Tips | April 27, 2022

Creative Testing Framework For Highly Profitable Campaigns

Swipe this creative testing framework to identify your winning ads.

It doesn’t matter what industry, niche, or product you are selling. The fundamentals of marketing remain the same.

With the iOS updates, marketers can no longer get away by simply focusing on interest and behaviour targeting.

As ad buyers, we need to make the best of what we can control – the creatives.

With the iOS updates, marketers can no longer get away by simply focusing on interest and behaviour targeting.

What elements to test in our creatives?

The sky is the limit when it comes to the elements you could test in your creatives. Everything from brand colours, to CTA, to logos can be tested.

That said, marketers don’t have unlimited budget and time to test every single element. We found that prioritizing testing elements with significant differences that is likely to move the needle is key to a successful campaign – don’t simply test different shades of colours.

While the exact element depends on your unique situation, below are some of the common elements to prioritize in your creative tests:

  • Key Visuals
  • Key Message
  • First 3-5 seconds
  • Social Proof

The good rule of thumb is the more creatives you test, the higher your chances of finding a winning ad.

Key Visuals

One of the first thing which you audience will notice about your ads is the key visuals. The key visual is crucial as it sets the context which your audience interpret the ads.

Here are some variations you can test for in your key visuals:

  • Personalised to resonate with the audience (e.g baby visuals for moms)
  • Unusual visuals to stand out from the noise (e.g panda playing cards)
  • Related visuals to pop culture or trending topics
  • “Shiny objects” – cute animals, influencers etc.

Key Message

The key message is the main texts that appear in your creative, it is usually short and in larger fonts size to be read easily. It conveys what the ad is about.

Here are some variation ideas you can test for your key message:

  • Calling out the problem or audience
  • Highlighting the feature/benefit
  • Direct vs indirect (e.g “Just Do It” vs “Best Sports Apparels”)


First 3-5 Seconds

With dwindling attention span comes a new challenge – how do we get our audience to notice our ads? After all, does an impression really counts if our audience did not notice our ad?

For video ads, the first 3-5 seconds largely determines if your audience notices and watches your ad. This is often called the “hook”.

Here are some variations for the hook which you can test:

  • Personalised scene to the audience
  • Shocking or unusual opening scenes
  • Branded vs non-branded hook


does an impression really counts if our audience did not notice our ad?

Social Proof

Social proof is a powerful thing. It gives your audience confidence that your product us trusted by others, lowering the perceived risk of trying your product or increasing the perceived value of your product.

Even elements such as social proof can be communicated differently, here are some variations of social proof you can test:

  • Absolute figures (e.g “loved by over 1,000,000 people”)
  • Ratings (e.g “5/5 stars”)
  • Customer review (e.g video of customer talking about their experience using your product)
  • Type of review (e.g reviews talking about the comfort vs reviews talking about price)


Creative Testing Structure

How you structure your test is equally important as what you test.

We will always be testing throughout the campaign, testing typically takes anywhere from 20-40% of our entire campaign budget. 

We like to use the elimination method for our creative testing. Simply run all the creative variations, and pause & replace the ones that are underperforming.

We like to use the automation from BRAD to help us automate the pausing and replacing of ads. BRAD has a bunch of cool automations and tools to make advertisers lives easier.

Key Metrics

While most campaigns have the ultimate KPI of Purchase or Leads. We have to be consider that not every element will directly impact the downstream KPI.

We recommend selecting an appropriate metric to evaluate the performance of the elements you are testing, below are some examples:

  • First 3-5 seconds of video ads: 3-second view rate.
  • Key visuals & key message: CTR, Engagement Rate, Landing Page Views.
  • Social Proof: CTR, Landing Page Views.
  • Offer/Promo: Purchases, Leads, Landing Page Views

Wrap Up

We believe that regardless of time or budget, creative testing can and should still be done. Especially given the impact of iOS updates. Creative Testing is the new way forward.

If you have any questions or would like to contribute to this article, do reach out to