Ad Design: Garbage In, Garbage Out by Candis Snowden

September 12, 2017

Taking Out The Trash.

In today’s digital advertising arena, we can reach any audience segment, behavioral target, or geo location we want. There are a plethora of bells and whistles and shiny tactics to choose from. Advertisers go to great lengths to make sure they’re hitting the right target, on the right platforms, at the right times.  They are catching consumers at that magic moment when a consumer is actively looking for their products. If they’re smart, they retarget said consumer on multiple platforms as they go about their day to day online experience. The possibilities are endless! Once an advertiser has their strategy all lined up, then the fulfillment process begins.

It’s time to create some Ads!

Unfortunately, this can be the point where some of that great strategic thinking stops. So much momentum and creativity went into the tactics and platforms to reach the right consumer, but then the actual creation of the Ads are left up to the Designer and too often that designer is left with little direction. Countless times we have turned the corner only to see our design teams whispering to walls, “help me….please help me.”

Designers are awesome! They can make something breathtaking from nothing but a keyboard, mouse, and a Mac. However, rare is the designer who can build a creative ad unit that encompasses each specific digital tactic you laid out in your strategy. One hour online and you will see campaigns were the creative direction was “Logo, brand colors, and a “click here” button.” The same ad being delivered to my mother, my daughter, and me even though each of us will respond to different creative messages in completely different ways.

Think of it this way, if you put garbage in, you’ll get pretty garbage out. No matter how talented your Designer is.

Before you submit your request for creative, it’s still super important to think about the audience you are trying to talk to. Are they Millennials? Are they Seniors or Boomers? Or maybe you’re targeting that forever wanted soccer moms audience. Either way, make sure that all the hard work you invested in trying to have your voice heard by this consumer doesn’t go to waste with ineffective Ads.  Below you will find a few tips that many of us have probably heard before, but they are still just as important today as when newsprint and TV were our primary Advertising platforms.

Consumers eat with their eyes first. The images you choose to use should reflect that. Go find some examples of photos or other Ads that you can share with your Designer to give them a feel for what you’re going for.

Don’t settle for grainy images, line breaks, pixilation, dark photos or the like. Consider your Ad to be your first impression.

-Be decisive with your Ad Copy. Don’t leave it up to the Designer. Make sure you include punctuation. Don’t expect a Designer to do this for you.

Make sure your Ads are mobile friendly.

Use a call to action. You have their attention now what do you want them to do? And, if you are still using “Click Here” then please call PunchDrunk Digital immediately! We are here to help!

Use color to send your intended message and voice. See below for more info on color choices.


Warm Bright Colors

Ad Design Creative

Beige, yellow, orange, pink, red and similar. These are active, eye-catching colors with a friendly nature that may induce a sense of courage and energy.

Warm bright colors visually enlarge objects and make them seem closer. Due to their high visibility, limit their use among subdued colors.


Cold Bright Colors

Ad Design Creative

Lavender, silver, azure add subtlety, full of aesthetics and freshness, accents.

Such cold but bright tones enhance a sensation of being modern and professional if harmoniously combined with gray. It’s a nice composition for businesses, commerce, and service Ads. Especially with health, cosmetics, and medical products.


Cold Dark Colors

Ad Design Creative

Violet, blue, turquoise, green, navy give a feeling of stability and quality. These shades are often placed as accompanying colors. Although they don’t attract attention they emphasize the content.

Cold dark colors are widely used on business Ads for ambitious and hardworking qualities with a special highlight for government, science, automotive, and computer products.


Warm Dark Colors

Ad Design Creative

Gold, eggplant, brown express classics, tradition, luxury and relaxation. They blend well in expensive and elegant designs for young and old.

Mixed with cold colors to give an impression a modern look and novelty. Perfect for brands engaged in finance, consulting, architectonics, and crafts.


Neutral Colors

Ad Design Creative

White, grey and black help to create contrasts and bring all the other colors out. They don’t convey any particular message on their own. Neutrals are here to support their neighbors by playing the role of complementation.


Color info Source: The Impact of Color in Advertising, Marketing, and Design-Paula Kaminska  | October 14, 2014 | blur Group


For more information on creating high performance ads for each tactic in your digital strategy feel free to reach out to