12 April

The 3 Attributes of Irresistible Ads

Why do some ads resonate and others fall flat? And more importantly, can data-driven creative help make your ads more captivating? It turns out that there are 3 surprisingly simple ingredients.

Leveraging technology to build image and video ads is, of course, a massive time saving. Unfortunately, it doesn’t guarantee performance success. As you’ve no doubt experienced, some ads really connect and others fail miserably.

This led us to do some research and soul searching to answer the question, “what is it about an ad (or really any content) that makes someone stop scrolling and take action?” While there is plenty of research about the design of beautiful ads, calls to action, fonts, image vs video, etc., we wanted an answer about the attraction-appeal of the ad.

We know that incorporating data-driven variables in a video ad increases engagement as numerous case studies demonstrate. We dug a little deeper and discovered that there are actually three key criteria that can make all the difference: relevance, timeliness, and value.


Relevance focuses on the personalised nature of the ad or information. When a viewer (hopefully a buyer) sees content in front of them, their first question is: What does this have to do with me? If the ad is generic, the buyer will quickly scroll past unless they are actively searching for that solution. A relevant ad however, connects to the buyer on a personal level. This could be because it shows their city, their local store information or perhaps an activity that they like to do. In short, the viewer will pay attention to content that speaks to them.


Timeliness not only captures attention but also triggers action. Social feeds are constantly moving streams and stale messages sail past unnoticed like driftwood. Incorporating time sensitive and relevant information such as the time of day, day of the week, current weather, time limited promotion, current betting odds, and the like garner attention, create urgency and drive behaviour. Viewers will be more connected to content that is real-time and immediate.


Value, the final dimension required to capture attention and drive action, centers on the usefulness of the message. The viewer wants information that has value to them. The most obvious example of this is being shown ads for something that they want right now (Media Optimisation is crucial for this). However, remember that you only have a split second to ‘get it right’, and having multiple variations of the creative can help you achieve this. Sharing today’s weather and the products related to the current weather is much more valuable than a generic product recommendation, for example. The same could be said for store hours similarly useful content.

Keeping with the store example, we can actually see how all three attributes can come together in a single ad. Imagine a retail store chain. Using data-driven creative, they’ve crafted an ad for a viewer that is relevant by showing the name and location of their nearest store which is just a few blocks away. To ensure the ad is timely it might contain a reference to the stores extended hours today. When it comes to value, there might be several possibilities. A grocery store might share a popular dinner recipe for a cold evening like that day or there might be a recommended product with a real time sale price and quantity that’s perfectly aligned with their interests.

See how a major grocery store chain made a massive impact by utilising these attributes in an award winning ad campaign HERE.

There is magic in the right message as long as we recognise that the right message is different for every person.

If you’d like to learn more about what makes an ad irresistible and see how data-driven creative can support your brand we recommend checking out Spirable’s Buyers Guide for Data-driven Creative. This comprehensive document walks you through everything from assessing your needs to selecting the right solution to proving value. It’s simply irresistible!

Download your free guide HERE.