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Creativity rules: Inspiration for the holiday season

by Stephanie Boland

August 12, 2021

Shifting behaviour

The formula for “good” creative hasn’t changed much since marketers first used it to draw in a discerning audience. Essentially, it’s about telling an engaging story that people can connect with and relate to. What has changed, however, is the way that story is told.

This is especially true around the holiday season; it’s a time when shoppers aren’t so much influenced by promotional content, but by emotion. In fact, a Facebook-commissioned consumer research study showed a profound shift from utility to inspiration. More and more people are entering the shopping experience with interest in mind, not intent, and are waiting for that “special something” to inspire their next move.

More than a third of all Mega-Sales Days (MSD) shoppers are shopping online with an understanding of the category, but without knowing what item they want from that category.

With this in mind, brands need to embrace the full-funnel nature of the holiday season and delight shoppers at the moment of discovery. This means delivering content where they know it’ll be found and telling their stories where they know they’ll be heard. Now and for the foreseeable, that place is online.

Utilising mobile

It’s in a brand’s best interest to push its creative beyond the tried-and-tested and optimise it for each channel. After all, the better the creative, the bigger the impact—56% of a brand’s sales lift from digital advertising can be attributed to high quality creative. But how exactly can they do this?

With mobile commerce gaining share in overall retail eCommerce, the answer lies within our screens. This year, 73% of all retail eCommerce is expected to come from mobile, up from 59% in 2017, so brands should start by planning their creative routes around mobile best practices: telling the story in 6-15 seconds, making it visually arresting for a sound-off environment and framing it in the right aspect ratio.

Layering creativity

From mobile optimisation, brands can move on to creative considerations. Layering these on top of a great concept could be the difference between getting noticed and getting lost; inspiring action and losing interest.

Use a mixture of formats
Including static images and video assets within the same campaign has been shown to improve performance, with mixed-format campaigns achieving a 17% higher conversion lift compared to static-only.

Highlight the brand early
To stand out in a crowded ads ecosystem, a brand’s identity should be revealed within the first 3 seconds of a video, whether it’s a logo, caption, product, recognisable spokesperson or key colour. Visual recognition helps to validate the brand and build trust in the purchase.

Showcase the product or service
Ultimately, people want to know what they’re buying and how it’s going to benefit them, so it’s important for a brand to make its product or service the focal point of its video. This could be achieved by showing multiple variants, using DIY content or calling out the product features.

Inspire action with text
When consuming an ad, eyes are naturally drawn to the image first, and then the copy. Because of this, text should be used to reinforce the visual components and give people the reassurance they need to continue the consumer journey. Too much text, however, and they may scroll past the ad altogether.

Motivating discovery

Inspiration and marketing go hand in hand just as much as the holidays and gifting do. When it comes to big shopping events, brands now have more means of bringing their creativity to life and more tools to inspire their customers than ever before—something which we’re committed to supporting through our product catalogue.

By running a video-based ad set across Instagram Stories, Instagram Feed and Facebook News Feed, the travel search company, Kayak, drove a 5x increase in conversions and 50% increase in return on investment. This not only proved the value in combining ad placements, but in using our platforms to build a holistic presence online. Our tools can bring brands closer to their consumers and consumers closer to that perfect gift—one they may not have even known they were looking for.

To find out more about Discovery Commerce for the holiday season, visit our video hub where you can watch a range of videos from Facebook experts.


Discovery Commerce
holiday advertising
facebook ads
Brand / Advertising
Creative advertising