Auto-Generated Vs. Pro-Designed Display Ads: How Much Does Creative Matter?

display-ad-here-featuredCan auto-generated, template-based display ads perform as well as professionally designed ads? That’s the basis of  a new test by Dispop, a self-serve display platform that enables advertisers to crowdsource display ad creative from graphic designers. The company wanted to see how an ad created by a designer in its network would do compared to a Google Ready Image ad.

Google rolled out Google Ready Image Ads in AdWords at the end of September this year. Advertisers enter a URL to get auto-generated display ads built based on images from their websites. It’s an easy to use feature for small businesses to get up and running with display ads, but sometimes the ads are less than impressive.

Dispop, which also appeals to the SMB market, says they pulled the ad that looked the best on Google after creating 5 to 6 Ready Image ads. It’s worth noting that advertisers can customize text, font, color, headlines and upload new images with Google Ready Image Ads, but Dispop did not make changes to the original generated Google ads.

For the study, they ran a 300×250 ad unit for both campaigns, garnering 250 thousand impressions for both ads on sites under the categories Weight Loss and Health News targeting people interested in Beauty and Fitness between the ages of 25-54.
At first glance, it is really no surprise which ad performed better.
Google template creative vs. Dispop
Dispop was surprised to the degree at which the creative mattered. The click-through rate on the Dispop ad was nearly double that of the Google ad, and it generated 80 percent more conversions.
“Media inventory is now basically a commodity. In general all exchanges have access to the same publishers so taking this inventory and putting it in the hands of SMB’s opens up a whole new channel for them which can be turned on or off with a click,” said Ayal Ebert CEO and founder of Dispop.
Admittedly, this is just one test. The good news for SMBS: with companies vying to meet the needs of companies lacking creative resources, it’s easier than ever for small businesses to run display advertising and execute similar tests of their own.

Related Topics: Channel: Display Advertising | Display Advertising | Google | Google: AdWords | Google: Display Advertising

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About The Author: writes about paid online marketing topics including paid search, paid social, display and retargeting. Beyond Search Engine Land, Ginny provides search marketing and demand generation advice for ecommerce companies. She can be found on Twitter as @ginnymarvin.

Connect with the author via: Email | Twitter



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  • Sam Mazaheri

    Great concept but hardly a fair test if they don’t customize the automated display ad. Automated ads can look really bad if you don’t go in and resize elements.

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