Ad Creative Trends for 2022 Strategies

A review of creative trends we're seeing.

February 8, 2022

You’ve done the work to get your campaign set up–you’ve got the right targeting in place to reach your ideal audience and your ads are optimized to ensure they’re getting in front of that audience. Now that you’ve served an ad to your potential traveler, and with so much banner blindness occurring, how do you ensure it’s compelling enough to earn brand recognition or get them to click through? 

Google reported that 65% of Millennials and Gen Z-ers travelers are inspired by digital content to book a trip. Telling the right story in your digital ads is critical and you only have seconds to do so. 

Ad Size Basics 

Don’t waste valuable budget or your design team’s time creating ads in sizes that won’t drive results and will cost you more when they don’t produce. 

The top-performing global ad sizes Sojern’s creative team found are: 

  • 300x600 - Half-Page
  • 160x600 - Wide Skyscraper 
  • 300x250 - Medium Rectangle
  • 728x90 - Leaderboard 

Know your region and be authentic to it in your ad sizes. In the EMEA (Europe, Middle East, and Africa) region, our team found that all four of these sizes work great, but for this region in particular, they found that including a 980x90 size creative to the campaign improved the conversion rate by 25%.  

Five different ad size examples including 300xx600, 160x600, 300x250, 728x90, and 980x90.
Ad Examples

Ad Copy That Drives Conversions  

We continue to see ‘staycations’ and domestic travel leading the way in recovery. Domestic travel is recovering faster than international travel as people are more familiar with restrictions and know what to expect. This aligns with some of the ad creative requests we see at Sojern–copy that is focused around staycations and exploring local attractions. 

If this rings true for you, consider such as “Staycation in style” or “You don’t have to travel to create memories”. You can also highlight promotions for locals such as “10% off with local drivers license” or speak to the drive market with “Stay 3 nights, get a $15 fuel card at check-in”. 

Build Traveler Confidence Through Ad Copy 

78% of travelers who stayed in accommodations or booked a flight say change or cancellation policies are important when deciding on a brand. As travelers rely on brands to provide flexible booking, change, and cancellation options, convey this in your ad copy. Try using, “Enjoy full booking flexibility and worry less about your travel changes”. 

Some companies and schools are implementing more flexible policies than ever, be it because they are closed due to restrictions, or in the case of Facebook, have simply allowed their employees the option to permanently work from home. 

This is a trend many hotels have capitalized on. Hotel ad creative requests are geared toward people looking to work or learn remotely, but outside of their homes. These hotels offer everything required to be productive in a remote environment, with room packages that include fast and reliable internet access, complimentary coffee and tea, and discounted room service. 

Banner ad created by Sojern for Hyatt Place's "Designed to Work the Way You Do" digital marketing campaign.

See Hyatt’s banner ad copy for example: “Designed to work the way you do” while showcasing images of the property and their workspace areas. 

When creating your own banner ads, consider including “Work and learn from paradise” or “Work from anywhere”. 

Pet-Friendly Helps Convert 

Pet adoption rates have soared throughout the pandemic and pet owners want to bring their pets when they travel. Hilton’s recent report on The 2022 Traveler revealed that 7 in 10 Gen Z or Millennial pet parents are more likely to travel in the future if pets are welcome, and 2021 Hilton booking data shows that the “pet-friendly” booking filter has been the #3 most used search filter on 

If your property, attraction, or destination is pet-friendly, consider including copy that highlights that to drive more engagement. Test copy like “Pets stay free” or “Furry family members welcome”. Consider putting together a pet promotion package that includes a pet welcome toy or treat bag to create a memorable experience for pet owners. 

Images That Convert  

Our creative team has seen a lot of customers moving away from photos of people in masks and reverting back to pictures of maskless travelers and socializing in groups. Make the best decision for your images based on requirements of your location.

Other image tips: 

  • Exterior images drive the best performance based on our a/b testing when compared to images of rooms, lifestyle, and amenities. They had a 55% higher click-through rate (CTR), and an almost 4% higher conversion rate. 
  • Keep images updated with seasonal weather in the area. 
  • Avoid using images that look like stock photos.
  • Avoid overly posed pictures of people or pictures that aren’t of your property or destination.
  • Avoid poorly-lit imagery and show pictures that are high quality. 

Call-to-Action in Copy

Through a/b testing, our creative team discovered that in North America and EMEA, the lower-funnel call-to-action “book now” drove a 16% higher conversion rate than others like “start planning”, “learn more”, and “book direct”.

In the Asia Pacific (APAC) region, we found that the higher funnel call-to-action “start planning” resulted in a 7% higher CTR and a staggering 88% higher conversion rate than “book now”.

Relevant Landing Pages Are Key 

The page on your website you're linking to (the landing page) should be relevant to your ads. Your landing page should give more explanation as to what travelers can expect, including the option to complete an action (such as making a booking). 

Localize your landing page in the same language as your ads. The experience is broken when a traveler is served an ad in their native language only to be sent to a site that they can’t read. Before you build a multi-language ad campaign, ensure your website translates into all of the languages you want to create ads for. 

HTML5 Ads Drive More Engagement 

An a/b test comparing animated HTML5 ads to static JPG ads found HTML5 ads had a 13% higher click-through rate, 8% more converters (individuals who converted), and a 13% higher search rate on the customer’s website. If you want your brand to stand out, use HTML5 ads in campaigns. 

Sojern Can Help 

Sojern’s award-winning design team creates ads and customizes them to our customer’s specific brand free of charge. If you’re interested in Sojern designing ads for you and a/b testing to optimize for best results, get in touch today. 

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