How to Design a Creative That Maximises Your Ad’s Potential

As the old adage goes, a picture is worth a thousand words.

Modern humans have been around for 200,000 years, while the written word has only existed for the last 5,000. As such, it’s unsurprising that human beings process images 60,000 times faster than they do text. Our eyes are naturally drawn towards visuals because we comprehend them so much more quickly.

The creative will be the first thing your potential customers look at when presented with your ad, so it’s vital you design a creative that will instantly grab their attention and get them interested in your product.

Here are some tips for making a creative that will stand out and get people clicking!

1. Introduce your product immediately.

An ad for XBottle’s ‘smart’ heated coasters.

The tidal wave of content that hits us when we go online limits how much time and attention we can spend on individual posts. When we see new content, we immediately want to know if it’s worth looking into. We want to know right away what it is and if it will interest us.

Creatives need to get this information across as quickly as possible. Place your product front and centre, and make it immediately obvious what you’re advertising. 

In the ad pictured above, the creative is a short video showing the product - a ‘smart’ heated coaster - in action. It skips any intros and text, simply showing what the coaster does and how you use it. It tells its audience all they want to know within seconds, avoiding confusion and making sure the target audience can identify it off the bat.

Don’t forget: digital marketing is as much about repelling the wrong audience as it is drawing in the right one. This is especially true for Pay Per Click campaigns: you want to turn as many leads into paying customers as possible. If you encourage the wrong audience to click on your ad, you’re wasting money drawing in people who are not going to buy your product. People should be able to instantly tell if your ad is one they would be interested in clicking on.

2. Keep it tidy.

An ad for women’s razors from Estrid.

“The best way to find out what we really need is to get rid of what we don’t.”

Marie Kondo may have been talking about decluttering your house, but her advice applies when it comes to ad creatives, too.

A cluttered creative is unappealing to look at and gives off an air of unprofessionalism. It clouds the meaning of your ad and overloads the viewer with information, putting them off reading further.

You want your creative to be simple and neat, displaying your product with as few distractions as possible. This means little or no text and minimal design elements. The former is particularly important when advertising on Facebook, as Facebook will ban ads that feature too much text.

The ad creative shown above works well because of its simplicity. It consists of a single, well-shot photo of the razors on offer, presenting the product cleanly and professionally. It uses the ‘show-don’t-tell’ principle by having a feminine colour scheme and featuring a woman's hand, indicating that the target audience is female. It gets its message across without distracting the viewer with unnecessary additions.

3. Make it relevant to the copy.

An ad for bloobloom’s free eyeglasses trial.

It’s important your copy and creative work together to relay a clear message. The image should complement the text, introducing the concept and encouraging viewers to read on to find out more.

If your creative and copy don’t align, your ad will confuse potential customers and put them off investigating any further. Don’t forget that people’s online attention spans are incredibly short - they want to understand your message straight away, and not have to read your website to get the full picture.

In the ad above, the eyeglasses are framed as the focal point of the image. There are five pairs featured, which ties into the copy encouraging viewers to “choose 5 frames from our website.” It neatly demonstrates the products being sold and leads into the copy’s offer.

4. Match your branding.

An ad for grüum’s sun cream.

Finally, you want your audience to recognise that the ad is part of your brand. This ties into brand consistency - in short, the idea that all elements of your branding should align with a strict design style. This gives your brand a distinct identity, boosting audience familiarity and encouraging brand loyalty.

In the ad shown above, the colours match the brand’s chosen palette. White is used in all of grüum’s branding, and the bright yellow featured most prominently is the main colour the company uses for its sun cream range.


Your ad’s creative is the first and most important avenue you have for grabbing your audience’s attention. It’s crucial you create a clear, visually appealing, and professional image that will draw the eyes of your target audience and instantly get your message across.

Once you’ve got an effective enough creative, you’ll have scores of people wanting to learn more - and then it’s all up to the copywriter!

We're a digital marketing agency based in Bournemouth, UK.

UKB Marketing specialises in building results-driven marketing campaigns that convert and engage with your target audience, leading to increased revenue.