Making the Grade: Our 5 Rules for Creative Effectiveness

Updated: May 27, 2021

There are a number of key factors that determine success or failure when it comes to digital advertising – most notably those that influence the acquisition of attention. 


Attention is scarce. According to a 2018 Lumen study, seen rates for digital ads stand at just 12% – and a measly 4% are looked at for a second or longer. Despite the gloomy outlook of these findings, the potential to garner such attention isn’t entirely lost. Much of what digital advertisers get right comes down to well thought-out creative strategy. 


We’ve spent the last two years building a creative solution capable of delivering attention. Our Pageskin products provide the foundation for expert creative techniques that guarantee the success of digital ads. Here are the five steps we live by to ensure our targets are met:


Chapter 1: Balance is Key


When you have a bunch of creative assets at your disposal, what’s the best way to approach the palette? You should take the ‘be loud, be proud’ approach to ensure your brand stands out – but always consider the fact that ‘less is more’. The last thing you want is a cluttered, text-heavy layout. There’s a time and a place for your assets and design elements – you certainly don’t need to use them all. 


So how can you be loud and proud with fewer assets? The idea is to encourage the potential for brand identification and recall. The logos, product shots and branding should be prominent in the skin.


Top Tip: Don’t Push Your Luck 


There’s a fine line between expertly-placed branding and taking the biscuit, so make sure you’re not being too pushy with your brand assets. Prioritise the user experience highly. Respect it and you’re far less likely to leave a bad taste in the mouth for those reading and noticing your brand. 


Chapter 2: Sidebars


The sidebars garner as much, if not more, attention than anywhere else on a page skin – they are a vital part of your ad ‘story line’. They can allow for vast improvements on the success of alternative advertising techniques such as banner ads


That’s right, the goal is to keep a story line flowing from the moment the user’s gaze is captured. You should ensure branding and key messaging are prevalent throughout the natural scrolling process, which is the perfect opportunity to make the most of those sidebars. 


To tell the story correctly, you need to be aware of what we like to call the ‘Z-shaped gaze pattern’. This is the natural gaze a user will follow when they arrive on a page. The trick is to layout your assets in a way that caters to the Z-shape pattern.