6 Social Media Ad Examples for Your Next Creative Campaign


September 6, 2023

Do you ever feel like social media is a big game of marketing tag?

As you mindlessly swipe through your Instagram feed, the sponsored posts and perfectly curated content all blend together into one seamless blur. It’s like a never-ending maze of attention-grabbing tricks and ploys designed to manipulate you into buying something you don’t need. But let’s not kid ourselves – that’s the beauty of social media marketing.

Companies can craft an entirely new world for their consumers to explore, complete with hashtags, stories, and memes galore. So whether it’s crafting witty quips, running targeted ads, or building an online community from scratch, the impact of social media is simply unbeatable. Social media has caused an uproar amongst marketers everywhere. Take advantage of social media’s vast reach and engagement by targeting based on demography, geography and psychographics. Use it to spread brand recognition, bring in leads and up your conversions. So put your finger on the pulse of the digital world and get ready for success.

How has social media impacted some businesses’ marketing strategies?

Social media’s influence on digital marketing extends far further than merely generating buzz. In fact, social media has become a cornerstone of digital marketing, with businesses relying on these platforms to build brand loyalty, generate leads, and increase sales. Social media allows businesses to gather valuable data on their audience’s behavior, preferences, and interests, which can then be used to refine their marketing strategies and make data-driven decisions.

Additionally, trends on social media have become an increasingly important element of search engine optimization or SEO in recent years, with search engines like Google factoring in a brand’s social media presence when determining search rankings. This is because social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram provide a vast amount of data on what topics and keywords are popular at any given time. In today’s digital age, ads in social media are no longer just an option for businesses – it’s a necessity.

When it comes to the food industry, social media has proven to be a game-changer. As a foodie, you’ve probably found yourself drooling over pictures of mouth-watering dishes on Instagram or watching recipe videos on Facebook. This is the power of social media when it comes to food – it’s all about visual appeal and sensory experience. Social media allows food brands to showcase their products in an engaging and eye-catching way, building anticipation and excitement around their offerings.

Moreover, food brands may also take advantage of the influencer marketing craze on social media by teaming up with food bloggers, chefs, and other online celebrities to reach a larger audience and further establish their reputation. Whether it’s for promoting your latest recipe, collaborating with influencers, or fostering a loyal customer base, social media is a must-have tool in any food brand’s marketing arsenal.

What does a successful social media ad campaign consist of?

Now that you understand the importance of social media in marketing and how it can be especially relevant for the food industry, let’s dive deeper into what makes a successful social media ad. Besides being backed by a good digital marketing company, one of the key factors that contribute to an ad’s success is its format. Social media offers a range of ad formats, each with its unique benefits and limitations. Each format, such as sponsored posts, stories, or video ads, has its own strengths that can be leveraged to create a more alluring and impactful ad.

For example, sponsored posts that appear in your newsfeed offer a coherent way to integrate the ad into the user’s browsing experience. Video advertisements, for example, have the potential to draw in viewers with their lively and engaging storytelling approaches, a great way for companies to share their stories. By understanding its different formats and how they can be used to your advantage, you can develop ads that not only reach your target audience but also resonate with them on a deeper level. Hence the significance of selecting the appropriate ad style for the efficacy of any social media ad campaign.

Creating a successful social media ad campaign is an art form that requires a variety of factors to work together smoothly. Here are some of the key factors to keep in mind in developing a successful social media ad campaign:

  1. Chosen platform. It refers to the specific social media network or platform that the advertiser selects to promote their ad content on. Different social media platforms have their own unique audiences, features, and advertising options, which can affect the performance and targeting of an ad campaign. Some common social media platforms used for advertising include Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, and TikTok.When selecting a platform, it’s important to consider the goals of the campaign and the characteristics of the target audience. If you want to go for story ads, Instagram may be well-suited for you. If the goal is to reach a younger demographic, a platform like TikTok may be more effective, whereas if the goal is to target professionals, LinkedIn may be the better choice.
  2. Chosen theme. This is the primary message or idea that you want to convey to the target audience. It is the concept that the ad is built around and should be communicated clearly and effectively to achieve the desired response.A study by Nielsen found that most ads with impact are those with a clear and concise message as they were more likely to be remembered by viewers and had a greater impression on brand perception and purchase intent. To ensure that the key message resonates with the target audience, it’s critical that you understand their needs, interests, and motivations. It should also be combined with considerations of the format and style of the ad (which we will explore in greater detail later on) as well as the context in which it will be viewed.
  3. Targeted audience. It refers to the specific group of people that a business or advertiser wants to reach with their advertisement. For example, Facebook allows businesses to target their ads based on factors such as:
    • age;
    • gender;
    • location;
    • interests;
    • behaviors, and;
    • life events such as getting married or moving to a new city.

    By identifying and focusing on a specific audience, you can tailor your ads on social media to the interests and preferences of that group, which can lead to higher engagement rates, more clicks, and increased conversions.

  4. Selected format. The format in a social media ad campaign refers to the type of ad that is used to promote a product, service, or brand on social media platforms. Examples of common ad formats include image ads, video ads, carousel ads, and sponsored posts. Furthermore, It is important to note that the effectiveness of a particular ad format can vary depending on the audience, platform, and other factors. In order to identify which formats are best for their objectives and demographic, businesses should experiment with several forms and evaluate the results.Crafting ad campaigns that conscientiously incorporate these components can help you develop advertisements that are not only profitable and lead-generating but would also retain the existing ones, fostering a lifelong bond with your followers.

Social media advertisement examples to inspire your next campaign

It’s time to take a look at some of the brands’ social ads that are getting it right. From local startups to global giants, delve into these brand examples that have created successful social media ad campaigns, poised to inspire you.

  1. McDonald’s #NationalFrenchFryDay Campaign

    McDonald’s #NationalFrenchFryDay campaign was a successful social media ad campaign that made use of a popular food holiday to build excitement and interaction among its followers.

    • Platform: The campaign was launched on multiple social media platforms including Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.
    • Central theme: The core message of the campaign was to celebrate National French Fry Day, a popular food holiday in the United States.
    • Format: A series of visually appealing images and videos with a consistent theme showcasing the mouth-watering fries, along with a diverse cast of individuals enjoying the fries in various settings.

    What made the ad effective?

    • Inclusivity. As part of the campaign, McDonald’s featured a diverse cast of employees in its promotional materials, presenting individuals from different backgrounds and ethnicities enjoying its iconic fries. This move not only reflected the diverse customer base of the brand but also helped to foster a sense of inclusivity and representation for all McDonald’s employees and customers.
    • Promotion. The campaign also included a promotional deal on the McDonald’s mobile app, which offered free medium fries with any purchase of $1 or more on National French Fry Day. The offer was promoted through Facebook posts and ads, encouraging users to download the McDonald’s app to redeem the deal.

      mcdo share the love social media copywritingPhoto courtesy of McDonald’s

    • Call-to-Action. The “Share the Love” CTA effectively leveraged the emotional connection that people have with McDonald’s fries to create a positive and uplifting social media experience. Moreover, McDonald’s encouraged its customers to participate in a variety of interactive social media activities. One of these activities involved posting a photo of themselves sharing McDonald’s fries with someone they love, along with the hashtags #ShareTheLove and #NationalFrenchFryDay. Customers were also urged to share stories of how they have shared their fries with others in the past.
  2. ‘Kwentong Jollibee’ Short Film Vow

    The ‘Vow’ ad campaign was part of Jollibee’s Kwentong Jollibee series, which featured a collection of short films that told heartwarming stories about love and relationships. The series was launched on social media platforms such as Facebook and YouTube, where the videos were widely shared and viewed by millions of people.

    • Platform: Facebook, Youtube
    • Central theme: The enduring power of love and the importance of commitment in a relationship. The film tells the story of a man who has been in love with a woman since their childhood but has always been too afraid to confess his feelings to her.
    • Format: Storytelling through short film or video advertisement.

    What made the ad effective?

    • Storytelling. Stories have the capability to emotionally connect with their audience which makes them easier to remember than facts or statistics. The article Why Telling a Story is the Most Powerful Way to Activate Our Brains published by Forbes explains the science behind storytelling and why it is so effective in engaging the brain. The author suggests that storytelling is a potent tool because it activates the same parts of the brain that are involved in experiencing the story in real life.By using a narrative structure, Jollibee was able to create a sense of connection between the audience and the characters in the film, which helped to draw viewers into the story and engage them on an emotional level. The story itself was designed to tug at the heartstrings, with a romantic plot that featured childhood sweethearts reuniting after many years apart. Advertising then becomes less about a product and more about creating a memorable experience.
  3. Dollar Shave Club’s 2012 “Our Blades Are F***ing Great” Youtube Video

    In the Youtube video, the company’s founder, Michael Dubin, delivers a humorous monologue about the benefits of Dollar Shave Club’s subscription service while walking through the company’s warehouse and demonstrating the quality of the razors.

    • Platform: Youtube
    • Central theme: The video’s main message was that Dollar Shave Club’s razors are “f***ing great” and that customers should join the subscription service to save time, money, and hassle.
    • Format: The viral video was a comedic, irreverent commercial shot in a mockumentary style.

    What made the ad effective?

    • Humor. The video’s irreverent tone, witty writing, and clever marketing messaging helped it quickly gain traction on social media and went viral, amassing millions of views despite only being a start-up company at the time. It also showcases the company’s razors and other grooming products, along with humorous skits that emphasize the company’s mission to disrupt the traditional razor industry.
    • Differentiation. The video differentiated Dollar Shave Club from traditional razor brands by highlighting the company’s unique selling proposition or USP. The company’s subscription model and the promise of high-quality razors at a low price point were presented as a refreshing alternative to the overpriced and inconvenient options offered by other razor companies. This ultimately led to their acquisition by Unilever for $1 billion in 2016.
  4. Wendy’s “Fresh, Never Frozen” Campaign

    The campaign was created to promote Wendy’s burgers, which are made from fresh, never frozen beef, in contrast to the frozen patties used by many of its competitors.

    • Platform: Twitter
    • Central theme: Poke fun at frozen burgers and the fast food industry, positioning Wendy’s as a fresher, higher-quality alternative.
    • Format: images or videos of their fresh burgers, along with short captions or hashtags emphasizing fresh, never frozen beef use.

    What made the ad effective?

    • Differentiation. Wendy’s was able to establish itself as a better, more upscale option in the fast food sector by focusing on using fresh beef.
    • Humor. Wendy’s became known for its witty and humorous responses to customer comments on social media. By utilizing different types of snackable content, the brand would often respond with puns, jokes, and pop culture references, thus further catching its audience’s attention while establishing its humor and irreverent tone.
    • Catchy slogans. The campaign’s slogan, “Fresh, Never Frozen,” was simple, catchy, and easy to remember. This helped to reinforce the brand’s humor and set it apart from more generic fast food slogans.
  5. Coca-Cola’s #TasteTheFeeling Campaign

    Coca-Cola’s #TasteTheFeeling campaign was launched in 2016 and was focused on celebrating the simple moments of joy and happiness that come with drinking a Coca-Cola. The campaign’s central theme was to convey that drinking Coca-Cola was not just about the taste, but also about the emotions and experiences associated with it.

    • Platform: Instagram, Twitter, Facebook
    • Central theme: It is reflected in the use of the hashtag #TasteTheFeeling on social media. The hashtag encouraged customers to share their own experiences and emotions associated with drinking Coca-Cola.
    • Format: The format is primarily visual and features a range of multimedia content shared by customers.

    What made the ad effective?

    • Nostalgia. One way the campaign used nostalgia was by incorporating classic Coca-Cola imagery and branding elements into its visual content. For example, some of the campaign’s advertisements featured vintage Coca-Cola bottles, glassware, and clothing that harkened back to the brand’s early days. By using these classic elements, the campaign was able to tap into customers’ nostalgia for the brand and evoke positive emotions associated with Coca-Cola’s long history.
    • Emotional appeal. The campaign was successful in tapping into customers’ sentiments and creating a strong emotional connection with the brand.
    • Hashtag campaign. The #TasteTheFeeling hashtag campaign encouraged customers to share their own experiences and emotions associated with drinking Coca-Cola.
  6. Old Spice’s ‘The Man Your Man Could Smell Like’ Campaign

    The campaign featured a series of humorous and over-the-top commercials that showcased the Old Spice brand as the utmost manly scent. The ads featured a shirtless and confident spokesperson, played by actor Isaiah Mustafa, who would deliver hilarious and ridiculous lines. The campaign quickly went viral, with the videos generating millions of views and countless parodies and spoofs.

    • Platform: Youtube
    • Central theme: It was made to create a humorous and attention-grabbing advertisement for their men’s body wash product. The video featured a confident and charismatic character who embodies the ideal of what a man should smell like.
    • Format: Humourous and highly stylized commercial video

    What made the ad effective?

    • Humor. The ad was designed to appeal to both men and women, as it delivered the desirability of the Old Spice brand to both genders. This expanded the potential audience for the ad enabling them to gain wider exposure. The video featured a single character, who spoke directly to the camera and delivered a series of comical and unforgettable lines while displaying various Old Spice products.There have been several studies and analyses of the impact of the Old Spice “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” ad campaign. The campaign helped to increase Old Spice’s sales by 107% in just one month after the ad first aired because aside from the humor, it was part of a broader rebranding effort for Old Spice, which used to be seen as an “old man’s” brand. So they transformed the brand into something hip, fresh, and appealing to a new generation of customers. From there, the dynamic strategy worked like a charm – sales soared and their once-forgotten name was suddenly everywhere. Additionally, the ad received over 1.4 billion impressions on social media, and the Old Spice YouTube channel saw a 300% increase in subscribers.
    • Celebrity endorsement. Harvard Business Review analyzed the success of the Old Spice campaign and identified several key factors that contributed to its effectiveness. These factors included the use of a highly memorable and likable character, the integration of humor and entertainment value, and the incorporation of social media engagement and celebrity endorsements. This helped to reposition Old Spice as a modern and relevant brand and boosted sales of its body wash products.Social media promotions can be built in various ways, and the approach a business takes will largely depend on its brand identity, target audience, and campaign goals. Overall, there are many different ways to build an ad campaign, and the key is to find an approach that resonates with your audience and aligns with your brand identity.

How do you select the appropriate ad format for your business?

You need to understand your potential customers deeply in order to figure out which ad format will bring you the most success. So make sure you know who you’re targeting, what the goals of your campaign are, and the pros and cons of each ad format available on the platform you’re promoting with. Here are a few guidelines to keep in mind:

  1. Identify your campaign goals.

    Time to get target-happy! To make sure your social media ad campaign is hitting the right marks, you need to nail down those objectives. Yeah, measurable goals that fit your business plan like a glove. That way, you can take a look-see at how successful your campaign turned out once it goes live and kicking. Do you want to increase brand awareness, drive traffic to your website, boost sales, or simply grow your social media following? Setting specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound SMART campaign goals can help you maximize the ideation process.

  2. Know Your Audience (KYA).

    Knowing your audience allows you to personalize your ad messaging, which can increase engagement and conversions. 80% of consumers are more likely to do business with a company that offers a personalized experience. Moreover, targeted ads can be more cost-effective than generic ads because they are more likely to be seen by people who are interested in your products or services. If your target audience consists of visual learners who prefer to consume information through images and videos, a visual ad format such as a display ad or a video ad may be more effective.

  3. Evaluate your budget.

    When deciding which ad format to use, it’s important to keep one eye on the wallet. Certain ad formats can be pricey – but don’t fret! There are always some options that won’t break the bank; for example, display ads tend to be more affordable than video ads. Here are some examples and their relative costs:

    • Video ads are one of the most effective ad formats, but can also be the most expensive.
    • Display ads are a popular ad format that involves using static or animated images to promote products or services. They tend to be less expensive than video ads.
    • Carousel ads are a type of ad format that allows advertisers to showcase multiple images or videos within a single ad unit. They can be more expensive than display ads but less expensive than video ads, with an average CPM of around $5.37 according to AdEspresso.
    • Sponsored posts involve paying social media influencers or bloggers to promote your products or services on their social media channels. The cost of sponsored posts can vary widely depending on the influencer’s reach and engagement, but they tend to be more expensive than other ad formats.

    You can maximize your ad spend and improve the return on investment or ROI for your social media ads by choosing the appropriate format for your spending limit.

    READ ALSO: Comprehensive Guide to Every Paid Digital Advertising Channel

  4. Consider the nature of your products or services.

    As you commence your social media ad campaign, remember to pause and consider what it is you’re promoting. Knowing your products or services inside out will help you decide how best to capture the attention of your target audience. The messaging that resonates with customers for one product or service may not work as well for another. For example, promoting a luxury product like a high-end watch requires a different tone and approach than promoting a basic necessity like groceries.

  5. Test and measure results.

    Once you’ve selected an ad format, analyze metrics such as click-through rates, conversion rates, and return on ad spend (ROAS) to optimize your campaign and improve results over time. Social media advertising is constantly evolving, and testing and measuring results allow you to stay competitive by keeping up with changes in the industry and adopting new ad formats that may be more effective for your audience.

When you draw on the experience of those who’ve used advertising social media strategies and guide social media tactics, you can benefit from their wins and learnings. Make sure to keep up with the ever-evolving world of social media – from new ad formats, targeting options and creative elements – to give yourself an edge. Our techniques have been proven to be effective, so if you take the time to apply them to your campaigns, you’ll be well on your way to success!

Key takeaways

The world of social media is a rapidly changing landscape, with new features, tools, and trends emerging all the time. Here are three key takeaways on how you can apply these methods:

  • Take inspiration from the social media advertisement examples. The curated list of over five social media advertisement examples can provide valuable insights and ideas for your next campaign. Analyze the ads to understand their design, messaging, and target audience to see how they effectively communicate their brand message.
  • Use eye-catching visuals and creative copy. The examples demonstrate the power of visually appealing content and creative copy to grab attention and engage your target audience. Experiment with different types of content to find what connects with your audience.
  • Don’t be afraid to inject humor or clever wordplay. If done well, humor and clever wordplay can be a great way to grab your audience’s attention and make your brand more memorable. Don’t lose focus on your brand personality though!

Are you looking to take your digital marketing efforts to the next level? We are here to help! Contact us today to schedule a consultation and learn more about how our services can benefit your business. If you have any other questions, send us a message via our Facebook, X, and LinkedIn accounts. Let’s chat.

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