5 mobile ads we wish were ours (and why!)

Amrit Kher, Campaign Executive

Great creatives are key to a successful digital marketing campaign. Nielsen’s metastudy ‘5 Keys to Advertising Effectiveness’ revealed that quality creative contributes around 47% of a campaign’s sales impact. 

As an agency, we know it’s not always easy to produce new creatives that perform well. However competitor analysis can be a great source of inspiration. Here are five mobile ads that we really like, each with a different lesson that you can take to inspire your ad designs.

1) Hanx

Tapping into current culture can help make your brand seem more modern, more relevant and engaging. In this example, Hanx (a premium condom brand) saw how it could use a popular meme trend to suggest its product’s superiority.

By using the meme, Hanx could speak to its target audience more authentically – and therefore more effectively – than if it simply stated its product’s benefits.

The challenge, however, with these ads is speed. Memes go ‘out of fashion’ quickly, so you need to brainstorm the idea and set it live before it becomes outdated.

Lessons you can steal:

  • Getting involved in current popular culture can make your brand look authentic, relevant and human.
  • Make your ads feel more native and organic to its environment to increase engagement.

2) smol

With climate change at the forefront of people’s minds, consumers are more supportive than ever to find and use products that are eco-friendly. smol has capitalised on this and marketed its main USP with just 3 words; ‘0g of plastic.’ 

By positioning itself against a market-leading competitor, it has emphasised this USP and made the consumer aware of how much plastic is being used with a market leading brand. Resulting in the ad answering two key questions: why you should stop using your current laundry capsules and why you should use smol instead. 

Lessons you can steal:

  • Positioning your brand next to a competitor can help emphasise your product’s USPs, convincing consumers to try your product and why they should move away from using their current brand. 
  • Doing this with the established, market-leading competitor means you will reach more people with whom this will resonate.
  • Keep your copy simple and effective. Use the space below to highlight further USPs and a CTA. 

3) Bother

Humour in advertising has been proven to increase attention and positive reactions to the brand – flashback to Specsavers (‘Should have gone to Specsavers’) or Snickers (‘You’re not you when you’re hungry’). 

Here, Bother has understood its value proposition – to get people the thing they need quickly – and asked: ‘how can we add a creative twist to show this proposition is true?’

Using exaggerated humour, they’ve related to the audience on a personal level, reminding us of times when we’ve all desperately searched for an alternative after running out of necessities. As a result, it has made its ad more memorable as well as positioning the value of its  product at a more positive level. 

It has also remained consistent with its branding from acquisition ads to retargeting:

  • Blue background 
  • White bold text 
  • Simple image made the focus of the ad

So when I was hit with the retargeting ad, I instantly remembered Bother’s ad carousel and linked it to the product.

Lessons you can steal: 

  • Use humour devices (puns, understatement/exaggeration, ludicrous, irony, comic, nonsense) to establish a more memorable and positive connection between your ad and the targeting audience. 
  • Make sure that your branding is eye catching, effective and the theme remains consistent across ads within your campaign. 

Click on the 1st image to play the ad

4) WWF

With Black Friday generating more than $9 billion in online sales in just the US alone this year, it’s understandable why the digital advertising space becomes flooded with ads from online retailers. Although this usually creates more ad competition for other industries, WWF has broken the mould and used this busy time period to its advantage. 

The ad looks and feels like it is going to be a Black Friday sale to grab the attention of consumers, before revealing the brand’s true identity and the key message  – adopting an animal. Whilst it can be said that the ad is misleading, WWF have made sure that its key message is aligned with the ‘sale’ theme, highlighting the fact that the animals are ‘limited in stock’ which is emphasised again in the copy. 

Lessons you can steal:

  • ‘Outside-the-box thinking’ – Think about how you can capitalise on and tailor your ads around  annual events/season (i.e. World Health Day, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas). Even though the event may not fit in with your brand identity, an original idea can result in your ad standing out from the crowd (if it’s aligned with your key message).

Click on the image to play the ad

5) McCain

This creative by McCain provides the perfect example of why tailoring your online ad to fit its environment is so important. Appearing on Instagram News Feed, the ad effectively catches the audience’s attention with the text ‘Stop Scrolling’ whilst mimicking the scrolling motion. This leads nicely from one action to another – ‘Start Shaking,’ which relates to the promotion of McCain’s new Shake Shake Fries. 

This video also maintains a fast tempo from start to finish which is becoming a necessity with social media ads. Facebook had conducted a study with Nielsen and found that campaign lift continued to improve the longer the audience watched. However, consumers didn’t have to watch the whole video to be affected. By showcasing the product within the first 2 seconds (as McCain did with this ad), you can improve the chances of product awareness/retention even if the whole video was not watched. 

Lessons you can steal: 

  • Make your ads contextually relevant to where they are being served – to produce optimal creative content that cuts through. 
  • Make the product/key message of the ad clear within the first 3 seconds. Keep the video engaging throughout to improve audience retention. 

Click on the image to play the ad

Inspiration can strike anywhere and your competitors are a great place to start. Hopefully these ad examples have shown you what effective ads consist of, or at least what to look out for when scrolling on your timeline, and how to incorporate these learnings to create your own great ad campaign.

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