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What Makes a Good Ad?


Over the last hundred years, advertising has been a valuable part of our society. Heightening as propaganda during the World Wars to modern advertising, the game has changed. Although advertising transitioned from print and radio to digital and social, the foundation of advertising has stayed the same. As society has progressed, so has advertising, but the elements that make a good ad stay true.


Advertising professionals took to LinkedIn and asked, what makes an ad effective? Over the past hundred years, from war propaganda to dating app advertisements, what makes every ad effective for its time? Here are the responses of the top fundamentals.


Brand’s purpose


Once the pandemic hit, advertisers had to transition from their pre-scheduled advertisements, and they had to reposition themselves. Advertisements that were preplanned months in advance were scratched. Professionals had to learn how to relate their ads to the pandemic.


The most effective ads that have emerged from this past year have revolved around the brand’s purpose. Once advertisers took a more somber and sentimental tone to their advertisements, it struck a note within people. This past year has been difficult and filled with struggles, and once advertisers focused on the purpose of a brand and its mission, people quickly resonated.




The best advertisement of 2020, picked by Kantor, was a humorous advertisement from Heineken. Humor has always resonated as an element of success for ads because it not only grabs the viewer’s attention, but it provides a sense of happiness and relief.


For that moment in time, the viewer can feel carefree and enjoy a light-hearted laugh. Companies and brands want to attract customers to buy their products, and using humor is an effective way for good attention.




People are drawn to advertisements that represent the company’s brand and personality. When you think of Wendy’s, or Nike, or Old Spice, you can imagine their brand colors, the feeling you get when you think of them, and their voice/tone.


Advertisements are successful when they effectively use the voice and personality of the brand. Whether that is a serious, feminine, humorous, or carefree tone, it resonates with people. Having the ability to associate certain feelings and characteristics with a brand is a powerful trait in compelling advertisements.


Overall, there is no perfect formula or recipe to make a good advertisement. There are dozens of different elements that go into curating the perfect advertisement, from a proper strategy to the creatives behind the scenes, the right copy, and the list goes on. Advertisements have shaped the world we live in, but the proper elements create the most impactful ads.