How to Create Memorable Digital Ads

BY Rachel Cagle
Featured image for “How to Create Memorable Digital Ads”

Are your client’s digital ads memorable? According to cognitive neuroscientist Dr. Carmen Simon, writing for b2b decision labs, there’s a science behind creating memorable digital ads. With consumers being swamped with more digital ads than ever before, your clients need ads that will bring their brand to mind easily. Here’s how to help your client’s customers understand, remember and take action based on ads.

Creating Memorable Digital Ads

Use Images to Complement Text

According to Simon, 56% of B2B businesses “believe cliché stock photographs are detrimental to their content.” To see if these beliefs are correct, Simon conducted a study.

During the study, groups of participants were shown e‑books with either stock images, no images or concrete visuals. Concrete visuals are images that strive to teach the viewer something instead of being purely decorative. What Simon found was that both groups with images spent an equal amount of time looking at the images themselves. However, the concrete visuals group spent more time focusing on the text. “This suggests that the concrete images used in the Group 3 e‑book served as more effective cues for the viewer to continue reading or revisit the text,” says Simon. So, in order for your clients to make memorable digital ads, they need use visuals that complement the text.

Unexpected Visuals

A big problem with digital ads (especially stagnant ones) is that their images are too predictable. Many companies opt to use stock images instead of putting in the time, effort and/​or money to create new ones. Or, if they do, the images are churned out quickly without much out-​of-​the-​box thinking in terms of design. However, unusual images help create memorable digital ads.

Simon’s study also compared unexpected images to predictable ones. The results show that unexpected images draw far more attention than ones viewers expect to see. Additionally, scans of participants’ brains show that they used more cognitive energy when focusing on the unexpected images. That’s their brains at work, generating excitement! And excitement is a great precursor to memorable digital ads.

Increase Interaction

Many companies also believe that memorable digital ads are often interactive. Simon decided to see whether or not that is true. It is. Adding interactive components (such as assessments) helps consumers keep their attention focused on the information they’re absorbing. The participants in Simon’s study that completed short surveys while reading e‑books were more excited by and attentive to the content than their standard text-​reading counterparts. This finding suggests that interactive components can fuel excitement for digital content. Memorable digital ads also maintain consumer motivation to take action to learn more about a product or service. And after all, what good is memorable without motivational attached?

Types of Digital Ads

Simon’s study may have focused on e‑books, but the results ring true for all kinds of digital ads. Almost all digital ads need images, so make sure that your clients don’t sleep on making theirs unique and unexpected. And assessments, surveys and other interactive components can be added to numerous digital platforms and media types. Landing pages, social media ads and emails are just a few examples. Look up how many of your client’s target customers prefer to get emails from businesses that send them surveys via email on their audience profile on AudienceSCAN on AdMall by SalesFuel.

In order to get your client’s target customers to take action because of their ads, they first need to make memorable digital ads. Memorable and motivational often go hand in hand, so it’s time to create some digital ads that will make your client’s target customers look twice!

Photo by Hal Gatewood