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Facebook Ads: 5 ways to make your creative truly ‘Thumb-stopping’3 min read

3 min read

Picture this: You’re mindlessly scrolling through your Facebook or Instagram feed, as most of us do to pass some time. As you’re throwing likes here and there to your friends, you suddenly see a 3D video of a hand reaching for a delicious looking Nespresso latté that auto-plays and bam, you’re hooked! This video has made your thumb stop.   

After you watch this fun, different 3-second video, you realize it’s an ad as you spot the tiny little words “Sponsored” right underneath the logo. Yet, you still tag a friend, click the ad, and find yourself buying the newest Nespresso collection. On the other hand, Nespresso (or their agency) is recording all this ad data and considers a successful creative as one that brings in the big bucks.

So what is this creative formula that makes someone pause and actually pay attention? It’s the golden question all digital marketers are trying to answer, and as disappointing as this might sound, there is no ubiquitous solution. No one can tell you that your next ad will 100% work.


Since creative is incredibly important to Facebook advertising one needs to constantly be testing new ideas. Although we can’t tell you what exactly to put together, we can begin by sharing five key tips that we’ve used with success.


  1. Engage quickly: Utilize something different to capture your audience’s attention. Especially in video form, you need to hook someone within the first three seconds while highlighting your brand so people identify what it is you are advertising. 
  2. Always keep mobile in mind: The creative should be made to fit in someone’s hand and to be seen up close. Think about how swiping is part of most phone experiences these days, and most people are on mobile. Carousels showcasing different products are always a good testing option.
  3. Design for sound off: In this mobile world, all videos should be made to be understood without sound. FB conducted a study which shows that 76% of videos are watched without sound. Therefore, look at sound as an addition to your video and not as a necessity. Using subtitles or briefly overlaid phrases will help. Trust us, it’ll work to your advantage. Check out our Instagram case study here from the video below.
  4. Make it fun and test different versions: you’ll be surprised at which ad performs best. Colors and movements definitely help! We’ve seen red work very well, but be conscious to not overuse it as it can be quite intense.


 Tip: Test dual images side by side, like the one below. In many different occasions, these have outperformed a single image showcasing a product. But remember, you won’t know what works for your brand until you test it.

5. Captivate, don’t just sell. For post copy, ask questions that engage users and offer positive customer reviews or publicity. A potential customer doesn’t want to be constantly told to shop your product, but rather wants to know how it will help him or her.

Tip: If possible, use social proof or famous products/faces, like Emily Ratajkowski below. People pay attention when someone else is talking about it or when they recognize a face. Use whatever you can to give your ad an advantage.

Taking all of these tips into consideration, you can begin doing some serious creative testing.

The good news is, you don’t need to have a huge studio to put all this together – using fun apps, such as Boomerang, can help, or simply getting creative like in the Gucci ad below.


If you see something work extremely well, try creating something similar to test against. If you find a golden star creative, expand it with different audiences, and little by little, you begin telling your brand’s story on Facebook.

So we encourage you to step a little outside of your comfort zone, try some of these creative tips, and stop that person’s thumb.