5 Click-worthy Design Ideas for Banner Ad Inspiration

Key takeaways:

  • Between banner blindness and selective attention, it’s way too common for banner ads to have a low CTR despite high impressions.
  • Luckily, you can find inspiration in the why: knowing why users disregard your ads teaches you how to deliver banner ads that actually perform.
  • Your first point of inspiration should be learning ad best practices (and why they’re best practices).
  • Implementing a few banner ad design tips and tricks can help you boost your inspiration and end up with better ad performance.
  • Even after brushing up on ad inspiration, consider bringing a team of ad creatives on board to help your campaign excel.

It’s all too easy for ads to become invisible when you’re already subconsciously convinced that viewing a banner isn’t worth your time. If your ads are falling victim to banner blindness, you’re far from alone. A recent study showed that only 14% of people recalled the last banner ad they saw.

As media viewers, we’re bombarded with similar ad imagery constantly, and after a while, it all starts to look the same. Even if your ads are well-designed, they can still blend into the background and become invisible to a viewer. It’s just how our brains are designed to handle overstimulation by a constant stream of digital media.

When your impressions are fine but your clickthrough is below par, it’s time to realize that maybe your ads need to stand out in a different way. Finding ad design inspiration in new places could potentially make the difference in how your ads perform, boosting clickthrough to where it needs to be.

Instead of taking your inspiration from the most popular brands and campaigns, try finding inspiration in the ways we view media. Did you know that we’re actually less likely to pay attention to flashy ads compared to static imagery (our brains tune out the busy noise and prefer simplicity)?

Learn from user behavior to find banner ad inspiration

You can counteract the problem of the invisible banner ad by learning what makes people ignore an ad and then adjusting the design structure you use. In this case, the problem is selective attention.

It’s natural for people to direct their attention to only a portion of the stimuli they’re viewing, especially in a digital media setting (we live in an oversaturated world). As humans, we have limited attention, and it’s overstimulating and overwhelming to pay attention to every element (and every ad) that we encounter online.

The average website contains a lot of content elements, including navigation bars, call-to-action buttons, search fields, and yes, ads. Add widgets and chatbots into the mix and you’ll find that your banner ads are fighting for attention against a cacophony of stimulation. So, how do you break through all that stimulation and set your ad apart as something that your viewers want to direct their attention to?

Take banner ad inspiration from best practices

You can overcome selective attention and break through ad blindness by being mindful of your ads, not only in design but in their location, number, and even who you’re targeting. There’s a reason that so many designers direct you to place ads toward the left-center top of the page – that’s where users direct their attention first, rather than to the bottom right.

Brushing up on best practices for ad design should be your top source of banner ad inspiration. They’re best practices for a reason – most guidelines have research and proven campaigns behind them.

5 tips for banner ad inspiration

You can launch better banner ads by changing the way you approach design. You don’t have to resign yourself to ad blindness and selective attention – there are specific ways to overcome those problems. Here’s how:

#1: Use unconventional sizing

Trying out nontraditional ad sizing options helps you break out of the banner blindness box. If the ad doesn’t immediately look like just another banner ad, then your user is more likely to give it a second glance.

That said, also consider trying out different sizes on a rotating basis. You can even implement split testing to see what ad sizes perform the best for you, then prioritize putting those sizes into the campaign.

#2: Choose a mindful aesthetic

Flashy for the sake of flashy just doesn’t work in advertising anymore. Your viewers don’t want an ad that rips their attention away from everything else – they’ll just resist busy colors and larger-than-life imagery. Every single ad design decision needs to have a clear purpose behind it.

Instead of going flashy, make mindful aesthetic choices in your ad design. That means choosing an image or graphic that serves a singular purpose. Select fonts that set your message apart and give it distinction and purpose. Pick colors that reflect your brand and the values of the target ad viewer.

#3: Showcase your product

Your ad shouldn’t leave anyone guessing about what you’re selling. Whether it’s a product or a service, showcase the main point of your ad in a clear way. Cryptic ads are less likely to get a great clickthrough rate for the simple fact that if your viewer doesn’t know what you’re selling, they’re not going to buy it.

#4: Use urgency

Don’t forget that every effective ad has a call to action and it should include urgency. If you’re running a sale or a limited-time deal, then lead with that information. Even without a limited-time offer, express urgency in your choice of CTA wording. Shop Now is a popular CTA for good reason! It’s simple, to the point, and expresses urgency.

#5: Show a statistic

Got stats backing your product? Did you run a case study and find that your services improved the client’s revenue by 20%? That’s information that you should absolutely include in your ad design. When showing statistics or numerical data on an ad, highlight the number and set it apart with a different font choice, color, or bigger size.

Following these five tips gives you a good design foundation for better-performing ads. When your ads are designed to overcome selective attention, you’ll have much more than just impressions to show for them. That said, even when you’re armed with design best practices, you might still find that working with a team of professionals is the best way to move your ad performance forward.

Get the experts on board for top-notch ad design

It takes a design-oriented hand to put inspiration to work and create a truly great banner ad. If your ads are still blending into the background, it’s probably time to partner with a creative ad agency that can kick your inspiration up a notch and deliver real performance.

After all, you wear a lot of hats. When you’re not already a design professional, why spend time learning design principles when you could have an expert hold your hand through the process instead?

That’s where Model B comes in. Our team of expert ad creatives is here to conceptualize your perfect ad campaign and bring it to life. Let’s talk about how to boost your campaign with omnichannel media management powered by Blueprint technology.