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A Marketer's Guide to Cyber Monday & Black Friday Banner Ads

Cassandra King
Cassandra King
5 min read
Best Practices for Black Friday and Cyber Monday Banner Ads for 2019

During the Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekend, the competition for buyers’ attention is fierce: To capture any of it, you really have to stand out. Let’s take a look at how some of the most successful marketing campaigns are approaching their holiday banner ads in 2020 and then outline some best practices for designing Black Friday banner ads that convert browsers into buyers.

First, a little background: In 2018, 14.8 million individual sales were made online on Black Friday, and according to a recent RetailMeNot survey of 1000+ consumers as well as 200+ senior retail marketing leaders, the average consumer spent $801 during that period.  In 2019, the corresponding prediction about Black Friday spending is down to $738 and marketers have their work cut out. For any campaign manager serious about competing for buyers’ attention this year, designing Black Friday banners is key to standing out.

Sure, big names like Amazon, Target and Walmart do exceptionally well with online Black Friday sales—Amazon’s most recent campaign netted sales of $18 million and $13 in million toys and fashion departments respectively. But even smaller businesses were able to grab record sales as a result of their banner ad design decisions. Amazon’s marketplace numbers show a 20 percent year-over-year growth in online sales over the Black Friday weekend for small and medium-sized businesses. Bannerflow ads saw an average increase in banner ad clicks of 23.92 percent in 2018 and CTR increases of 26.66 percent.

We know you want a great campaign that will get you a significant portion of those clicks and sales. Here are some of the best practices for creating banner ads to make that happen:

1. Incorporate Your Brand’s Unique Design

Just like how you shouldn't forgoe all your branded colors for green and white in holiday or Christmas ads, don’t black out your brand’s identity by going full black and white for Black Friday. This puts all your branding efforts to waste and prevents buyers from instantly identifying your business through its branding. Instead, use design elements that tie in the uniqueness of your brand with the Black Friday concept to help users immediately associate the advertised sales with your business.

Black Friday display ad of an Elegant MVMT timepiece box set inside finely textured background. Box reads “Welcome to the MVMT.”

Take MVMT, for instance: as a company that makes dashing “lifestyle timepieces,” they created banner ads that incorporate the usual stylish design of their brand. With the product at the center of the ad, they added a dark but finely textured background that showcased and complemented the classic look of their timepiece boxed set. Their Black Friday online banners made their social media, email marketing and online ad campaigns vastly successful even without spectacular Black Friday discounts.

2. Design a Variety of Ad Sizes to Fit Customers’ Media-browsing Habits

Getting your full message out requires the flexibility that comes with designing variety into your banner ad campaign. Customers browse on a variety of screens, so your banner designs should be customized to fit natively on all of them. If people click on your Black Friday deals from a mobile phone, you don’t want your message cut off or distorted because it wasn’t tailored to fit the screen. Below, Dansko’s ads demonstrate the versatility that variety gives to a campaign.

Three display ads for Dansko, showing square and rectangular ad sizes.

Dansko’s variety enables their ads to display as large or inline rectangles as well as squares, depending on the space available. The horizontal rectangle fits well on a desktop or tablet and scales easily to fit a mobile screen, where the square and larger rectangle would have failed to display correctly.

Ad variety brings many other advantages. It helps you avoid ad-placement restrictions based on size requirements by various publishers. Plus, less popular ad sizes cost less, so making them part of your campaign could reduce your overall CPM.

For more on digital ad design best practices, read our newest guide!

The Definitive Guide to Digital Ad Design

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3. Feed Live, Real-time Data Into Your Banner Ads

After all your design work, the last thing you want to do is frustrate Black Friday customers by running out of an item you said was in stock. It would be much more effective for your ad to show them exactly what they want based on their browsing history. By plugging your banner ads into live inventory and data feeds, you can connect customers with products they want and encourage faster purchase by indicating when a product will soon be out of stock. Live feeds also have the advantage of incorporating dynamic display into your campaign, a strategy that engages customers by using motion to catch their eye and grab their attention.

Greats—a shoe company that’s had immense success with Black Friday banners—designed a banner ad titled “status report” to support a Black Friday campaign that urges customers to act now.

A Black Friday display ad for Greats showing its price list with "moving fast" and "almost sold out" next to some styles.

By creating the impression that the product customers want will soon be sold out, Greats cleverly mixes price listings with inventory information. The advantage is that customers feel they are in the loop, kept up-to-date with sales and made aware of privileged information.

Online shopping for Black Friday is definitely on the rise and savvy banner ads boost the visibility and effectiveness of your campaign. Implementing best practices for designing them will place you a cut above the competition, positioning your business to attract its share of this billion-dollar ecommerce event.

Design to Win Black Friday

To design a winning Black Friday banner ad campaign, you need to work with a team that knows how to win. Superside’s design team is fully equipped to support you in creating an eye-catching visual campaign that drives your Black Friday sales. Our designers will embrace your brand identity and help you attract more revenue on the biggest shopping day of the year.

Our internationally renowned, global design team and dedicated account managers are here to help you conquer Black Friday and the entire holiday season along with it.

Schedule a call today to see how we can help you Superside your campaign.

Published: Nov 6, 2019
Cassandra King
Written by
Cassandra King

Cassandra King is Superside's Sr. Content Marketing Manager. She’s a road trip aficionado, advocate for all things glitter, and can usually be found with a camera (or snacks) in hand. Find her on IG @casssandra.king.

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