We talk a lot about simply and effectively communicating the value of your product or service. This ad is exactly what we’re talking about. You’re hooked from the start and immediately invested in the customer journey. She’s not really going to go to 270°, is she?! This format is also easy to produce, assuming that you have a human rubber band in your creator network.
When one customer’s USP is another’s pain point, take full advantage! Negative reviews split the audience into 2 distinct groups — those who identify with the pain points, and those who don’t. Obviously, your target audience should strongly identify against the negative review. Converting, despite advised against it by some random person, is reverse psychology at the height of its marketing utility. We’re Not Really Strangers delivers a less-biting-yet-equally-effective version of the “I’m offended!” negative review that legendary competitor Cards Against Humanity perfected.
This isn’t just a hook… it’s a trap (a good trap). If you’re a millennial who hasn’t ditched meal prepping, your ears just perked up. The rest of the ad is the tried-and-true combination of UGC, unboxing, demonstration, and easily-replicable product shots that you can execute in-house or with a creator. Once you’ve figured out which video components work for your brand, it’s time to experiment with hooks like this one.
This short and simple spot is visually striking and full of enough motion to keep your attention. Also in the bag: 2 forms of social proof (testimonial + “37k reviews”) to drive you towards that “Shop Now” button. Bonus points for the hyper-percussive soundtrack that’s actually enjoyable unlike the one from last issue that sounded like it was recorded by the Lumineers’ rhythm section on Adderall. We’re still not over it.
If cats ever developed verbal skills, you know they’d be unapologetically sarcastic. PrettyLitter’s negative reviews are written in such perfectly sarcastic prose that only a cat (or cat lover) could be behind them. We’re not ruling out the idea that the reviews might have been written in-house. Did you know that you can do that? Well you can, so open a Google Doc and play around with negative reviews… or don’t. Stick strictly to TikTok voiceovers, UGC, and native text treatments and never try anything new or risky or fun… Meow.
We try to mix it up and feature new brands in each new edition of this newsletter. That said, Hopper is the one brand for which we bend the rules. They always communicate just enough and never too much. The visual says it all, so the copy is short and simple. Even the CTA isn’t in your face — the app store icons tell you exactly what to do without insulting your intelligence. We’ll say it again: if you’re involved in ad creation or testing strategy, you better have the Hopper Meta ads page bookmarked for consistent inspiration.
This print ad is a few years old, but it’s a classic and fits with the negative review trend we’ve championed in this issue. Always remember that your main target’s turn-on is often a pain point for outsiders. Yes, using this review is slightly mean to Jeremiah in Manchester, NH, but it also clearly identifies the true target audience and indirectly promises everything they’re looking for in a resort. Every brand gets negative reviews, but keep in mind that some turds can be polished. Looking for more inspiration and laughs? Check out Subpar Parks.