5 Great Facebook ads and how you can design them.

5 Great Facebook ads and how you can design them with OrangeTwig

Do the following images look familiar? You may have seen one of them.

Vintage Coca Cola ad & Pall Mall cigarettes ad

The one on the left helped create our current image of Santa Claus. The one on the right? Well…

What separates the two? What is it about some ads that pushes conversion? What is it about others that make you cringe?

Is it the copy? Sure, copy is a key part of any ad. But copy rarely stands out by itself. The design elements and images surrounding it is usually what helps drive the message home.

It’s been a while now since those two ads first came out. We’ve since had the 60s, the Moon landing, boy bands 🙁 and, for the last decade, social media.  While print ads are still widely used, one of the best ways to reach people now is to advertise to them on Social Media.

Facebook with its wide reach is almost the perfect place. So what makes a great Facebook ad?

We set out to answer just that. We picked 5 great ads from Facebook and broke them down to see if there was something we could learn from them.

 

Example 1: Starbucks

What do you advertise when you are Starbucks and most people know what you sell? Do you advertise specific drinks? Is there a coffee lifestyle you can sell? Here’s a great example…

Starbucks facebook ad

 

The Design Breakdown

  • What pops out right away is how clean and coherent the images are. Notice how they all use muted shades of brown and white. Doing so has also helped them reinforce the Coffee theme throughout.
  • While the colors in the image are a bit muted, they’ve used a slightly brighter background color in the copy section. This helps ensure the copy isn’t lost in the rest of the image.
  • It doesn’t hurt that the image loosely follows the Golden Ratio. It’s pretty much scientifically proven to be aesthetically pleasing. Without really getting into the math, the Golden Ratio is this pattern that is found commonly in nature. Think, Spiral Galaxies, Snail shells etc..

 

OrangeTwig Tips

  • While choosing images, pay attention to how they fit in with the your ad copy and the overall tone of your brand.
  • While picking out a font for your ad creatives, make sure you check if you have the license to use it commercially. If you are on OrangeTwig though, that’s one less thing for you to think about. Simply choose from a huge selection of free to use fonts.
  • Alignment can also be a bit of an issue when you are fitting in multiple images into one creative. Here’s how you use OrangeTwig’s auto alignment tool to ensure all your images look the way they are meant to.


 

Example 2: Dollar Shave Club

Ever since their first viral video ad, Dollar Shave Club has built a reputation for being extremely bold & direct with their message. This Facebook ad is no different.

Dollar Shave Club Facebook ad example

 

The Design Breakdown

  • Good design doesn’t necessarily have to be aesthetically beautiful. It just has to drive the message home. This ad is a perfect example of that.  Identical images and a minimal layout help drive home the message that their products are the same for everyone, while also taking a subtle dig at other brands which don’t take that approach.
  • The bold typography and the single word labels add to the overall push of the ad.

 

OrangeTwig Tips

  • It’s often about the little things. For example the period after the labels on top adds to the overall impact of the ads, sort of like the final word on the topic. Experiment with fonts and elements to figure out works. Here’s how OrangeTwig can help.



 

  • Use text and image shadows to add an interesting element to your creatives. Here’s an example.



 

Example 3: IKEA

Sometimes you don’t really have to say a lot to get the message across. This one from IKEA is a perfect example.

IKEA Facebook ad example

 

The Design Breakdown:

  • Pretty much all you can see is the solid Red background and that helps contribute to the urgency.
  • Saying so little helps keep viewer focus on the main message.

 

OrangeTwig Tips

  • This kind of ad is best if you have something huge to announce to your entire audience. For example new arrivals to your store, a huge sale, free shipping day etc…
  • Creatives like this one are likely to stand out on a crowded Facebook newsfeed. That said, do remember that not all of us have the luxury of having an instantly recognizable brand like IKEA. Run small experiments on the same audience alongside some more ‘regular’ creatives before going all in.

 

Example 4: Soylent

Soylent Facebook ad example

Soylent is in the unenviable position of having to change people’s opinions about something as basic as food. Explain too much and you’ll sound preachy, don’t say enough and customers may not be interested.

Here’s how Soylent did.

 

The Design Breakdown

  • They’ve picked pretty much the perfect background color. It’s entirely neutral. Red, for example, would have made the question seem too serious. Most people are unlikely to know much about Soylent, using red may have made people wonder if the product was safe. Using blue or yellow, which are more “happy” colors would have taken away from the question they are asking in the ad.
  • They’ve continued the same theme with the fonts as well. The question marks are all rounded and light. This helps keep the tone of the question innocuous and friendly.
  • Like the previous example, the solid background helps keep the focus on the message.

 

OrangeTwig Tips:

  • Steer into the skid. Anticipate questions your audience is likely to have and get ahead of them.
  • What makes this ad layout is the repeated use of question marks. With OrangeTwig’s new designer tool you have a whole library of vectors and other elements for you to try out. Here’s something you can try.



 

Example 5: Banana Republic Factory

Banana republic factory facebook ad example

 

It may look like there’s just too much going on in these ads but they all use a few clever tricks that we can learn from.

 

The design breakdown

  • The models in the image all seem to be looking at the captions. This is a bit of a cue to viewers and helps guide their eyes there as well.
  • The textures and the color gradient in the background keeps the image interesting.
  • The discounts are displayed in a large, bold font and attract attention right away. The rest of the text is small and helps emphasize the relative importance of the discounts.
  • Using white for the text has helped keep it clearly visible.

 

OrangeTwig Tips

  • Experiment with textures and color gradients to add something extra to your images. Here’s how you can do so on OrangeTwig.



 

  • Use visual cues in your ads to help guide viewers. For example, someone looking in a certain direction or something pointing a certain way.

 

What are your favorite ads? What do you think makes a good ad? Do you design your own ad creatives? Do you have a rulebook you follow? Do let us know below.