As more and more ads are consumed on smaller screens, and ‘tapping’ overtakes ‘clicking,’ many advertisers are designing with mobile in mind. Throughout the year we've seen big Facebook ad design trends emerge, and many of them are nods to mobile-first.
After digging through thousands of ads, these are our 16 favorite Facebook ad design trends of 2017...
We’ve seen just about every brand try out gradients this year in various ways; in backgrounds, image overlays, video thumbnails, logos, and more.
With a simple aesthetic treatment, gradients add complexity to any creative element and are flat out eye-catching, which is increasingly important in saturated mobile feeds.
2. Stop Motion
Stop motion has also taken the advertising realm by storm. This captivating and mobile-friendly video treatment is great when applied to products, but we're starting to see B2B brands start adopting it as well.
3. Lists Within Ad Copy
This year we saw more and more advertisers adapting lists within Facebook ad copy.
This tactic is great for listing product value propositions, company stats, industry facts, or simply listing components of your offer. It’s a great way to keep text lines short and organized; especially for mobile viewers.
4. Long-form Ad Copy
On the opposite end of the spectrum, this trend gives advertisers an opportunity to mimic high-value organic social sharing tactics and packs in a ton of information - and takes up more screen real estate.
Long-form ad text has been a favorite amongst vloggers and consultants, but we expect to see more brands mimicking this tactic.
5. Quotes & Reviews
In an age where consumers have more options than ever, external validation is vital.
From user reviews and testimonials to praise in the press, advertisers are leaning on outside sources to help sell their solutions. App Store reviews have been particularly popular for mobile apps.
6. High-Quality, Branded Photography & Video
While this advertising tactic isn’t new to 2017, it is an important one. Gone are the days of using stock images in high-performance ads.
It's now a must-do for brands to produce high-quality branded photography and video for use within user acquisition campaigns. Mobile or desktop, this trend is a must try.
7. Custom Illustration
In that same vein, custom illustration has taken branded imagery to new heights and is perfect for mobile advertising.
While this trend may be a bit more resource-intensive to apply to your own creative production, it’s worth considering.
8. Product Packaging & 'Unboxing'
Product packaging has also made a recent comeback. Companies are rethinking the role packaging plays in their branding and putting it front and center.
Advertisers have also latched onto the ‘product unboxing’ concept, incorporating big reveals and packaging experiences in carousels, video, and images to build trust and excitement.
9. Selling Content
Content marketing is set to become a $13 billion market by 2019. In recent years, more and more companies are investing in quality content production and regarding it as intellectual property along with their actual offerings.
So, it’s no surprise that marketers are advertising their content on Facebook. Tip: use lead ads on mobile to streamline the offer for people on-the go.
10. Simplified App Screenshots
In recent years, lifestyle imagery has become less and less powerful, and advertisers are putting the products back front-and-center. We've seen A LOT of product snapshots as of late.
As attention spans shrink and ad consumption increases on mobile, advertisers are taking the product visualization trend and simplifying things.
11. Product Images in Carousel
Carousels gave advertisers a great way to dive deep into products and are designed with mobile in mind. Some of our favorite examples of these ads included step by step guides of how physical product or apps work, onboarding processes, product capabilities and features, and more.
Having visually similar items in the carousel can mentally help people digest information quickly. Text and visual cues can help as well, making this concept great for explaining different features or use cases.
12. Continuous Carousels
Continuous carousels are also undoubtedly a 2017 favorite. They do a great job of encouraging viewers to swipe through the full carousel and can be applied to virtually any brand.
Although Facebook has some specific guidelines around ‘before and after’ concepts, we’ve seen a lot of comparison ads pop up over the past year.
They give advertisers a visual way to simply and quickly articulate value-adds.
14. Data Visualizations & Visual Cues
We love a good ad that incorporates stats and data. This year we’ve seen more advertisers combine data visualizations with cues to make it easier to understand the value.
This is a great trick to try, combining text and simple graphics to capture viewer attention and articulate messages quickly, especially on smaller screens.
15. Flat Lays
Flat lays have been popular amongst designers and advertisers for a while. This year we’ve seen more brands adopt the trend.
Playing off the human mind's love of order, they quickly grab attention. Whether showing physical products on their own, items catered to a specific audience, or a combination of the two, this is a tried-and-true tactic.
16. Fun Visuals
One of our favorite trends over the past year has been the increase in ads that are just plain visually interesting.
From juxtaposing weird items to fantastical or shocking visuals, these ads certainly get the job done.
Every advertiser knows how challenging it can be to keep ad creative fresh while keeping up with trends and staying relevant. For more inspiration, find more design ideas on our blog.