Creative That Converts

UGC

Every month, we spend millions of dollars testing hundreds of ads. And one of our favorite strategies is using UGC.

UGC is content created by customers and published on social or left in their reviews. When you’re generating UGC content, you usually end up with a kaleidoscope of assets: stills, video, long, short, showing a face, showing just the product, how to use the product, etc. It is authentic social proof that your product is worthy of buying.

Take a look below to get some insights for your own campaigns!

Alleyoop

Since everyone’s doing UGC, this ad we made for Alleyoop is a great example of how to make your ad stand out.

We used some fancy After Effects work to layer the product on top of the video and highlight certain aspects of it based on what’s happening in the UGC. You can see how this is much more eye-catching than if we had run the ad with just the woman putting on the makeup. So if your UGC performance is starting to wane, try making them more engaging and differentiated, like we did here.

Declutter your makeup bag by picking up a multi-functional beauty product at meetalleyoop.com.

Wandering Bear

This ad we made for Wandering Bear shows how to spice up UGC stills into a cohesive ad.

You *should* have an outreach process for sourcing new UGC (i.e., “outbound UGC”) and for organizing assets your customers are naturally posting (i.e., “inbound UGC”).

But what to do with all of that content? What we did here.

Stitch together a few compelling images that show off different aspects of the product or people using it in various ways. Then, layer an eye-grabbing product image at the bottom with a reviews ticker.

The result? An ad as smooth as Wandering Bear’s coffee.

Pick up a carton of cold brew from wanderingbear.com.

The Skinny Confidential

This ad we made for The Skinny Confidential is an eye-catching spin on the traditional slideshow format.

We start with a 9 frame windowpane, and then the emoji hand hovering and clicking in as an engaging way to introduce movement. And then in the different content, we’re showing people using the product; close-ups; product-focused; and more. It’s a nice variety to keep things interesting and show different aspects of the product, while not feeling too all over the place.

Shop The Hot Shave Cream here: shopskinnyconfidential.com.

Golde

This ad we produced for Golde is a perfect example of combining UGC with press or reviews or other ways to convey social proof can be more effective than running a UGC video straight from a customer or influencer.

We chose to highlight an award they had won + the press mention that accompanied it. Not only is this a visually interesting way to present press beyond just the quote, but it’s a great example of how to repurpose UGC beyond just presenting it as is.

Pick up the Papaya Bright face mask: golde.co.

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Act+Acre

(not our client) 

This ad is a winning combination of UGC + simple sale banner + lightweight tutorial!

What makes this such a strong sale ad is that the UGC shows you what the product is and how it works, and it does this silently. So, the sale messaging can take main stage without competing with benefits or value props. We believe that you have room for only two messages within a sale ad, and the first one is owned by the sale details.

You’ll hear us say this over and over: Do NOT overthink your sale creative. A sale ad is not the place to hit your customer over the head with a bunch of bells and whistles. That’s what your other core creative is for. And seeing that you didn’t shut off all other creative while you’re running your sale (right?), you don’t need to crowd the message.

Need a new dry shampoo? Pick up a plant-based version from actandacre.com.

Faherty

(not our client)

This ad from Faherty is a great way to show how to generate native UGC ads while shooting the UGC themselves.

Why is this worth noting? Because especially in that first frame, it FEELS like there are a ton of different customers wearing their clothes. But pause it and really look at the footage. It’s multiple cuts and angles of maybe 2 or 3 models.

This is not studio footage. It looks like it was shot on a phone. So you’re living in this in-between where the fonts are branded but the footage isn’t- And normally I would say pick a camp, but this actually works.

So if you lack native/UGC, grab a friend or coworker and shoot a few things next week. You can make excuses, or make content.

Upgrade your wardrobe with a new piece from fahertybrand.com.

GoodieCo

(not our client)

This ad is a great way to run an ad in awareness with a bunch of likes/comments right off the bat. 

Maybe you’re thinking, “Sure, Ben, everyone would love to have 5k comments on all of their ads. But easier said than done”.

Here’s a quick tip on ad and account setup to facilitate this:

  1. Make an ad in your retargeting or loyalty ad sets.
  2. Let it run for a week or two, or however long it takes to get a meaningful amount of likes/comments.
  3. Grab the post ID from the original ad and use that to drop that ad into one of your awareness ad sets.
  4.  Do not create a new ad in awareness.

Need to change up your skincare routine? Try the Bright facial treatment oil from goodieco.com.

Haus

(not our client)

This ad is a great way to spice up your UGC and make your ad stand out. But, execution-wise, it’s complex. Haus did a great job of keeping their UGC ad simple but breaks the mold of typical UGC videos.

Here is how they did it:

1.) A static, single-angle shot. No flash or quick cuts.
2.) No talking at all.
3.) No looking at the camera.
4.) Some ASMRy, TikToky vibes with the ice cube clanking, pouring, etc. that we spoke about in #71.
5.) Just a guy looking like he’s having a good time.

Discover apéritifs that are thoughtfully crafted in small batches from drinkhaus.com.

Jeni’s

(not our client)

It’s almost impossible not to be delighted by the ad above. It’s joyful, fun and friendly. Those notes that you feel when you watch the ad, are the same notes that you encounter when you interact with the brand. Whether you are visiting a scoop shop or taking your first bite – Jeni’s is a joyful experience from beginning to end.

What a genius way to literally bottle up what they are selling and communicate it via UGC. Who knows if this was a random customer video or the brand staged it… but also who really cares? It accomplishes the goal either way. Does your product illicit joy, safety, relaxation… etc.? And how can you give a viewer that same feeling while watching your ad?

The subconscious connections made by a consumer while watching, are worth the time you’ll spend to figure out how to ‘bottle’ it up and deliver it to their feed.

Some things are mint to be, try a new scoop at jenis.com.

STILL CURIOUS?

We thought this was a fun way to show off some of the cool stuff our creative department is doing without giving away the full strategy secrets. So while I’ve drastically simplified the intention and strategy behind each asset above, I hope these were still entertaining (and maybe even a bit inspiring?) to play through.

If you would like to see more ad examples like the ones above, subscribe to our daily email list to receive ideas to inspire your creative every weekday:

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