4 Tips for Creating Effective Holiday Shopping Ads

By : Amanda Batista


It’s the most wonderful time of the year – when brands prepare for the holiday shopping rush. The circumstances of the last 18 months ushered in enhanced digital-first shopping expectations for convenience and safety-based experiences.

To identify key trends in eCommerce advertising and help brands optimize the upcoming holiday shopping season, VidMob examined the ad design and messaging tactics of 68 different retail and e-commerce brands during the 2020 holiday season. Our analysis includes more than 12,000 discrete ads, across nearly 1,200 campaigns, generating more than 3.2 billion impressions across various social platforms. The analysis itself was conducted using Creative Intelligence, VidMob’s AI-powered technology.

Here are 4 helpful considerations drawn from these insights, to help maximize your holiday advertising creative:

Consider ways to keep your content moving

When it comes to advertising, it helps to keep things moving (literally). Video ads drove a 30% higher online purchase rate compared to static ads. Consider how your ads can help shoppers visualize the usage and/or lifecycle of your products. It’s a great way to help with gift giving ideas! Think creatively about the term “video ads” as you look for ways to convey value to shoppers. This may be best served up as a collection of multiple images and ideas as opposed to a linear story. Imagine what’s possible with video. Stop motion, cinemagraphs and looping content are 3 great ways to get your feet wet with bringing motion to your static imagery.

Consider the length of your videos; shorter may be sweeter

Video ads 1 to 5 seconds in duration had a purchase rate 167% higher than the overall video average, and 700% higher than videos 16 seconds or longer (the lowest-performing duration), and 100% higher than 6-9 second videos.

Consider opening your video with text

Videos that had text in their first frame had a sales lift 3x higher than ads that introduced text after the first 3 seconds. For static ads, including text in the image was found to decrease purchase rate by 40%. Your SEO lists can serve as a helpful way to mine the gold in your own backyard to identify the key words and phrases most relevant to your shoppers. Use these terms to tap into search behavior in a meaningful way that supports your shoppers and your business. Non-linear storytelling is very effective when you’re operating under a time crunch and remember to include branding early on.

Consider your word choice

For CTAs featured in the first 3 seconds of a video, we found the word “Get” had an average purchase rate 53% higher than “Shop”. This indicates that audiences are most focused on the inherent value they are receiving versus an action they should take. Use case and gift giving are great concepts to explore for your calls to action. Check out the full report to learn more about how your brand can optimize holiday ad creative for this upcoming shopping season!