By using the hook, mini-story, promise, and CTA formula in your copy, and paying attention to the visual elements in your ad, you can increase the chances of your ad resonating with your target audience and driving conversions.

Remember, always test and measure your ads to see what works best for your audience.

Now that you know the key ingredients to successful ads, take the next step and sign up for my newsletter where I provide even more in-depth tips, strategies and case studies on how to improve your marketing performance.

Don't miss out on valuable insights and advice that can help take your marketing efforts to the next level.

Sign up now and let's work together to make your ads stand out and drive results.

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