The 4 Components of High Performing Catalog Creative

How to make winning dynamic product ad templates
Pierce Porterfield

Dynamic Product Ads (DPA) account for about 1/4th of all digital ads on social media, but most brands don’t know that they can significantly improve the performance of their DPA by incorporating simple design elements. Using tools like Marpipe (or Frames if you're new to DPA), you can plugin your product feed and transform how it looks with unlimited design freedom. By obtaining creative control over your product catalog you’re giving yourself the levers necessary to take your DPA/DABA ads to the next level.

After observing hundreds of enriched catalogs we’ve found out which core ingredients comprise a winning feed design. While there is no silver bullet for perfect performance, by following these recommendations, you'll be better situated to uncover performance wins from the start.

Make sure to advertise the specific product

When designing enriched catalogs, brands often fall into a common trap. It's very easy to create a template that resembles a regular ad more than a product ad. However, the best part about catalog ads is that they link directly to the advertised product. If the viewer is unaware that the ad is promoting a specific product, they may not click on it with the same level of interest as someone who is genuinely interested in that particular SKU.

Non Ideal Product Ad (Left), Ideal Product Ad (Right)

How do I avoid the trap?

  • Link dynamic text to columns like title, color, brand, or description. These describe the product and give clarity to the ad.
  • Use templated text to highlight the product as a specific item. “The {{title}} in {{color}}”
  • Layout the ad so that the dynamic text is clearly relating to the product image
  • Try combining the main image ad the additional image in the same canvas
  • Make sure that the design does not closely resemble your non product ads
  • When advertising discounts clearly show that the discount applies to the product being shown. Avoid discount phrasing that encompasses “the entire store”.

Call out the info that is specific to the product in your image

Always try the less is more approach

There is an endless variety of potential catalog designs ranging from complex to extremely simple. Too many brands try to jump straight into the complex designs without ever trying something just as simple as a small price and logo addition or a colorful frame. The trick is to find the minimal amount of design that results in the maximum amount of lift.

Examples of minimal templates

Here are some basic formulas that you shouldn’t over look:

  • Solid color frame + brand logo
  • Brand logo floating in corner + price floating in opposite corner
  • Free shipping bottom bar

Think about the messaging

Not all of the text that you add has to be dynamic from the product feed. Many brands find success by adding the same fixed text across all of the enriched product images or by creating fixed text that speaks to a specific subset of SKUs. The trick is to really think about how the viewer is going to understand the message in the context of a product ad. What is going to increase their intent to buy the product being shown?

Try using these tried and true messaging types in your designs:

Social Proof

  • “Over 1m Sold”
  • “500k 5 star reviews”
  • “Featured in Vogue”

Unique Selling Point

  • “All materials made from almonds”
  • “Boxers with pockets”

Feature → Benefit

  • “Patented lining that keeps you cool in extreme heat”
  • “Save hundreds by subscribing to our scent library”


  • “$20 off”
  • “$20 off this week only”
  • Free Shipping
  • “Free shipping on all orders”
  • ‘Free shipping on orders over $20”

Examples of templates using different messaging strategies

Use Templated Text

By cleverly mixing dynamic and static text you can form entire phrases programmatically. This expands your ability to craft clear messages without the creative appearing overly “templatized”.

Examples of templated text

Here are some of our favorites:

  • “{{title}} in {{color}}”
  • “The {{title}} by {{brand}}”
  • “Introducing the {{title}} starting at only {{price | numerical}}”
  • “Was originally ${{price_dollars}}, now only ${{sale_price}}”

Examples of templated text

Learn more about how to use templated text here:

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