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4 Tips to Creating Compelling Ads Every time

Updated: Jun 7, 2019

Well before your copy can persuade an audience to buy your service or product, your design must persuade them to buy your copy. Your design and/or image is what catches your audience’s eye and points their attention to your copy, but then it’s your copy’s job to hold your audience’s attention. What's the best way to accomplish that?

I've put together a list of my top 4 tips to help grab people’s attention in your ads, and help your brand stand out of the crowd. Read on to learn how to craft creative refreshing ads that will convert onlookers into customers.

Be original

In today's competitive online world, where countless brands fight for a limited amount of attention and real estate, the only way your advertisement will grab people’s attention is by being original. It can be tempting to follow the latest trends, but you must resist the urge to use what your competitors have already implemented even though it might seem as though that's the best route.

Believe it or not, cliches repel attention. They drain your advertisement's creativity and don't activate part of the brain responsible for experiencing emotions, the pre-frontal cortex. But how do you go about creating an original ad?

Make a visual implication

As human babies, we rely on vision to associate objects with behaviors, like a bottle meaning meal time. Vision was the only way to learn about the world around us, which is why your visual system activates over 50% of your brain, and you can understand visual information in 250 milliseconds. Visual storytelling is the best, and fastest way for people to grasp concepts and information easily.

Showing your audience something is much more engaging and interesting than telling them. Relying on implication to convey a message is mysterious, ultimately making it more fun for your audience to figure out. But be weary not to be too ambiguous or vague, which could have the opposite effect. If your message is too cryptic or difficult to figure out, you might leave people scratching their heads and moving on, instead of leading them on the right track.

Convey a single message

Oftentimes, marketers think the more benefits and features they include in their ads, the more effective and the higher their conversion rate will be. But trying to read an ad heavy on text or too jumbled requires a lot of energy and concentration, so cramming an ad with a myriad of features and benefits doesn’t actually grab people’s attention. It repels it.

To immediately hook people and persuade them to read the rest of your ad, consider conveying one single message. Highlighting your product or service’s main benefit or feature will make it easy for your audience to understand its value and increase the likelihood of engagement because it is infinitely easier to remember only one message: which is how your product’s or service’s main feature will benefit their lives in someway.

For example, Nike makes an incredible running shoe with a long list of features and benefits. However, one of the reasons their ads are so effective is not because they shove all of the benefits of their shoe in your face at the same time, in fact, it's quite the opposite. They only use a single line of copy to convey their product’s value to their audience -- it doesn't matter what you do, but be active....just do it.

Turn it into a game

Our brains are wired to predict things. It’s an evolutionary trait that allows us to anticipate what’s going to happen next and quickly react to it in order to survive. That said, advertisements that are predictable only require a shred of thought to understand, so they’re too easy to grasp and, in turn, too boring to engage anyone.

Armed with this knowledge, if you can remove predictability from your advertisements, you force your audience into a deeper level of thinking to digest your message, essentially compelling them to pay more attention to it, similar to the aforementioned technique of leveraging an implication through powerful imagery.

One of the best ways to ensnare your audience attention and get them to interact with your advertisement is by turning it into a game. By framing your advertisement like a game, your audience has the opportunity to earn an intellectual reward if they win, which is something most people have a hard time passing up. How many games have you played on facebook to find out which type of Starwars or Harry Potter character you'd be, or how great of a speller you are? Exactly.

Remember, solely having striking images or compelling copy isn't enough to really be engaging and competitive. Before all else, resist trend temptation and be original. Leverage hyperbole or implication into your imagery to grasp your audiences attention. Try spotlighting your service or product's best feature using only a single line of copy that is direct or powerful. Lastly, try weaving a game or puzzle into your ads to hook your audience, which can be irresistible to pass up. Follow these top tips and you'll be sure to increase your conversion rates and web traffic in no time.

Need help crafting creative and compelling ads? Give me a call at 619-431-1313 or email me at

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