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10 creative social ads that work

It’s not ground-breaking to suggest that you’ll need to get creative with your advertising strategy these days, with the multitude of options now available to us, it’s the businesses who are able to hit the sweet spot between selling and engagement that are seeing the best results.

However, it’s rare that a campaign need only be creative to be a success. Paid media targeting, tracking and reporting are essential to ensuring your message is heard by the right customers at the right time.


1.      Taco Bell


Snapchat is incredibly popular among 18-29-year olds and is best known for its filters and AR experiences. In 2016 fast-food chain Taco Bell launched a 24-hour filter that turned users faces into a cartoon version of its namesake. It was viewed a mind-blowing 224 million times for an estimated $750,000 investment their cost per view was $0.003 – that’s three tenths of a cent!

Don’t be dismayed by budget, there are plenty of other ways to get creative!


2.      Mail Chimp

This Facebook ad is a great representation of using colourful imagery and to-the-point messaging. There is no need to overload the ad with information, picking relevant USPs and shouting about those whilst making use of negative space is more impactful than a sales pitch that promises the world.

3.      Patch Plants

Video and moving content receive the highest engagement compared with static imagery. In their Instagram feed ad, Patch Plants have used a cohesive colour palette from one shot to the next. Including price information also ensures the quality of their traffic as these customers will already have decided that this is within their price range.

The video is a slide show of product and delivery imagery cut together with pricing call outs and the logo. All imagery is cohesive and features on brand green and beige background/CTA buttons.

 4.      GMC

Carousels on Facebook and Instagram provide a unique storytelling aspect to ads. Not only can you give further information in the additional headers, but users are more likely to engage with the ad by swiping through. This also creates more opportunities for them to click your CTA buttons. GMC opted for a panoramic image of one of their dashboards in order to discuss features of their latest model. The scene through the window is also striking while in keeping with their status as an adventurous brand.

5.      Zebel

LinkedIn has a professional network of more than 300 million users each month. Paid advertising is generally more expensive here because there is the potential to directly access decision-makers and high earners. A personalised InMail campaign worked well for Zebel, a made to measure tailor based in Exeter and London. Due to the specific targeting available on LinkedIn, Zebel were able to contact potential customers in their area whose jobs require them to dress smartly.

6.      ASOS

As consumers ourselves we know that a little nudge is all it takes sometimes to persuade us into taking the transaction plunge. So, remarketing audiences are a great way to influence users who have yet to convert. Businesses can target these lists in a number of ways. A broad approach would have ads shown to all recent website visitors. However, more specific targeting such as calling out basket abandonment or, as ASOS has shown above, even showing exact products to customers who may have saved or looked at certain items.

7.      Papier

Shopping ads, now available on Instagram, Facebook and Google, are relatively seamless for customers. For example, this Instagram ad from stationary company Papier is identified as shoppable with the bag icon in the bottom left corner. Users simply tap the screen to discover pricing, select the item to transfer to the website and can proceed to checkout in less than a minute!

8.      Pink Moon

It can be difficult to make an add seem ‘fun’ but Facebook Canvas, also known as an instant experience, can do just this. Designed for use on mobile devices these ads sit in feed until a user engages with it. Once clicked they open full screen, immersing the user in content and blocking out distractions from the social feed. Fully customisable, these work best with video and imagery. Pink Moon Cafe in Exeter has been using this to raise awareness and encourage table reservations, as shown above.

 9.      Stormfront

With over 217 million users a month Spotify is a great way to connect with your audience outside of social media and search engines. Advertising and reporting capabilities are still in the early stages here, so ads tend to be focused on brand awareness rather than sales or clicks. The process is fairly simple, like other paid media you can target demographics and locations and submit a cover image. The difference here is that you’ll submit a script, and request specifics about your preferred voice actor (gender/accent/language etc). Spotify will do the rest! It’s also worth noting that ads last for 30 seconds and, for users without a premium subscription, they can’t be skipped.

 10.  Dominos


Chatbots are still a novelty in paid media, they haven’t caught on quite as much as other formats which make users interact with them. They tend to be used in booking systems so that responses and outcomes can be easily predicted. Dominos launched Dom The Pizza bot in 2016 to encourage users to create their own pizza and share their conversations on social media. Facebook messenger and Twitter have since developed versions of these for businesses to integrate with.

Here at Bigwave media, we’re passionate about creating the best social ads for our clients. Find out how we can generate high quality, relevant traffic for your business.

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