Ad Creative Trends: Here Today, Gone Tomorrow

If the advertising industry had a national holiday, it’d be the Big Game. It’s effectively a launch party to a whole new year of advertising. But it also simultaneously exists as an event where some of the next big creative trends in the industry are born. 

After a year of research and development into what they believe will make for a great ad that their target audience will love, brands throw mountains of cash at their big-picture marketing video ideas hoping their projected ROI will actually, you know, hit their projections.

Let me give you a video ad example I’m sure you’re familiar with: Apple’s famous 1984 ad. After recognizing the appeal of filmmaker Ridley Scott’s brand of futuristic-dystopian storytelling–best seen in his 1982 film Blade Runner–Apple made a smart decision. They hired the director to produce a commercial in a purely cinematic style–something few brands were attempting to do at the time. It was thoughtful entertainment intersecting branded advertising; an approach that has become a central tenet to producing effective ads.

By getting an established name to direct in a style similar to his film work, Apple was able to bring a big-screen experience to the small screen. It worked in spades, vaulting the 1984 ad into pop culture, and in turn landed the grand prize at the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival. The dystopian sci-fi story inspired more businesses to be bold with not only the stories they tell, but their visual aesthetic, bringing the same quality of entertainment we get in films and television straight into a brand commercial.

So, yes, Apple created one of the most memorable ads ever made. But here’s our big question: do you remember the ad Apple created in 1985; one that riffed off of the same style and aesthetic they used the year before?

Probably not, because their 1985 “Lemmings” ad was a colossal failure. 

Rather than garnering the same level of attention that their previous ad did, it had the opposite effect and made consumers feel insulted, rather than engaged. Turns out, no one wanted dystopian fiction in their commercial breaks anymore.

And what did that lead to? Apple pressed pause on ads during the Big Game for fourteen years.

So why did this happen? Well, Apple started a creative trend with their bold, cinematic storytelling. And rather than looking forward to what trends were coming next, they stuck with creative that had already lost its freshness 365 days later.

As the viral landscape of our modern internet culture accelerates how quickly creative trends blooms and wilts, making sure you meet the moment with a hot new trend can make the difference between your ad being vaulted into the pantheon of advertising history, or dragged into the land of forgotten ads along with Apple’s 1985 commercial.

Want to know more about how you can sidestep Apple’s major mistake? Join QuickFrame’s Morgan Bailey, VP of Product and Performance, for a conversation with eMarketer to discuss what’s trending in ad creative and what’s fading into obscurity faster than you can say CNN+. She digs into how leveraging ad trends can unlock testing opportunities that’ll allow you to expand onto more platforms, reach new audiences, and mitigate ad fatigue. Watch the on-demand webinar today

Ad Fatigue: It’s So Hot Right Now

If a creative solution to ad fatigue made your ears perk up, let’s double click into that point for a second.

Ad creative trends are the perfect starting point to generate new concepts for your next ad campaign, but they have far more utility than that. They are also an effective tool against ad fatigue.

It totally sounds like a buzzword, but ad fatigue is simply a recurring problem you’re going to face when running ads. It’s high across all platforms, with video completion rates dropping off dramatically after five days according to a study by QuickFrame.

Related: Social Media Video Ad Specs & Placements Guide

It’s All in the Refreshes

The way to combat ad fatigue is with a creative refresh, introducing new and exciting video marketing content that captures the audience’s attention and updates messaging based on performance measurement feedback. If you’re keeping a finger on the pulse of ad trends, creative refreshes will happen naturally.

All you need to do is remain agile with your ads to meet the moment when trends pop off so your campaigns stay as fresh as possible. This ensures that you’re constantly iterating and updating your ad creative so that your messages stay relevant and engaging.

A few ways to strategize for a creative refresh:

  • Plan for multiple campaigns at once.
  • Capture all the footage you need in a single shoot, giving you a library of new content you can pull from once your ads shelf life expires. 
  • You can even take previously created content to repurpose into new content.

Are you ready to get hip to the latest and greatest in ad creative? Join Morgan and eMarketer on-demand to learn all about it. Watch the webinar now!

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