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Back to basics - The less is more approach for effective display ad design

Display advertising plays an integral role in the shopper journey to build brand awareness, drive traffic to websites or foot traffic to stores and present offers to incentivize trial. More than any other communication tool, display ads require a “less is more” approach to ensure your objective comes through loud and clear and inspires the casual browser to click through.

Here are the top 5 design basics to creating display ads that inspire action.

1. Create brand awareness

Introduce your brand with a logo or company name. For established brands, bring in brand colors, logos and fonts that your shoppers are familiar with for at-a-glance brand recognition.

2. Stay focused

Determine what your communication objective is and find the most concise way to communicate it. Display ads are not the best place to tell your brand story or layer in multiple messages.

3. Set expectations

Be clear about where shoppers will link through to by clicking the display ad. Set expectations and make it compelling.

4. Keep it Short

You have about 1-3 seconds to entice engagement. Develop a clear communication hierarchy with simple supporting graphics to ensure your take away is exactly what you intended in that short window of opportunity.

5. Design thoughtfully

No need to overly design in the small space available. The creative elements should support and enhance the messaging. Utilizing colors and design elements can grab attention and create instance brand awareness but a visual over load will work against you creating clutter and confusion.


Every shopper touchpoint is vital step on the path to purchase – from the big idea to a tiny display ad. How can we help your brands win in 2021?


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