Webinar: Break the Cycle of Bad Ads

Written by Tim Edmundson

You work hard every day to tell your company’s story. Marketing is just another form of storytelling after all, and if you’re going to tell a good tale, you better be authentic. That means your digital marketing needs to be true to your brand in every way — from your website, to your product pages, to your advertising.

Many brands succeed in two out of the three items listed above, but unfortunately fall short on the third — advertising. Your brand’s story is told every day ….and yes, that means even through the look, feel, and substance of your digital ads. So why would you throw all of that away by running ads that look like crap?

Too many brands settle for bland, boring ads that fail to live up to their standards. This could be for a number of reasons — adtech solutions that aren’t up to the creative challenge, a lack of time available to create great ads, or a misplaced idea that boring ads are just as good as beautiful ones. None of these excuses are good enough — you CAN have beautiful ads that perform, and our own Marwan Soghaier, Chief Product Officer at SteelHouse explains how in our latest webinar, Break the Cycle of Bad Ads.

If you haven’t done it yet, give the webinar a watch. It’s okay, we’ll wait.

Welcome back! If you didn’t have a chance to watch it, no worries. Here’s a quick rundown.


Digital advertising is suffering from a plague of bad ads. Businesses who normally hold the sanctity of their brands above all else are strangely comfortable serving ads that don’t do them justice. Marwan took a quick dive into the ad world to show exactly what those creatives look like, and it isn’t pretty.

The problem with many ads is that they lack the personality of their brand. Advertising is generally how people interact with your brand on a day-to-day basis, so why would you want to paint an image of your business as bland and unappealing?

Take a look at the two ads below.


You can’t tell one ad from the other, which is a pretty big problem considering they are from two competitor brands. They are so generic they blend into one another, even though their normal branding is far from the same. This wouldn’t be okay if it were each brand’s website, so why is it okay when it’s their advertising?

Let’s look at another ad.


That ad has about as much personality as an Excel spreadsheet. Needless to say, it’s not exactly attention-grabbing, and there’s not much about it that makes a user want to click it.

Too many marketers settle for these types of ads, when they could be building creative that’s so much better. Injecting a bit of personality and an appealing aesthetic can work wonders, and can be the difference between between a user ignoring your ad, and clicking to convert.


Beauty goes a long way, but adding the right elements to your creative will give your ads what they need to compel a user to click. Marwan explains elements like dynamic product carousels, countdown timers, and videos all play a key part in enticing your would-be customers to take a second look.

> Dynamic Product Carousels | These allow you to showcase your most popular products, or the products the user last viewed. With the SteelHouse Advertising Suite, these products auto-populate into your ad — with no product feed required.

> Countdown Timers |  These are best used for flash or burst sales which last a specific duration. Format them so that you have days, hours, minutes, and even seconds – seeing the countdown timer actually counting down is key.

> Video | When it comes to video, the numbers don’t lie. Ads featuring videos generate 9x post-click site visits than static-image ads, purchase intent increases 13% for users who view ads with videos, and 4x the users would rather watch an ad with video than one with static imagery.


So now that we know what makes an ad compelling, the last piece of the puzzle is a way to put it all together. If you want to be able to build beautiful creative, you need the right tools to do it. Every offering we have, from the SteelHouse Advertising Suite to our Creative Suite (which is fully integrated into our Advertising Suite), puts creative first and ensures your campaigns will have ads that will make you proud.

By giving a quick tour of the Creative Suite, Marwan showed off how easy it is to create amazing ads with very little effort. What would normally take days of work and a laborious creative cycle only took Marwan five minutes, eliminating one of the biggest pain points for marketers looking to create ads worthy of their brand.

While there’s no silver bullet to making your ad beautiful (every brand has its own aesthetic and audience, meaning “beautiful” can be subjective), there are plenty of best practices that can help you ensure your ad is not only aesthetically pleasing, but also engaging to your audience. Well designed ads coupled with elements that draw your audience in will engage your audience far better than a boring, static-image ad.

If you’re running beautiful creative, you’re setting your campaigns up for success. Your brand’s story deserves better than the boring ads that dominate the internet, so step up your creative game — you don’t have to settle for bad ads anymore.

Watch the webinar now: Break the Cycle of Bad Ads