4 min read

The Importance of Creative in Advertising

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The world of digital advertising is changing. While data-driven audience targeting still has its place, many marketing strategies are finding their way back to their roots by placing a greater emphasis on ad creatives.

 The first iterations of modern advertising appeared in 19th-century newspapers and heavily focused on ad creatives to catch the attention of readers. However, over the last decade, modern technology has changed the way that marketers approach advertising. With the ability to measure detailed analytics and use data to profile and target specific groups of consumers, the advertising world became obsessed with data.

A Cookieless Web Spawns Change

For at least the last 10 years, third-party cookies have made the marketing world go 'round. These digital trackers could follow users around the internet and share their interests and behaviors with the brands they frequented. However, in 2018 the UK passed the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that created ripples in a digitally connected world that would ultimately lead to the end of third-party cookies, turning digital advertising upside down.

 Why is this such a big deal? For the first time in the history of the internet, people seemingly became concerned about data privacy, digital human rights, and ultimately how their personal data was being used and shared across the internet.

 The timing, amid a boom of social justice crusades, couldn’t have been better for those pushing for more data privacy control. Unfortunately, as the shift began to gain attention the major tech players like Apple and Google each made big announcements–in the coming months or years they would be phasing out support for third-party cookies completely.

 As the internet goes dark on the magic data mine of third-party cookies, it’s time for digital advertising to shift again.

Why Advertising Needs to Circle Back to Focus on Creative

All signs point to a future that is revisiting the fundamentals that built the advertising industry. As an advertising ecosystem devoid of third-party data for targeting becomes more of a reality, we’re seeing a push for higher-quality ad creatives. Best practices for engaging internet-based media consumers are favoring rich media engagements that put the customer needs front-and-center over the behind-the-scenes data funnels that we’ve seen in the past.


Creative Differentiates

 Without pinpointed targeting, digital advertising will become a lot more like TV advertising in the sense that your target audience will be broad. How do TV advertisers stand out in the crowded, un-targeted landscape? With creative. As online consumers become increasingly inundated with ads that are less targeted and less relevant to them, brands need to deploy strong creative to differentiate themselves and stand out in a sea of sameness. While everyone is running static banner ads, brands that look towards more immersive ad experiences like rich media will have greater success at engaging the right folks and moving them through the funnel.


A Lasting Impression

For the last decade, the importance brands put on compiling the right data segments to reach the right audience came at the expense of the actual creative messaging. The end consumer doesn’t see the targeting that went into the delivery of an ad. They see the ad itself and the creative messaging from the brand. The weakening of third-party data presents an opportunity for marketers to prioritize their creative. A well-made, thoughtful, and eye-catching ad is often times a brand’s first interaction with a potential customer. Focusing on the creative output vs. the data input will help to ensure that these initial interactions are positive experiences for consumers that turn them into lifelong customers.


New Consumer Behaviors & Preferences

A new era in consumers emerged in the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic. These consumers are increasingly digitally connected and far less tolerant of low-quality and intrusive advertisements. They want to be immersed, entertained, and engaged, and their buying power is awarded to the brands that are willing to cater to their whims in an authentic way. Rich media advertising offers the perfect canvas to tell a brand story in a meaningful way.

 They also are far too aware of all the slightly shady tactics used to advertise to them and seem to be easily put off when they mention an interest in a new product and then are suddenly bombarded by advertisements for that product. This means that the only way to reach the modern consumer is by investing in high-quality ad creatives that offer up unique, quality engagements with authentic personalization.


Final Thoughts on the Importance of Creative in Advertising

As we barrel towards Web 3.0, a digital future that includes the dissolution of third-party cookies, as well as the emergence of augmented and virtual reality technologies, there is only one place for advertising to go: back to our roots. Our focus needs to turn to embracing high-quality ad creatives as our most important asset while supplementing campaigns with useful analytics, and embracing the breadth of modern digital media technologies to create unique advertising experiences.


From strategy to ad placement, PadSquad is helping companies navigate the tides of change in the advertising world. Our team of award-winning creative strategists can help you bring the focus back to quality ad creatives and take charge of your digital advertising. Unlock your creative potential with us. 



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