Create Ugly Ads! 👹 🤢🤮

A Paradox of Attention and Conversion

In the age of perfectly curated Instagram feeds and polished commercials, it can be hard to make your marketing materials stand out. But what if we told you that the secret to grabbing attention could lie in intentionally creating ugly ads?

In a sea of polished and professionally designed advertisements, ugly ads stand out. These imperfect creations grab attention precisely because they break the norm. Our brains are wired to notice what's different, and in the world of sleek ads, an ugly one screams for attention.

The Science Behind It

Our brains are trained to recognize patterns and wired to filter out information we deem unimportant. Beautiful ads, while aesthetically pleasing, can easily blend into the background noise.

When an ad disrupts this pattern, we're forced to pay attention, trying to understand what we're seeing and why it's so different. – you can't help but notice it.

Do watch this detailed video by the maestro of ugly ads Barry Hott.

Ugly Doesn't Mean Amateur

There's a fine line between an intentionally ugly ad and a poorly designed one. The key is to ensure that the ugliness serves a purpose. It should be strategic and memorable, not just nonsensical.

So, How Can You Create an Ugly Ad (That Works)?

  • Raw and Relatable: Use real, unedited photos. Stock images can feel too polished and impersonal. Raw images can convey authenticity and relatability.

  • Direct and Simple Copy: Keep your message straightforward. In the clutter of a busy layout, a simple and direct message cuts through the noise.

  • Embrace Juxtaposition: Put together elements that clash aesthetically. It could be colours, fonts or the layout. This will jar the viewer and force them to pay attention.

  • Use Humor (Wisely): Humor can be a great way to make your ad ugly and memorable, but be careful not to go overboard and alienate your audience.

  • Don't Shy Away From Discomfort: Sometimes, making viewers slightly uncomfortable can be a good thing. It shows that you're not afraid to take risks and stand out.

Testing and Iteration

Not every ugly ad will be a hit. The key is to test and iterate. A/B testing different versions can help you find the right balance between attention-grabbing and off-putting. Barry emphasizes the importance of metrics – keep an eye on engagement rates, click-through rates, and conversions.

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The takeaway? Authenticity and relatability often beat perfection.

Embracing the ugly can be a powerful tool in your marketing arsenal. By breaking the mold and standing out, you can capture attention in a crowded digital landscape. So, next time you're brainstorming ad ideas, consider taking a walk on the wild (and ugly) side.

Check out Barry Hott’s blog for more insights and examples. Happy marketing!

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