How to Make B2B Ads That Aren’t Boring
Ads, they’re everywhere! However some ads set themselves apart with eye-catching design or thoughtful messaging. To stand out in the crowd, an ad has got to have it all! Especially when talking about the B2B space, which can have far more constraints on design and messaging than B2C ads. Below we compiled some of the most interesting B2B ads we’ve seen, as well as concepts in the B2C world that could be brought to the B2B space. Hopefully these examples can ignite a spark of creativity that will manifest stellar ads from you and your team.
These display ads by Shopify are very clean and stand out nicely with a background that makes the photography pop. The combination of photography and product animation is a nice touch and gives you the best of both worlds. There's something nice about adding a human element to software. As marketers we want our customers to feel something, and that’s much easier to do when we can see emotion in the creatives we make. From copy to design, this ad accomplishes getting Shopify’s message across.
Adobe: Influencer marketing + Display ads
Adobe and Billie Eilish are obviously a huge collaboration, and I like the idea of combining influencer marketing with display ads. As humans we are remarkable at facial recognition, and when you put a face everyone knows on a display ad, web visitors look and web visitors click.
Per usual with Adobe, the design is clean, legible, and they added an eye-catching effect to Billie that makes the ad stand out on a webpage. I’m personally a big fan of solid color backgrounds. Similar to the Shopify ad, a solid background helps bring all the important pieces of visual information to the forefront.
Now it may not be feasible to have Billie Eilish on your ads, but you can scale this down and find someone in your market space that stands out. Think of a few thought leaders or industry titans in your market space and try running an ad featuring them.
LinkedIn has become a trusted ad platform for B2B marketers, and it’s a great opportunity to engage with decision makers at companies you're targeting. Let’s look at a few examples of interesting LinkedIn ads that we can all learn something from.
This ad features bold text outlining a pain point their product solves and a background that brings all the visual information together.
Aircall Video Ad
This Aircall video ad does a good job mixing a real person into product focused animations to create an engaging video.
Tourial Tutorial Video Ad
Giving a brief demo in a video ad is a good way to highlight product abilities in front of a larger audience. This strategy also stays true to Tourial’s value proposition- they’re about creating better demo experiences for buyers, so it’s no surprise that they practice what they preach in their marketing.
UserGems Pipeline Calculator Video
This ad is visually appealing and I like the idea of showing a real life example of how UserGems’s pipeline calculator works.
This ad by Walnut is funny, and will grab the attention of most. Using a humorous analogy to visually show product value is a great way to craft creatives. An ad like this is refreshing amongst ads that oftentimes look the exact same.
LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook carousel ads offer a visually appealing delivery method. I like the idea of one ad flowing into the next to create a cohesive message. The use of photography in these ads is very visually appealing. Having the same images broken down into multiple pieces but used to create multiple effective marketing pieces is awesome! Check out some examples below:
LinkedIn Ads Carousel Post
This ad does a great job of breaking up photography into multiple images that look just as good alone as they do collectively.
This ad by Mailchimp is visually appealing, but what they do best is build off their copy with each section and use the carousel layout to their advantage.
Most Interesting Video Ad
Adobe- Click baby click ad
Adobe produces top notch ads. Whether it’s video or display ads, Adobe stays a step ahead of the game with glamorous design, and in this case good storytelling and humor. You could write an entire article on ads and just use Adobe as the best example for everything you want to talk about. Adobe does a good job being themselves. Their company is all about creativity and inspiration, and you can really feel that through their advertisement.
Keeping B2B Interesting With B2C Creative
Sometimes we can get too caught up in a B2B corporate mindset when making creatives. However there is a lot of inspiration we can take from B2C ad design that we can apply to our B2B ads to give them some flare.
BarkBox Carousel Ad
This ad is humorous and does a good job of making the parameters of a carousel ad work for you, not against you.
More than likely you’re not selling food, or what you’re selling isn’t as appealing as food. However, this ad has a clear and relevant copy, a specific product at the forefront, and a solid background that brings images and copy to the forefront. All of these things can be applied when creating your next ad.
Starbucks: Every Table Has a Story
Let’s be real, Starbucks doesn’t care about your story but this ad made me want to experience having a coffee inside a Starbucks. This ad is a great example of marketing to people, and that’s something that can be forgotten about in the B2B space. Don’t miss out on opportunities by marketing to the business you want to target instead of the people working there.
Commercial Observer: Follow Us On Social Display Ad
This display ad is unique. Sometimes simplicity can be creative. I like the creativity of prompting their audience to follow them on social media, while the main visual of the ad is the actual landing page visitors will land on when clicking through. This ad features the right mix of simplicity and creativity that makes it stand out.
The CTA of this ad is appealing. Instead of asking to complete a form, it’s simply asking to follow the company's account on social media. It’s a top of funnel tactic that isn’t too overreaching and keeps your target audience in front of your content. A clever way to build brand awareness and nurture buyers showing initial interest.
It can be challenging to find success with digital ads. As consumers, we are oversaturated with ads. However, having the right mix of simplicity and creativity is the ultimate formula for interesting ads that will grab the attention of your audience. When formulating your next ad campaign, think colors that contrast and make your visuals pop. Add copy and a CTA that is clear. Like some of the ads mentioned above, get creative with your CTAs and think of unique ways to engage your audience.
Want more content to improve your ads? Check out our crash course to account-based display ads blog.