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What is an Ad Concept Model?

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An ad concept model is designed to systematize creative development and UA targeting based on iterative testing. Based on over 100,000 videos and images we produce and test yearly for our clients, our research has shown that winning ads last only 10 weeks, before they burn out. We have performed over 25,000 A/B and multivariate tests on Facebook, Google, TikTok, and Snap and have learned that 85-95% of new creative concepts fail to outperform your best ad. To survive in this volatile ad ecosystem, you will need 20-50 new concepts to find your next winning creative. In addition, you will need to keep developing new concepts to stay ahead of creative fatigue.

What is an Ad Concept Model?

Within our ad concept model, there are several steps within the model:

  1. Identify creative trends within a category
  2. Identify motivations within a category
  3. Map creative trends to motivations within a category
  4. Create concepts for one persona at the intersection of each trend and motivation
  5. Repeat step 4 for all additional personas

Using these steps, we will show you how we create dozens of persona-led ad concepts efficiently and effectively within our Ad Concept Model. We recently analyzed creative trends for fashion games and financial apps and use those categories to explore our ad concept model. Every app category or game sub-genre can leverage a unique combination of distinct emotional triggers and creative trends to attract users.


Step 1: Identify creative trends within a category

Start with your internal data on what creative is working best already, then go deep on what’s working for competitors. Use Facebook Ad Library to see every ad currently running on their ad network. For implied success metrics, you can use Mobile Action, SensorTower, or AppAnnie competitor libraries. AdRules, our SaaS platform analyzes 3.5 million videos and is updated daily. Your goal is to get a broad view of what creative is working and what isn’t across the category. Also, identify the creative trends you are seeing and segment those trends.

Depending on the app category, some creative trends may include:

  • An app overview focused on overall user experience and/or specific features
  • An app overview using tips and quizzes to show benefits
  • Testimonials and reviews from users
  • Influencers and celebrities delivering the primary message
  • Current events and topical or timely content
  • Social connection, social media, and chatting
  • Memes and comedic text on an image, often building on something that’s already viral
  • Achievement opportunities like level progression and mastery of a game
  • Vignettes featuring short character scenarios or stories

Competitive research will reveal which creative trends are working best across social platforms.



Step 2: Identify motivations within a category

As consumer marketing has grown up, we’ve learned there is no perfect Pepsi, but there are perfect Pepsis for particular palates; the same goes for products in any market. Before building out a matrix for a particular set of ad concepts, we identify different motivations driving our user personas and break down those motivations by underlying values and desires. Below we have included motivational triggers and preferences for games compared to fintech apps to show the distinction between categories.



Step 3: Map creative trends to motivations within a category

We map identified motivations to creative trends within the category to develop and iterate on different concepts.

Using our fashion game or fintech examples, our ad concept matrices each support nearly 50 concepts by pairing eight trends with six motivations.



Step 4: Create concepts for one persona at the intersection of each trend and motivation

While not all creative trends will work persuasively with each motivation, we can expand our concepts even further by targeting specific personas within each pairing. Based on personas, we develop a bespoke creative strategy targeting behaviors, triggers, and preferences.

For example, concepts for a first-time home buyer as a persona can be extrapolated out to fill the entire matrix. Below, we have taken one fintech creative trend—Tips and Quizzes—and simplified some example concepts using six different motivations for a first-time home buyer persona.



Step 5: Repeat the previous step for all additional personas

Just as we’ve done for a first-time home buyer, we can build out concepts for other target personas as well. Consider someone who just started a new job, or hit a milestone birthday, or just received an inheritance. Messaging, imagery, pacing, even tone, will trigger different responses for different personas. Using our Ad Concept Model, these four personas (homebuyer, new job, milestone birthday, inheritance) provide an opportunity for almost two hundred concepts.

Why use a model like this?

We have learned why it can be hard to beat your control video. But a constant stream of fresh creative concepts and smart, iterative testing means we can beat the algorithmic odds. Our industry expertise comes from managing over $3 billion in creative and paid social spend for the world’s largest mobile apps and performance advertisers. Consumer Acquisition runs our tests using our software AdRules via Facebook, Google, and TikTok APIs. Our process is designed to save time and money by killing losing creatives quickly to significantly reduce non-converting spend.

Consumer Acquisition’s Ad Concept Model ensures we always have new creative concepts to stay ahead of creative fatigue. We’ve systematized the process, so we know what works, why it works, and how to do more of it. From niche to mainstream, our creative concepting model means our clients get reliable top-performing creative in the most cost-efficient and scalable way.



Ad creative concepting is highly nuanced, with a lot of focus on coming up with the ideas based on insights gained or research that was done and testing them to see if they accomplish your goals. By staying abreast of top ad concepting strategies, creative teams can better optimize development and testing.

Keep following us for updates on ad concept tools and techniques. In the meantime, check out our Guide to Improve Facebook Success Rate Using Our Ad Concept Model.

what is an ad concept model for gaming

Read our blog post, UA Media Buying Model, and see how it works in tandem with our Ad Concept Model. Learn the media buying best practice strategies for Facebook Android, Facebook iOS SKAN, Google, and TikTok.

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