Ads are pointless if they lack impact, so the design process needs to be geared towards making sure that they pack a punch for the right reasons.
The key to this is understanding which elements make an ad powerful, and how to manipulate this information to your advantage.
Here are just a few of the main factors of ad design can be the most influential, and how to harness them successfully.
The layout of an ad is perhaps the most important element, yet one which plenty of brands overlook when rushing through their latest promotional project.
You need to make sure that the structure you select is not only suitable for the platform where the ad will appear, whether that is on social media or in print, but also appropriate for conveying the necessary information to consumers concisely.
Ultimately it needs to be about clarity of message, as well as simplicity. Formatting that leaves ads over-stuffed with information, cluttered or otherwise unclear will lack power.
Whether sourcing design for ad agencies or handling your marketing efforts in-house, you need to put color choice close to the top of the agenda.
Color impacts consumer psychology and the right choices for your ad design can boost conversions, while the wrong ones may put people off a product or service in an instant.
There is a reason that popular colors like blue and green are so widely used in marketing, while more divisive colors such as yellow and red, or bland ones like brown, are less commonly encountered.
Consistency is also important here; include corporate colors where relevant to make your ads more recognizable and to connect them with your broader brand image.
An ad that has a call to action is innately more powerful that lacks one, especially in the digital space where the primary purpose of a promotion will be to get the viewer to click through and ideally commit to a purchase.
The design of the CTA, including everything from the font and the position on the ad to the copy used, also needs to be a paramount concern. Vague, irrelevant or badly worded CTAs can harm your brand at worst and, at best simply mean that the particular campaign is ineffectual.
You can work hard on all of the individual elements of an ad, but unless they all gel together well in the finished product, then it does not matter how good they are in isolation.
Part of the struggle to achieve unity and simplicity with an ad is about resisting the temptation to go all-out with the tools that are at your disposal in the modern era. Just because your promo can feature an impressive animation or interactive elements does not mean that it should.
Considering the expectations and needs of the target audience, as well as the most concise and precise way to meet these, should help you to steer clear of most of these potholes and make a truly powerful ad.