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Magic in the making: The 4 pillars of great creative

A woman smiling at her mobile phone while sitting in a restaurant.

Consumers report that helpfulness is their top expectation of brands since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, with 78% saying a brand's advertising should show how they can be helpful in everyday life.1 This means businesses need to quickly engage audiences with meaningful messages, using immersive storytelling to bring their brand and products to life.

To help you build visually-rich ad experiences that easily drive consumers to action, we've brought together our top creative guidance across Google Ads solutions in a single guide. Learn to craft stronger calls-to-action, engaging ad copy and striking visual assets — plus, get the latest insights from our team of creative and data scientists at Creative Works. You can also explore tips by marketing objective in order to craft more impactful creative to meet your business goals.

An image of two phones featuring natural soap products.

Dr. Squatch using a clear call-to-action, engaging copy and rich product visuals with Google Ads.

The 4 pillars of compelling creative

Lead with a clear call-to-action: Personalized descriptions perform up to two times better for their campaign goal versus non-personalized descriptions.2 This means businesses need to help consumers immediately see what they have to offer by including words like "you" to draw attention, and adding their product or brand name in headlines and descriptions.

Connect more authentically with a wide variety of assets: Audiences take action faster if they can relate to your message — 64% of consumers said they took some sort of action after seeing an ad that they considered to be diverse or inclusive.3 And images that feature people perform over 30% better for their campaign goal versus images that don’t.4 Given the variety of consumers looking online for new products to try, brands should show a wide range of people using their products or services to resonate with audiences.

Build for smaller screens: Images with no overlaid text, or overlaid text under 20 characters, perform up to 1.2X better for their campaign goal versus images with longer overlaid text.5 With people spending more time on a broad range of small devices, businesses should consider how and where consumers are seeing their ads and provide visual assets that clearly communicate their call-to-action.

Give your creatives time to test: We've seen that waiting 2-3 weeks between changes to ad creative minimizes performance fluctuations, allowing the Google Ads system time to learn and adapt to your most effective assets. Review Ad strength and asset reporting to better understand which assets resonate best and help you make the call on which to remove or replace.

An image of two phones featuring beauty products.

Beauty brand COSMEDIX using a variety of image assets in multiple aspect ratios with Google Ads.

Get help with building better assets

Consumers expect businesses of all sizes to offer more helpful brand experiences. Stand out with more relevant, engaging offers with help from our new guide to building better creative. And for more support with developing new creative assets or campaign strategies, check out our approved creative production agencies to find the right partner to help you achieve your business goals.


1. Kantar, COVID-19 Barometer Global Report, Wave2, runs across 50 countries, n=9,815, fielded 27th-30th March 2020.

2. Google internal data based on an aggregate study of median performance of campaign goals for Responsive display ads (CTR), Discovery ads (CTR, CVR), Video action campaigns (VTR) and Video discovery ads (VTR) across 78K assets for Media & Entertainment, Retail, and Finance verticals. Global. January 2020 - June 2021.

3. Google/Ipsos, U.S., Inclusive Marketing Study, n of 2,987 U.S. consumers ages 13–54 who access the internet at least monthly, Aug. 2019.

4. Google internal data based on an aggregate study of median performance of campaign goals for Discovery ads (CTR, CVR), Video action campaigns (VTR), Video discovery ads (VTR), App campaigns for installs (IPM), and App campaigns for engagement (EPM) for Media & Entertainment, Retail, and Finance verticals. Global. January 2020 - June 2021.

5. Google internal data based on an aggregate study of median performance of campaign goals for Discovery ads (CTR, CVR), and Responsive display ads (CTR) across 78K assets for Media & Entertainment, Retail, and Finance verticals. Global. January 2020 - June 2021.