When we're not developing creative for our clients, you can probably find us scouring the Internet and our own social feeds to understand what tactics other brands are employing for their ads. Throughout the year we've seen big Facebook ad design trends emerge, and we decided to share some of our favorites.
Here are our 16 favorite Facebook ad design trends of 2017. These examples range from purely aesthetic to conceptual and specific to company types. Regardless of what you're advertising, we hope you'll find some inspiration for your own campaigns.
Gradients made a big comeback in design this year and made A LOT of Facebook ad appearances. We’ve seen just about every brand try out gradients in various ways; in backgrounds, image overlays, video thumbnails, logos, and more.
With a simple aesthetic treatment, gradients add complexity to any creative element and are flat out eye-catching.
3. Lists Within Ad Copy
Organizing copy through lists is a tried-and-true method for marketers to organize thoughts clearly. This year we saw more and more advertisers adapting lists within Facebook ad copy.
This tactic is pretty straightforward but can be used in many different ways. Try listing product value propositions, company stats, industry facts, or simply listing components of your offer. As a bonus, add emojis instead of bullets for stronger visual cues.
4. Long-form Ad Copy
On the opposite end of the spectrum, 2017 saw the rise of long-form social posting. This trend gives advertisers an opportunity to mimic high-value organic social sharing tactics and packs in a ton of information.
Long-form ad text has been a favorite amongst vloggers and consultants, but we expect to see more brands mimicking this tactic.
5. Quotes & Reviews
In an age where consumers have more options than ever, external validation is vital. From user reviews and testimonials to praise in the press, advertisers are leaning on outside sources to help sell their solutions.
Whether you’re using quotes and reviews within ad copy or overlaid on images and video, this tactic can provide high value to almost any type of company. Just remember to go beyond self-promotion and keep your target audience in mind.
6. High-Quality, Branded Photography & Video
While this advertising tactic isn’t new to 2017, it is an important one. Gone are the days of using stock images in high-performance ads. It's now a must-do for brands to produce high-quality branded photography and video for use within user acquisition campaigns.
Here are a few of our favorite brands killing it with branded photography...
This trend doesn’t require a crazy budget, either. It’s becoming easier for anyone to produce high-quality creative assets, so if you haven’t jumped on this trend already, you should.
7. Custom Illustration
In that same vein, custom illustration has taken branded imagery to new heights. This year we saw countless of rebrands and campaigns with custom illustrations and graphics at the forefront.
While this trend may be a bit more resource-intensive to apply to your own creative production, it’s worth considering. It's also easy as ever to hire freelancers, and if this trend is any indication, the cost and effort are probably worth it.
8. Product Packaging & 'Unboxing'
Product packaging has also made a recent comeback. Companies are rethinking the role packaging plays in their branding and putting it front and center. Advertisers have also latched onto the ‘product unboxing’ concept, incorporating big reveals and packaging experiences in carousels, video, and images.
Brands use this tactic not only to show delight and ease of use but to build trust and excitement.
9. Selling Content
Content marketing is set to become a $13 billion market by 2019. In recent years, more and more companies are investing in quality content production and regarding it as intellectual property along with their actual offerings. So, it’s no surprise that marketers are advertising their content on Facebook.
The content sell is a great way to collect leads while providing value to your target audience and (hopefully) conveying the worth of your brand.
10. Simplified App Screenshots
In recent years, lifestyle imagery has become less and less powerful, and advertisers are putting the products back front-and-center. We've seen A LOT of product snapshots as of late.
As attention spans shrink and ad consumption increases on mobile, advertisers are taking the product visualization trend and simplifying things. This year we saw more simplified app graphics that shy away from highlighting all the bells and whistles.
Instead, advertisers utilize these graphics simply as visual cues or to represent solutions to problems.
11. Product Images in Carousel
Carousels gave advertisers a great way to dive deep into products. Some of our favorite examples of these ads included step by step guides of how physical product or apps work, onboarding processes, product capabilities and features, and more.
Having visually similar items in the carousel can mentally help people digest information quickly. Text and visual cues can help as well, making this concept great for explaining different features or use cases.
12. Continuous Carousels
Advertisers really started experimenting with carousel ads this year, from both visual and conceptual standpoints. The continuous carousel is undoubtedly a 2017 favorite.
Continuous images do a great job of encouraging viewers to swipe through the full carousel and can be applied to virtually any brand.
Although Facebook has some specific guidelines around ‘before and after’ concepts, we’ve seen a lot of comparison ads pop up over the past year.
They give advertisers a visual way to simply and quickly articulate value-adds. Whether comparing the old way of doing something versus "the new way," a cumbersome way versus an efficient way, virtually any kind of company can adopt this concept.
14. Data Visualizations & Visual Cues
We love a good ad that incorporates stats and data. This year we’ve seen more advertisers combine data visualizations with cues to make it easier to understand the value.
This is a great trick to try, combining text and simple graphics to capture viewer attention and articulate messages quickly.
15. Flat Lays
Flat lays have been popular amongst designers and advertisers for a while. This year we’ve seen more brands adopt the trend.
Playing off the human mind's love of order, they quickly grab attention. Whether showing physical products on their own, items catered to a specific audience, or a combination of the two, this is a tried-and-true tactic.
Every advertiser knows how challenging it can be to keep ad creative fresh while keeping up with trends and staying relevant. Check our other design resources for more inspiration...
We hope you’re able to apply some of these trends to your own campaigns before the year is through!
Proud to work with today's most innovative companies.
Stay in Touch