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Inspiration for Ad Creative

Ten Places to Get Ad Inspiration
Brett Friedman

Knowing where to start when making an ad isn't easy. Fortunately, there are lots of places to get inspired. We asked ten advertisers where they get their inspiration from and they gave us ten unique answers.

Inspiration for Ad Creative


Dustin Fox
, Pearson Smith Realty, Foxes Sell Faster

"Sounds archaic, but I comb through old copies of Reader's Digest, Cosmo, and Life magazines. Most of my highest performing headlines have come from swiping old headlines and converting them into real estate ads for my business.

For article ideas, I prefer Reader's Digest and Cosmo as they are written to quickly grab your attention in a supermarket aisle and get you to buy it immediately.

I will order old lot's of Life magazine's for Facebook ad headline ideas. I prefer 1930's and post war (1945-1950). This is when print advertising was still king and before many advertisers moved to television in the 50's. Rarely will you come across an advertisement that's still in use. If you see the same ad constantly for months in the same publication, you know it was a successful ad campaign and worth testing that headline for your business."

Scot Chrisman, Founder, The Media House

"I look for inspiration in a couple of different places... If it's running for a while, it probably works. So I'll go to similar people in the market who are running ads and check out what they're doing. Facebook™️ has transparency tools to see if a page is running ads and how long they've been running. If you find an ad that's been running for longer than a month, it's likely a winner! Use that ad copy and creative for inspiration for your own.

I'll go to popular websites in the niche and look at their press kits and ads. Often times in the footer, large magazines or publications who advertise will have a press kit... That press kit will often have vital information about the demographics of people who are in that market. If you know the demographics then you can predict psychographics and tailor an ad to that.

Lastly, I'll go to the Facebook™️ ads library and google and search for ads in my niche. Often times I'll be able to find Youtube™️ videos where other marketers are showing a portion of what they do to create an ad campaign. I'll skip around in these videos and look at their creative and copy to see if anything speaks to me.

Overall the most important thing for creating good ad creative is to make it eye-catching. Most ads that require good creative are direct response marketing ads, I use bright colors to stand out and a wide range of creative to invoke a different set of emotion with each set of creative. I'll split test these creatives against each other or let Facebook™️ help me and let the market decide which ad creative is a winner."

Joe Robison, Founder, Green Flag Digital

"I'd first say that there's no perfect resource out there for ad creative, and there should be. I'd envision a piece of software that comes pre-built with proven templates that convert.

In the past I've relied on resources like the AdEspresso ad library, but I've found that to be somewhat outdated.

Recently I've been trying out a manual, but pretty effective, way of collecting ads. I simply evaluate every ad that's shown to me while browsing Instagram and save it to a dedicated Ads collection. Of course the big issue is that this is a narrow slice of ads out there, but I'm collecting ads that stand out to me so I can further evaluate what catches my eye."

Samuel Cowlishaw, Marketing & Sales Specialist, Blend Supply

"I get inspiration several different ways. I have four established buyer personas. Every piece of marketing content needs to appeal to one of their needs. Business owners, for example, are looking for ways to expand their market share, reduce costs or increase revenue. When I make a piece that is targeting them, I'm displaying how we can do that for them.

Another buyer persona are Shop managers. A lot of our customers work in shops that are painting aircraft or industrial equipment. A big priority for them is safety. So I display how we can support them in that arena. We can keep them up-to-date on safety stands, ensure their facility is using the safest PPE, etc."

Willie Greer, Founder, The Product Analyst

"When creating my own ads, I look for inspiration in a few different resources, but the major ones I look into are the Facebook Creative Hub and Canva Design School. Browsing ad designs in these platforms really get my creative juices flowing for my ad creative.

But while it's easy to get inspired by how the elements are put together, it's much harder to incorporate it into my design. So even without a solid idea in place, I try doing a few things and letting my brain go with the flow. I pick out the principles I liked and arrange them in a few different ways until I reach my desired output.

Using the Facebook Creative Hub is really the source that results in success. With many marketers and creatives sharing their ideas on the largest social media network, it's pretty easy to find inspiration and put your own spin on it."

John Thornton, CEO, Black Propeller

"I am the CEO of a digital ads agency and we have several resources we use to find inspiration for our ad creative. The Facebook Ads library is the holy grail for researching Facebook Ads creative. With the library you can see every variation of every ad for all Facebook advertisers. For Google ads we use several research tools including SpyFu and SEM Rush. The two complement each other nicely. And finally, we visit competitor websites so that we enter their retargeting funnel. This exposes us to the competitors creative across all platforms and allows us to see ad sequencing patterns as well."

Jiten Thakkar, Digital Marketer

"First I use a less known tool Answerthepublic. It's awesome to find the best topics for you to make ads relevant to your industry. Then I use SEMRUSH to find out the best performing Ads in that particular industry. Last I try to create Graphic in Adobe Illustrator Or Canva which is similar to the one performing well for someone. This strategy has always worked in getting the best ROI from the ad campaign."

Margelit Hoffman, Founder, Hoffman Productions

"Our company produces ads for nonprofit and business clients. We get most of our inspiration from information the client gives us, music videos, and sports commercials. We usually put together storylines, styles, camera tricks, and color schemes from different sources of inspiration, and we like to use visual metaphors rather than being literal where we can get away with it."

Chad Hill, Chief Marketing Officer, Hill & Ponton Law

"In today’s game of advertising that levelled up the marketing and so creative ads. Inspiration of creative ads came for the taste of the new generation. Since millennial are the dominant markets in today’s target, their interest is usually put at the top to acquire utmost satisfaction from them."

Color Reinholz, Founder, Eila Cherie

"The key to successful ad copy is to embody your brand and your target consumer all in one. For example, my target audience is millennial women who values beautiful accessories but demand some tangible meaning behind a brand. A successful Ad I ran was featuring all different colored handbags from my line with the caption 'we like our women like we like our handbags, all different colors.' "

How to Use Inspiration for Your Ad Creative

Wherever you get your inspiration, it's important that you use it wisely. Once you have sources of relevant information, use an idea generation process to find the best way to use your new knowledge. Once you have a wealth of ideas, build out a multivariate test to determine which ones make the most scalable ads!

To automate the whole process, sign up for Marpipe.

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