Brand Advertising, High Impact Creatives, User Acquisition

Ad Creative Tips and Trends to Level Up Creative Production

Doug Borghese
Mar 28, 2024
ad creative

Knowing what kind of ad creative will win with your audience is a constant learning experience. The mobile market is very competitive, and being able to iterate for and launch effective creatives is paramount for resonating with the audiences you want to reach. The recent advent of new technologies like AI is driving more efficient workflows for creative teams and sparking new ways to create performance-driven ads.

SparkLabs, AppLovin’s in-house creative team, stands as a driver and adopter of many of these changes; they would be, as they are responsible for crafting tens of thousands of winning creatives each year. Drawing from their extensive experience and data-driven analysis, we’re here to share some ad creative tips and trends that will help you refine your ad engagement strategies in the year ahead.

1. Embrace AI

The proliferation of generative AI tools is significantly improving creative ad workflows, comparable to how the introduction of computers moved the design and animation world from paper to digital. Like computers, generative AI tools improve the efficiency – and broaden the possibilities – of the creative process. SparkLabs itself has tripled its AI usage in creative conception and production because it understands the transformative potential of this technology. Our advice: Adopt AI.

Of course, if you’re not sure where to start, we’re here to help.

2. Cultivate an adaptive team

Adopting AI tools requires fostering a culture of exploration and collaboration. Using a team-centric approach when integrating these new concepts into daily operations and encouraging open dialogue and knowledge-sharing can significantly contribute to team productivity and creative output. AI is not taking creative jobs; instead, it is demanding a more connected creative team that understands AI is only a co-pilot in need of a group of motivated captains to steer the ship toward greater efficiency and success.

3. Experiment with genre-bending and metaplay

To capture the interest of more diverse audiences, try playing with the strategy of genre-bending. This is where ads for a game in one genre borrow elements from a different genre to broaden its appeal. In the example above, the Final Fantasy XV: War for Eos ad borrows a tycoon-like mechanic to create new interest and appeal for more casual audiences outside of the game’s actual midcore-style city builder mechanics.

By blending mechanics from different game genres and exploring other innovative concepts like metaplay, you can craft ads that align with users’ motivations. This creative versatility is crucial for standing out in a competitive mobile app market.

4. Explore CTV as a performance channel

Connected TV (CTV) is becoming a new way to explore ad creativity, as it has opened up unprecedented opportunities for storytelling. Whether employing animated or live-action CTV creatives, CTV ads transcend traditional formats to deliver more immersive experiences on bigger screens.

Shaping the future of ad creative

As we begin moving through 2024, these insights and strategies illuminate the path forward for creative professionals in the mobile industry. The fusion of generative AI with innovative creative concepts has set the stage for a new era of engagement, where the boundaries of creativity are continually expanded. By embracing these trends and best practices, creatives are well-equipped to navigate this changing landscape, forging connections with audiences in ways that were previously unimaginable. As we look to the future, the possibilities are boundless, promising a year of unmatched creativity and engagement in the world of performance ads.

All of these insights were pulled from AppLovin and SparkLabs’ recent report, Performance-Driven Ad Trends 2024: Generative AI + Top Ad Creative Strategies.

Learn how SparkLabs boosted efficiency and creativity with AI tools. Register to watch AI in Ad Production, a 25-minute webinar where they candidly share the phased process they used to operationalize generative AI, ultimately elevating the quality and impact of ad creatives – and saving nearly 1600 hours in their creative processes.

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