89% of award winning ads fall into 6 patterns*
Research has identified that most ads fit just these creative templates.
These templates work because they balance ease-of-understanding with the element of surprise. A familiar framework makes it easy for consumers to quickly get your message and appreciate the creative “twist”.
Creative Template 1: The Pictorial Analogy
The pictorial analogy works by producing an arresting image that takes a familiar image and gives it a surprising twist, which demonstrates a consumer need or product benefit.
Creative Template 2: Extreme Situation
This approach presents an unusual and unrealistic situation to emphasise a product benefit. Again the focus is on a powerful image.
Creative Template 3: Extreme Consequences
Similar to the Extreme Situation, except here we make the mental leap to explore the implications of using, or not using a product.
The classic direct comparison of two products to showcase definitive superiority.
Creative Template 5: The Interactive Experiment
The idea of getting people to physically interact with your ad in the print environment provides unparalleled engagement and recall.
Creative Template 6: Dimensionality Alteration
The rarest of the 6 templates, it alters the dimensions of the product (e.g. multiplying it and seeing what happens; or by dividing into components and mapping the consequences) or it alters time to go into the future or the past.
Using the templates in your marketing
The research that identified the templates also found that just 1 hour’s training in using the templates made a significant impact on the quality and effectiveness of advertising creative.
The research paper explores each template in more depth, proposes subcategories and reveals how to easily create ads based on each approach.
If you do that, it will help you develop the kind of surprising but easy-to-understand ads which consumers love.
*Goldenberg, Mazursky and Solomon, quoted in “Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and other Die” (Heath Brothers, 2007).