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A cure for the common ad

Nick Hall By Nick Hall

It is estimated that only 35% of digital display ads receive any visual attention whatsoever. Of those, less than 10% garnered a full one second’s worth of viewer’s attention.

One second.

That means that if you’re lucky you’ve got ‘one steamboat’ to get your point across to someone who is likely not that interested in what you have to say to begin with. Trust me when I say the chances of them giving any consideration to the bullet points resized from your last PowerPoint presentation overlaying a stock image of a puzzle piece are next to zero.

“Nothing is more efficient than creative advertising. Creative advertising is more memorable, longer lasting, works with less media spending, and builds a fan community…faster.”

Stephan Vogal

On top of this, online ad media prices have fallen by almost 24% since the first quarter of 2022, and this price reduction opens up the opportunity for smaller players to toss their shitty little ads into the mix. It’s a bit like trying to stand out in the great pacific garbage patch while wearing a sandwich board.

But all is not lost. The opportunity for advertisers is to invest in more interesting, compelling and attractive ads that cut through the clutter without becoming part of it. Display ads are approached as a poster, with a single good idea and attractive presentation. Simple is always best, and just in case you didn’t know, simple is also hard.

To understand whether or not you’re spending lots of money just to bore people, ask yourself these questions.

Are your ads interesting?

Are you saying anything unique or intriguing, or just resizing, polishing and optimizing the same turd, ad nauseam

Are your ads true to your brand?

Consistency is job one for brands. If there is a distinct disconnect between your advertising and the rest of your brand experience, you’re rowing in the wrong direction

Are your ads empathetic?

Do they consider the mindset or situation of the person who seeks your solution? Showing viewers you understand how they feel is a great way to kick-off the relationship.

If you answered ‘no’ to any of the above, it’s time to get a second opinion on the state of your advertising creative. IPSOS has discovered that 75% of an ad campaign's success is related to the quality of the creative, so there’s lots to gain from making sure your ads are all they can be.

If you think you need a little help with that, you know what to do. In the meantime, keep it interesting and stay human.