creative process case study
5 minutes read

Advertisers, how did IOS 14.5 find you? Not so good, right?

Because the granularity of data when targeting audiences has lost its accuracy, advertisers need to adapt and find new ways to fill that gap.

It is safe to say that today, using the right ad creatives is the only way to differentiate yourself from the crowd.

In an advertising world with fewer targeting capabilities, you need to learn how to speak your audience’s language so you can address potential customers the right way.

In the past, the targeting capabilities were less detailed, and the advertising environment was less competitive.

Because of that, advertisers could use generic messages and creatives to target their ideal customers. But now, the only way to differentiate yourself from the crowd is by using the right creatives. The advertising content needs to adress customers’ pain points and catch their attention.

We recently launched a case study about short-form video ads in which we wanted to find out which of the four big players is the best advertising platform for vertical videos: TikTok, Instagram Reels, YouTube Shorts, or Pinterest Idea Pins? 

To run the experiment, we tested the same ad creative on all the platforms that allow vertical video ads: TikTok, Instagram Reels, YouTube Shorts, and Pinterest Idea.

Now, let’s talk about the creative process for the ad we used in our case study.

The Creative

We pride ourselves that Creatopy is an ad automation platform that helps marketers and designers make ad campaigns at scale in an efficient manner.

So we started thinking: what’s the best way to represent how easy it is to design a banner ad in Creatopy?

We came up with an analogy so our audience could associate something they might be doing every day (their mandatory morning coffee) with the easiness of creating a banner.

To best convey this idea, we split the screen in half. On the top half, we showed the designer (played by me), and on the bottom half, we showed the coffee-making process. 

As you would’ve guessed, designing the ad took less time than making the coffee because creating ads using our platform is that simple.

To make the whole scenario (and ad) more captivating, we added some extra fun layers to our ad: a sports commentary voiceover, a stadium chant sound effect, and a timer bar. 

With this creative, we aimed to have a video that somehow suited all four advertising platforms we used for the case study. The ad had to be generic to emphasize our product’s main capabilities and look good in a vertical environment.

But did we manage to create a short video that looks native on TikTok, Instagram Reels, YouTube Shorts, and Pinterest at the same time?

Partially. 

Mainly because that’s close to impossible. Each platform has its own particularities, and the content style differs a lot.

Let’s see how native content looks on each platform.

TikTok 

TikTok’s spontaneous content is one of its biggest appeals. Users love exploring their FYP, particularly because of the huge variety of relevant TikToks they can stumble upon in just a few swipes. They don’t even have to follow people to get content tailored to their interests. The algorithm does this for them.

@kylethomaswhy do i like it so much when people use the earphone mic?♬ original sound – kyle thomas 🌿

Thus, the FYP is the main protagonist. And the cool thing about the FYP is that literally, anyone can get on it. You don’t have to be famous or present yourself in unusual circumstances to get attention.

Even a video of you speaking into your earphones’ microphone filmed on your phone can garner millions of views and stellar engagement. You also have the chance to collaborate with other users through duets, which are just as quick and easy to make.

TikTok removed the barriers to creativity. It became accessible to anyone, anywhere, at any time. Videos on TikTok are ordinary looking, so ads should look the same in order to feel natural for the user experience.

TikTok isn’t just something you check—it’s something you watch. It isn’t a place where users spend a few minutes. Sometimes they can spend hours just swiping through their FYP without ever getting bored. Your ads need to be able to adapt to this type of spontaneous, bingeable type of content.

Pinterest

Pinterest is the number one place where people go to browse for inspiration. Users look for aesthetic pictures and mood boards and spend time customizing their own collections. Thus, it comes in early during your customers’ decision-making journeys. 

In fact, Pinterest reported that 80% of users have discovered a new brand or product on Pinterest.

So when it comes to advertising on this platform, brands need to remember that Pinterest Idea ads are made for inspiration. 

There are many ways in which advertisers can take advantage of Pinterest’s power. Its multi-card format perfectly showcases ideas in action. Brands can post step-by-step breakdowns of how to use their products, step-by-step tutorials of how to use one of their products with their other ones, ingredient lists, etc. 

For these reasons, Pinterest is amazing for brand awareness. You want to take advantage of their format if you’re going to target Pinners early in their customer journey.

Instagram Reels

Instagram Reels is proof that the platform is turning towards video content.

Instagram was the first platform that made a move after the rise of TikTok by introducing Reels in August 2020.

In fact, when discussing Instagram’s 2022 priorities, CEO Adam Mosseri made it clear that the platform is no longer just a photo-sharing app and that they will “double down their focus on video.”

However, there are many things that make Instagram unique.

First, Instagram is centered around presenting offline experiences in an online format. Through photos and Reels, people showcase their points of view regarding what is happening to them, i.e., travel adventures, outfits, work experiences, lifestyles, culinary experiences, and more.

Second, Instagram is all about aesthetics, and Reels isn’t much different. It still keeps the aesthetic side of Instagram photos.

While Instagram is changing in many ways, and some might argue it’s trying to become TikTok 2.0, there are many things that make it different from other platforms. They’re clearly trying to blend into trends while maintaining their core identity.

YouTube Shorts

True to its name, YouTube Shorts consists of snippets of the bigger YouTube experience. 

As opposed to TikTok, YouTube Shorts videos generally have better production quality. This makes the platform more suitable for experienced creators but also more intimidating for the rest. 

The platform also gives you the option to produce bite-sized video content from your longer videos, making it an excellent place for cross-promotion. 

Like many other short-form video platforms, YouTube Shorts plays videos on a loop. Advertisers need to consider how their content will come across if it’s continually repeated. They need to ensure their videos are quick and easy to digest but worthy of returning to. 

Conclusion

Though they may be similar in essence, all four platforms have their own set of features that make them different from each other. They also tend to attract different audiences, automatically making their content unique. 

This alone means it’s realistically impossible to create an ad that looks native on all platforms.

That said, our creative was good enough to generate conclusive results for our case study.

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Razvan Hercut
22 years old ambitious youngster, passionate about marketing and creating content. Already flying, and I know the best is yet to come. Content Marketing Assistant at Creatopy.

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