uGlY aDs DaMaGe My BrAnd


Hey, Haveaclue! I hope you’re having a solid Q1!

It’s me, Barry AKA “UglyAd Daddy” according to at least one of you 👀

This should be an easier newsletter for everyone who runs ads on Meta, all about Meta’s FREE brand lift studies, the results I’m seeing, how to set them up yourself, some ugly ads helping us drive efficient sales and brand lift, and some common misconceptions about “brand awareness”.

Another upcoming topic I’m working on for you is Agency Fees: Retainer vs % of Spend. I’ve already written like 2000+ words on it, so smash the reply button right now and say “AGENCY FEES” if you want to me to hurry up and publish that soon and let me know if you have any questions about this topic you want to see me cover.

If at any point during this newsletter you learn something new or find something useful, it would mean the world to me if you could share that nugget with the world on Twitter/LinkedIn or in your Slack, or as a screenshot on Instagram and tag/mention me. Or forward this to someone you think might find this useful. Or just hit reply and say thanks!

Ok, let’s get into today’s topic:

“But I thought ugly ads are bad for my brand?!”

How the heck can ugly ads drive sales and help my brand?

The answer is simple:

  1. Ugly ads are typically much better at getting relevant attention on social media than heavily-polished branded ads because they help get past users subconscious ad blockers. Getting relevant attention is the first challenge your ads need to overcome to drive sales or brand lift.

  2. If the ugly ads are relevant, compelling, and feature the brand in a positive/desirable light, they’ll have a positive impact on brand awareness in addition to driving immediate sales.

That’s it, really! You can shut this email here if that’s all you’re here for, buuuuuut I think you’ll want to stick around for the results, how to interpret them, and how you can set this test up for your brand for FREE right now, and some of the ugly ads that have worked for us.

When most marketers hear about “ugly” ads, they clutch their pearls and assume “oh, those are only for sales, but at the expense of brand”.

I get it. I’ve worked on massive mega brands. The thought of doing something less than 100% polished doesn’t make sense for many marketers. That bias goes back centuries and is due to 2 things:

  1. Ads have traditionally been placed alongside other polished content like print media and TV, so it makes sense for ads to be polished

  2. Large ad agencies that work with large brands have established and perpetuated a system in which they make more money by making more elaborate ads with short shelf lives so the brand has to keep paying them more over time. This does not benefit the brand. This has trickled down through to smaller brands and agencies and is hard to shake.

I’m not saying you should make the ugliest ad possible. I’m saying you should study the content your audience consumes and try to emulate that. Your audience will be more likely to pay attention if your ad doesn’t immediately look and feel like and ad.

Here’s one of my earlier pieces about why my best ugly ads are often hated by marketers.

Btw, if you want to quickly and easily dip your toe into the ugly ads pool: make a bunch of ugly ads using my 50 favorite ugly ad templates, you need to get my Creative OS Expert Volume.

You’ll be able to use these ugly ad templates immediately and get them live in your account in minutes. They also now have a monthly membership to get access to all of their existing templates and 10 new ones that get added every week. I make a few buckaroos if you buy through my link here:

It’s hard to break out of those habits and correct for these biases, but chances are if you’re reading this, you already are aware of this and you’re trying. Give yourself a pat on the back!

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