8 Impactful Display Ad Ideas for a Successful Campaign

Jul 20, 2018 | Sales + Training

Display ads are everywhere, from social media feeds and entertainment websites to newspapers and online magazines. But for their massive popularity, a lot of companies struggle to get a decent conversion rate to justify all of their efforts (and ad spend coming up with advertising ideas).

One challenge with display ads in particular: they tend to get served up to folks who are just browsing, but not necessarily looking to buy. Additionally, display ads operate in a crammed market; it’s challenging to distinguish your brand’s ad from every other on the market.

It is hard enough to come up with your brand’s message, let alone create advertising ideas and an ad campaign that reflects it. Leverage these strategies to lock in eyeballs and drive more display ad clicks for your business.


Speak to your target demographic

Have you ever flipped through the pages of a magazine or scrolled through Instagram and seen an ad that isn’t relevant to you at all? Yeah, us too.

That’s why speaking to your target demographic is so important when designing your campaign’s display ads and brainstorming advertising ideas.

You should create varying ads that can appeal to every demographic in your audience. For example, if your product is used by women in tech ranging in age from 20 to 45, then you should create ads that target each age group.


The ad done by Intel above focused not only on age and demographics, but they also used the power of influence marketing. In Microsoft’s ad, they are promoting their Certification project to the young adults by talking to them about financial education, college debt and other things they are interested in.

Think of the types of people who use your product, and create different ads within your campaign to relate to each group. This can be challenging at first, but it’s worth the extra brainstorming effort to do so.


Make it readable

This may seem obvious, but your audience should be able to read your ad…period. It sounds simple, but believe us, there are a lot of brands that miss this concept!

Choose appropriate fonts that don’t look as though your copy is written by a three-year-old, and use colors that aren’t too harsh on the naked eye. You can find great fonts that work with ads and your website here. Overall, your ad should be very clear and easy to see.


Make the headline and copy of the ad distinguishable by using different font sizes, and keep the copy short and sweet. The easier your ad is to read and see, the more likely your audience is to remember it.


Create a sense of community

As a brand, you have the power to use your ads to create a community among your audience.


Use images and phrases that emphasize the community felt by users of your product or fans of your brand. Share statistics of the number of people who use your product, or use images of groups using your product.

And remember: you can foster a sense of belonging and inclusivity for your product without saying something cliché like, “All the cool kids are doing it!” You can create connections with current and potential customers by using ads with words and images that cause them to feel as though they belong.


Use humor

Yup, make your audience LOL at the sight of your ads.


Humor can be pretty challenging, but some topics and images are pretty much universally funny (think awkward first dates or animals dressed like humans). Humor has been proven to increase memorability, persuasiveness, and share-ability of advertising.

Customers purchase from brands they like, and humor increases like-ability. Humor can also be one of the easiest ways to grab your audience’s attention. They may not be more persuasive than more serious display ads, but they sure are more entertaining.

Depending on your target audience, brand, and product, the humorous approach may the better route.


Keep your brand consistent

It’s been said many times, but consistency is key.


While it’s cool to mix it up every now and then, your ads should always represent your brand’s values. Create display ads that could successfully share your brand’s message with both your die-hard followers and those new folks you’re trying to draw in.

Your audience should get to know your brand just as they would get to know a friend, and when a customer sees your logo or colors in every ad you run, they can feel as though your brand is dependable and familiar.

If the ads are consistent, why wouldn’t the product be, too?


Create a character

Often, characters can drive an ad campaign. Think Flo from Progressive or the Geico Gecko.


Your audience may end up loving your character (or finding it terribly annoying), but if the character helps your audience remember your brand even more, then it’s a good call.

Your character can represent the ideals of your brand in an interesting way—or you can create a character that is completely opposite to the brand’s ideals but is silly and unforgettable.

Brainstorm with your creative team to decide the type of character that would be best for your brand based on the type of ad you’d like to run.


But keep it real

In this day and age, consumers can spot fakeness a mile (or a swipe) away. Authenticity can be difficult to achieve, but it is possible.

Using real people in your ads, sharing actual quotes, and writing relevant copy are ways you can maintain realness in your ads without detracting from your brand’s message.


Just as you should maintain consistency in your advertising, so too should you be authentic in your representation of your brand. Chances are, the more authentic your ads are, the more likely your audience is to believe that your brand is the real deal.


Stick with simple

Your ad will most likely only be seen for a few seconds—so make every second count.

Simple, straightforward advertising ideas are more effective and comprehensible than their more complicated inferiors. And because consumers often go out of their way to avoid seeing ads, the simpler the ad, the more likely the consumer won’t even realize what’s hitting them.


Make your ads eye-catching, clever, and bold, and try not to overcomplicate them. Your audience will thank you later (in the form of clicks and shares, of course).

Do you have a nifty trick that you use to make your display ads click-worthy? Do you have some great advertising ideas to share? Share it with our community on social media! Or, let us know if you have a question, we’re here to help.