The Paid Ads That Made History: What Businesses Should Know?

Are you struggling to make a mark and attract your audience in today’s cluttered digital landscape? Do you find it challenging to create ads that truly resonate with your customers and target audience and drive results?

If so, you’re not alone. In a time where customers are bombarded with advertising at every turn, the competition for their attention has never been fiercer. Paid advertising is a great digital marketing technique many companies have used to make a mark. 

Paid ads have the potential to not only stand out but also leave a lasting mark in the minds of consumers. There are multiple outstanding paid ads that have been highly successful in the past. These ads have not only captured the hearts of their target audiences but have also achieved remarkable success. 

The best part? Businesses like yours can learn valuable lessons from these advertising triumphs to create campaigns that resonate, engage, and convert.

Top 8 Paid Ads That Worked

Over the years, there have been paid ads that have not only captured our attention but have also left a lasting mark in the annals of advertising history. Here are the eight successful paid ads that businesses can learn from:

  1. Apple Music Display Ads: The Power of Simplicity

Apple, renowned for its innovation in the tech industry, takes a refreshingly straightforward approach to online advertising, particularly when it comes to Apple Music. Much like their website design, their display ads embrace simplicity with open arms. This simplicity doesn’t hinder their sales but enhances their appeal.

What Businesses Can Learn:

  • Embrace White Space: Apple’s liberal use of white space in their website and ads doesn’t deter sales. Agencies can follow suit by avoiding clutter and focusing on the core message.
  • Consistent Branding: Apple’s iconic logo is ever-present in its banner ads, reinforcing trust. Consistency in branding is key for agencies.
  • Simplicity Wins: The “Available Now” CTA in Apple’s ads shows you don’t need complex CTAs to succeed. Simplicity in messaging can drive engagement and sales effectively.
  1. Snickers PPC Campaign: You’re Not You When You’re Hungry

Snickers took misspelled search terms targeting to an entirely new level. They looked up the top 500 search terms. Then, armed with a clever algorithm, they generated a staggering 25,381 different misspellings.

In just two days, Snickers reported an astounding 558,589 ad impressions. With a click-through rate of 1.05%, a whopping 5,874 visitors found their way to the campaign’s mini-website, aptly named

What Businesses Can Learn:

  • Creative Thinking: Don’t shy away from thinking creatively and pushing the boundaries of traditional PPC practices.
  • Data-Driven Campaigns: Utilize data and algorithms to uncover unique opportunities and develop innovative campaigns.
  • Clever Branding: Consider how your campaign can cleverly align with your brand’s messaging and catchphrases.
  1. Amazon Event Ads: Visual Appeal and Relevance

Amazon’s event ads are a prime example of effective Facebook advertising. These ads not only showcase products but also provide clear ratings and highlight specific events like Black Friday.

What Businesses Can Learn:

  • Visual Appeal: Use warm colors, white space, and directional lines to draw attention to featured products.
  • Relevance: Tailor ads to specific events, holidays, or shows to align with your target audience’s interests.
  • Value Proposition: Display enticing value propositions and customer ratings to boost trust and conversions.
  • Clear Call to Action: Employ clear and urgent CTAs like “Click Today” to encourage immediate action.
  1. MailChimp Facebook Ad Campaign: Educate and Engage

MailChimp, a long-standing player in the email marketing industry, excels at providing practical education to both potential and existing customers. Their ads effectively showcase new features and resonate through strong visuals.

What Businesses Can Learn:

  • Educate Your Audience: Provide practical knowledge that benefits your audience, showcasing how your product or service solves their problems.
  • Visual Branding: Create consistent and memorable imagery, like MailChimp’s Chimp mascot.
  • Negative Space: Utilize negative space to direct attention to key elements, making your brand instantly recognizable.
  1. Sky News PPC Ad: Targeting News Stories Effectively

Sky News faced the challenge of using paid search to target users searching for specific news stories. They took their RSS feed and subjected it to Unique Digital’s Darwin Optimizer technology, resulting in highly relevant keywords tied to particular news stories.

A predefined PPC budget was in place, with daily reviews to adjust spending in response to major news stories. The keywords were incredibly specific, translating to low costs per click. 

What Businesses Can Learn:

  • Leverage Technology: Explore cutting-edge solutions to optimize ad targeting and campaign performance.
  • Adaptability: Be prepared to adjust your campaign strategy rapidly in response to changing trends or events.
  • Specificity Matters: Highly specific keywords can lead to more cost-effective campaigns with better results.
  1. Shutterfly Multi-Product Ad: Cohesiveness and Value

Shutterfly’s multi-product ad demonstrates the power of cohesive branding. Each product featured maintains the look and feel of the Shutterfly brand, offering value to users through discounts.

What Businesses Can Learn:

  • Consistent Branding: Ensure that all elements in your ad align with your brand’s colors, style, and message.
  • Relevance and Value: Offer value to your audience by highlighting discounts or special offers.
  • Clear Call to Action: Encourage immediate action by emphasizing limited-time offers and expiring deals.
  1. Shopify’s Facebook Ad Campaign: Evoke Curiosity and Challenge

Shopify’s ad campaign taps into the psychology of curiosity, urging users to consider their aspirations and future moves. It challenges viewers to think about their choices, inciting action.

What Businesses Can Learn:

  • Ask Thought-Provoking Questions: Pose questions that engage viewers on a personal level, sparking curiosity and emotions.
  • Motivate and Challenge: Encourage viewers to rethink their strategies and explore new options.
  • Clear and Relevant CTAs: Tailor CTAs to your specific goals, and consider split testing to find the most effective phrasing.
  1. Converse “Conversations” PPC Ad: Engaging through Cultural Relevance

Converse, the global footwear giant, connected with its teenage audience in a fun and innovative way. Their PPC campaigns targeted search terms that aligned with what their prospective customers might be searching for, ranging from [First day of summer] to [How to kiss]. 

What Businesses Can Learn:

  • Audience-Centric Content: Focus on what’s currently relevant and interesting to your target audience.
  • Engagement Over Sales: Prioritize engagement and connection over immediate sales pitches.
  • Interactive Experiences: Create campaigns that lead to interactive and meaningful experiences for your audience.

Best Types of Paid Ads Businesses Should Use

In addition to following best practices for creating effective paid ads, if you’re running a business, you should also consider the types of paid ads that best serve your marketing goals. Here are the best types of paid ads you can incorporate into their advertising strategies:

  1. Display Advertising

These are visual ads that appear on websites, typically in the form of banners, images, or videos. They can be displayed on websites that are part of an advertising network, allowing you to reach a broad audience.

Display ads are ideal for spreading awareness about the brand, retargeting previous website visitors, promoting visual content like videos or infographics, and Banner Ads that are particularly effective for promoting products or services with eye-catching visuals.

  1. Social Media Advertising

Social media advertising involves promoting content or products on platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. These platforms offer various ad formats, including sponsored posts, carousel ads, and stories.

Social media advertising is versatile and can be used for brand awareness, lead generation, e-commerce sales, and audience targeting based on demographics and interests.

  1. Native Advertising

Native ads are created to seamlessly blend with the content on the platform where they are displayed. They match the format and style of the surrounding content, making them appear less intrusive.

Native advertising is effective for delivering sponsored content in a non-disruptive way. It’s suitable for content promotion and can drive traffic to blog posts, articles, or landing pages.

Best Practices to Create Effective Paid Ads

While learning from successful paid ad campaigns is invaluable, it’s equally crucial for businesses to understand and implement best practices in their own advertising efforts. Here are some best practices to create successful paid ads that you can use:

Understand Your Target Audience Thoroughly

Before creating any ad campaign, businesses must conduct comprehensive audience research. Understanding your target audience’s demographics, psychographics, and pain points is essential. This will assist you in tailoring your ad messaging and content to connect with your ideal customers.

Craft Compelling and Clear Headlines

A well-crafted headline is the first thing your audience sees. It should grab their attention, communicate your value proposition, and entice them to read further or take action. Be concise, action-oriented, and focus on addressing your audience’s needs or desires.

Use High-Quality Visuals

Visual appeal is crucial in paid advertising. Use high-quality photos or videos suitable to your message and resonate with your audience. Ensure that your visuals align with your brand’s style and message for consistency.

Highlight Unique Selling Proposition (USP)

Clearly highlight the factors setting your product or service apart from the competition. Explain the unique benefits and features that make your offering valuable to your audience.

Create Urgency and Scarcity

Encourage action by incorporating urgency and scarcity elements into your ads. Use phrases like “Limited-time offer” or “Only a few left” to motivate viewers to act quickly.

Use Clear and Relevant Calls to Action (CTAs)

Your CTA should be specific, relevant, and aligned with your campaign goals. Use action-oriented language that tells users exactly what you want them to do, whether it’s “Shop Now,” “Learn More,” or “Get Started.”

Wrapping Up 

These amazing paid advertising campaigns serve as valuable case studies for agencies looking to create impactful and memorable ads. They remind us that successful advertising isn’t just about selling a product or service but about telling a story, connecting with emotions, and resonating with the audience personally. 

Campaigns that incorporate these strategies are more likely to leave a lasting impression in the minds of consumers. As the digital marketing world continues to develop, businesses need to draw inspiration from the past while innovating for the future.

Looking for someone to handle all the hassle of paid ads for you? At Liger, our expert marketers understand that the process is complex and time-consuming. We can take it off your hands! We’ll work with you to develop a strategy that meets your goals and budget, and help you get the most out of your investment.

Contact us now for more information!