3 Ways to Use Ad Creative to Drive Success for Your Campaigns

Research proves good creative converts. Find out how to use the right design elements to drive success in every stage of the marketing funnel.

Undoubtedly, following the data is crucial for every marketer developing an effective campaign strategy - but, it's not everything. For far too long, marketers have over-indexed on the science behind advertising, with little consideration for ad creative and design. But, the truth of the matter is, consumers don't remember where an ad is placed - instead, it is the colors, design, animations and interactive elements that catch their attention.

So, how can marketers ensure that they are prioritizing and developing ad creative to propel the goals of their business? In this blog post, we will discuss GumGum's exciting new guide, "Why Creative is the New Frontier in Attention-Led Campaigns" to help you build ad creative that drives performance in all three stages of the marketing funnel.

Good Creative Converts

New research proves that effective ad creative is crucial in driving campaign success. An IPG-led analysis of over 2,000 digital campaigns from a cross-section of European audiences found that GumGum’s high-impact desktop ads generated 6x the level of uplift compared to the industry standard, with the inclusion of advanced creative features on ads more generally sparking a 9.9% CTR increase.

Alt Text: The Art of Science Report Shows Scientific Research to Support the Importance of Ad Creative

Whether your goal is to increase brand uplift, raise awareness or convert customers, there is a suitable creative out there to help you reach your campaign KPI and meet and exceed your business goals.

Types of Ad Creative

Before we discuss how to leverage ad creative, it is important to discuss which types of design elements are available for marketers.

Multimedia formats such as large-scale desktop and mobile skins, along with CTV and in-game activations, create the foundations of an immersive ad environment that is naturally primed to capture audience attention. When you layer this outline with a menu of additional high-impact creative features, there’s an even bigger opportunity to optimize performance.

Below are examples of different ad creatives we will be referencing in this blog post.

Alt Text: Ad Creatives Examples that Marketers Can Use

Now that we have a foundational understanding of ad creatives and why they are critical, let's discuss how you can utilize ad creative to maximize campaign performance.

Ad Creative & The Marketing Funnel

All prospective customers looking for a solution online will embark on a buyer journey that takes them through the marketing funnel. The upper funnel will offer general education about the brand and the products they offer. As customers move down the funnel, they will begin to engage with the brand's solutions, how they work and what sets them apart from other competing products in the market. In the last stage of the funnel, customers will explore product demos and begin to ask questions and communicate with respective sellers and teams that will ultimately propel them to a purchase decision.

To successfully drive customers through the funnel, the right ad creative is essential. Here's what you'll need:

3 Ways to Use Ad Creative to Drive Campaign Success

1. Use Creative that Educates Your Audience about Your Brand

To build a connection with your audience at the top of the funnel, build creative that drives brand awareness and shows consumers exactly what your brand is about. Use the brand colors, tones and design elements to showcase your personality and uniqueness.

Alt text: Upper Funnel Creative

2. Once Audiences Know Who You Are, Add In Interactive Elements to Engage Them

After establishing a strong brand presence and driving awareness about your products, it's now time to engage audiences. To continue to grow a connection, use gamification elements to draw in prospective consumers.

Alt Text: Mid to Lower Funnel Ways to Attract Customers and Lead Them to Purchase

3. When Customers Interact with Your Brand, Offer Support to Drive Conversions

The bottom of the funnel is where you will convert your audiences. Here, use free trial graphics, demos and chatbots to open a line of communication and help them move closer to a purchase decision.

For More on How to Use Creative to Drive Campaign Success, Access the Full Study Here.

NY Pizza Case Study: Gamification in Action

Now let's take a look at a mid-funnel example of how creative successfully drove a high return on investment. GumGum recently worked with New York Pizza and and its media agency, Netprofiler, to drive a 23% return on investment.

GumGum used one of its innovative display ad formats, Skins, to create the New York Pizza slice game. Users were challenged to slice up the right ingredients for a specific New York Pizza, earning points en-route – and with the reward of a 25% pizza discount, revealed via a dynamic landing page, on offer for correct guesses.

Alt Text: NY Pizza Game Example Using GumGum's Skins Creative

GumGum’s contextual intelligence platform Verity™ served the game across content that mattered to a target audience of young professionals, students, young families and gamers.


  • Over 82% of players completed the game and 37% played it again to get a higher score.
  • The average desktop dwell time was 42 seconds.
  • Desktop CTR was 83% higher than benchmarked for traditional (non-gamified) GumGum Skins
  • 93% viewability rate was achieved compared to the IAB’s benchmark of 70% viewable.

Do You Want to Outperform ROAS Your Next Ad Creative? Get Started Here.


As the creative features available to advertisers become ever more diverse and sophisticated, the strategic power of digital campaigns will reach new heights. Now, it's just about applying the power of those creative elements at the right moments, within the right contexts, to maximize your impact and capture consumer attention.

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