Swipe ideas from some of the best Facebook ads
This Adstream ad opens with the words 'Deadline looming', which gets you thinking of how much pressure you're under - a classic persuasion technique to build up desire and interest.
It also motivates you by showing you how quick and simple their service is (as little as 3 minutes), which paints a picture of simplifying your life.
The graphic also has a strong headline using a superlative to drive the message home.
Advertiser: Angie Gensler
I like this ad, because the copy focuses on what others have said about the product, rather than what Angie says. This shows social proof and popularity, because it's actually an ad-turned-testimonial.
The use of a picture of Angie herself also adds social proof, and the inclusion of the product itself (a calendar of social media content) shows people what they will be getting, helping to manage her customer's expectations.
Cats. Dogs. Bunnies. People on social media just cannot get enough of them. If it's got a picture of a pet, the chances are that the ad will get eyeballs.
Once again I'm not keen on the capitalisation in the caption underneath the graphic, but the words are great - people LOVE lists!
Most ads focus on positives, which is why I like this ad - a lot.
Rather than using positive emotions, it goes for the jugular and uses some pretty powerful words to stimulate those negative emotions such as fear, disgust and anger.
Remember, an ad doesn't always have to focus on positive emotions to get attention and evoke a response. The negative emotions are just as potent.
Advertiser: Dean Graziosi
First three words - Now Just £7. Each of those words has significance when it comes to persuasion. The first two are very persuasive words. And the number seven? Well, there's an idea that the number 7 can boost sales because many people consider it to be a lucky number. So much so, that everyone seems to include it in their pricing: £97, £99.97, £227. It's everywhere.
Of course, there is little research to back this up, but some marketers swear by it.
Looking past the first few words, the copy states that you can either buy an overpriced cup of coffee or join the mastermind. This is classic comparative marketing which forces you to think about how little you are risking by making the purchase.
I wouldn't have said that this is the strongest ad in this swipe file of ads, but I've left it in because it's an interesting one, if a little intriguing.
Right then, I'm not going to take a punt and attempt to translate this ad, but I just want to concentrate on the phenomenal use of imagery to convey desire.
This ad makes me want to pack my bags right now and head to the airport. That's what great visuals can achieve. Enough said.
Advertiser: Digital Rights Watch
We all know that the most effective Facebook ads are ones that feature some kind of personalisation. This ad goes to the extreme, by highlighting the demographic and geographic attributes of the reader.
This ad would be far too controversial for many other industries, but for the Digital Rights Watch organisation in Australia this is absolutely bang-on the money, because it demonstrates how much we advertisers are able to use Facebook targeting features.
I wouldn't recommend using this tactic for any other types of business (with the exception of cyber security firms, perhaps), but once again it highlights how far you can go with personalisation.
This ad opens with two questions that are designed to highlight their customer's pain points, then offers a solution.
This is a tactic that always works well in marketing.
Oh, and I love the final sentence It's free. It's written in an almost blasé manner which alleviates friction and pressure.
Advertiser: Elderby Pharma
I wasn't sure whether to include this ad, because it's in breach of Facebook's terms, who don't allow ads in, erm, this category.
However, I did end up including it, simply because it shows the power and efficacy of using an image that grabs your attention.
Remember, folks, these types of ads are forbidden. You'll get banned!
Oh, and is that Taylor Swift?
Advertiser: Eric Thayne
This ad from Eric Thayne does a great job of creating an emotional connection between the reader and the ad, thanks to its exceptional video, which brings a human element to it.
In his copy, he first identifies the target audience, calling them out specifically. If you're a videographer or film maker then there's a good chance that this will stop you in your tracks.
He then goes on to highlight the reader's pain points (struggling to get that cinematic look), a classic technique to get the reader to visualise their own situation.
And finally, he tells his story. As you're probably already aware, storytelling in ads is a powerful way to (again) create an emotional connection, to reduce friction, and to gain trust.
Advertiser: Greater Birmingham Chamber
This isn't an ad, but it could well be turned into a highly-effective ad easily, because of the way it immediately catches you off-guard with the picture.
Using smiling people has the effect of creating a warm and positive association with the ad. And it makes it very human.
Advertiser: Guardian Labs
At first glance this seems like a news article. And that's the whole point, I believe.
By turning it into something that looks like a piece of news, consumers will feel less reluctance to click on it. Anything you can do to make an advert look less like an advert is a good thing.
We're bombarded with advertising messages every moment of our lives, so it's good to see someone bucking the trend with these types of ad.
Advertiser: Guardian Labs
Advertiser: Hendricks Gin
Perhaps it's because I'm an old-fashioned, patriotic Brit, but I really like this video ad from Hendrick's Gin. Perhaps it's down to me liking gin.
Whatever the reason, this ad is unashamedly British in every aspect, even though none of us dress like this (any more).
Yet the ad evokes a lot of emotion, patriotism and aspiration, thanks to its attempt at recreating a 40s-type era.
Sure, it's aiming for a particular demographic, but it makes no apologies for doing it.
And look at that copy. It's soooo well written. I'd be tempted to throw in jolly marvelous, old bean' too. Yeah, I know that's corny.
Advertiser: Horse & Rider
Yes, I know this isn't a real ad, because it hasn't got 'Sponsored' underneath the title.
But it really could be. This would make a good engagement ad for brand awareness (and lead generation), because it's highly interactive.
This popped up on my timeline and it already had more than 100 comments in the first ten minutes. That's good social media!
Oh, and it's a bit fun too.
I tried using predictive text just for a laugh, and it came up with...
My horse is a great example of effective copywriting and marketing persuasion. Just goes to show how obsessed I am with digital marketing, eh?
Advertiser: Jade Yoga
I don't know about you, but little things like the omission of full stops (periods, for you American folk) at the end of a sentence is slightly irritating.
But perhaps that's the idea. It's a well-known fact in marketing circles that a typo or grammatical mistake can result in a higher clickthrough rate, so perhaps that was the intention with this ad.
The visuals are really good, and the obligatory pet has been added for extra effect.
My only gripe is that you don't really know what the actual product is until you read the last line. Turns out it's all about the mats. Well, who'da thought?
Advertiser: JD Sports
JD Sports have done a great job of creating an emotion that we're not really used to seeing in Facebook ads - anticipation.
The copy is written exclusively for their target audience too. It's clear that they know who their audience is, and how they speak. The copy emulates their reader's language, which is a primary goal for any ad.
The only thing I'd change about this ad is the photograph. You're given a shot of the bottom of the 'sneak', but not the upper.
This may be a deliberate move, creating more anticipation. But I'd have had the same model in the same pose, but alongside would be another model standing up, so you can see the shoe from another angle.
Advertiser: Jeff & Jessica Samis
I'm not sure if this ad accidentally got through the moderators at Facebook, or if naughty puns are allowed.
But it's a bit of cheeky fun which grabs your attention and raises interest through its use of risque language.
Good, if you can get these types of ad approved. If you're not sure, don't try it because you might end up being banned.
Advertiser: Kendal Calling
Thanks to the widely publicised environmental movements that are all the rage at the moment (and so they should, too), Kendal Calling has jumped on the newsjacking bandwagon.
It's a newsworthy cause, of course, and it's not in the slightest bit controversial, unlike others that ride the tailcoats of hot topics in the media.
These types of collaboration are what make marketing such an interesting area to work in.
Advertiser: LinkedIn Learning
I can't quite make the connection between warmer weather and wanting to learn something new, but that's exactly what LinkedIn are saying in this ad.
Perhaps it's those lazy days on the beach, laptop or book in hand and a glass of Sangria on the table next to you. I tend to spend much of my holiday time tending to young twins, so there's not much time to relax.
But anyway, this ad had a lot of engagement, and I guess by putting the image of sun, sand, sea and screen in an ad, it resonated with a lot of people. Understanding your target market and creating a message that resonates with them is the most important thing to remember.
Advertiser: Melonie Dodaro
Stories sell. Any marketer or copywriter will tell you this.
And Melonie Dodaro obviously knows this. As well as telling her story, she's also cleverly weaving in her expertise and knowledge in this ad.
I'm not sure why she went with the black and white visuals. Perhaps she found because it was different, it got a higher clickthrough rate than the colour version. That's a split test waiting to be tried out!
Tagsblack and whitestoryemotionlead magnet
Advertiser: Must Have Ideas
Wondering what on earth that contraption is? So did I, so I felt compelled to watch it all.
Turns out that device goes down the plug to remove blockages (mainly hair), so when it's pulled to out reveal a gooey mass of congealed gunk it can make you feel a bit queasy.
But, we've all been there. Clearing blockages can be a real pain in the bath, so the product is good.
What about the copy? Yeah, that's all good too. Just admit it... we all need one of these is a great way to get people to agree with your opening statement.
Add to that the fact that you're going to get it delivered quickly and it's a winning combo.
I suspect that this ad will go viral. It's the type of thing that's shared widely on social media.
A business isn't a business with its most important asset - people.
And don't Nationwide Building Society just know it! That's why they've gone for a deeply human perspective with their Facebook ad.
When your focus is on real people leading real lives (as opposed to stock photos and models), instant rapport is gained. Forget aspiration. Forget beauty. Forget wealth. For many of us, it's the gritty routines of everyday life that we are faced with once we stumble out of bed in the mornings.
By focusing on everyday life, Nationwide's ad feels familiar, so it's portraying a sense of this is us. Once you're on the customer's side, your business will appear like it's part of people's lives.
And that makes it so much easier to create a bond between your business and your customers.
As I'm using screenshots to build this swipe file of Facebook ads, I can't show you the video here.
But you'll have to take my word for it - this obviously professionally-made video is a masterclass in how to create visually-stunning clips that grab your attention.
Sure, it's only advertising mobile phone contracts, but there is a sense of magic in the video, and it evokes a tonne of emotion that warms your heart.
Advertiser: Overthink Group
I absolutely love this ad from Overthink Group.
Not only does it completely stop you in your tracks, but it also puts you in a slightly fearful and uneasy state of mind.
The visuals use two instantly-recognisable themes: Star Wars and the Guy Fawkes mask (widely adopted by the online hacktivist group Anonymous).
The ad itself suggests that there are 'secret dealings' taking place that you're unaware of, and that if you want to get ahead, you need to know what they are.
This is a classic AIDA technique: get the reader's attention, build up suspense, add an emotion and tell people what they need to do.
Very well conceived, Overthink Group.
Another ad that uses a testimonial review in place of standard marketing copy.
Not only does this advert cleverly build up social proof from the get-go, it also reinforces the message with a real photo of someone using the product (always a winning combo).
Add to that a picture of the product itself and you're left with an ad that works really well.
This benefit-laden advert from StreamYard goes straight for the jugular - BAM! BAM! BAM!
Why mess around explaining all the different features when you can just tell people what they'll gain by using a product?
The use of real people with smiles is a good tactic, and reinforces the copy. This ad is very good at catching your attention, which is a primary goal of advertising. Listing the features can come later after the click!
Guilt and worry are powerful emotions. Couple those emotions with one of the hottest topics around the world - the natural environment - and you've already got yourself a compelling ad.
You could say that this advert from ZSL is jumping on a very emotive bandwagon, but in this instance it's both understandable and justified.
Putting aside personal feelings (I'm ex-Royal Navy so oceanic environmental issues are close to my heart), this ad uses a shocking statistic to highlight the issue. If I was in charge of producing the ad I would have included a picture of a snorkeller or diver in the picture to highlight how humans are responsible for the rising sea temperatures. Any time you can include real people in photos you should, as it creates an emotional attachment we have with fellow humans.