3 Pitfalls You Should Be Aware of When Creating Effective Ads

As a designer, I initially found working on ReFUEL4 briefs daunting. I had to change the way I approached the briefs because:

  •  all briefs are online with limited or no client interaction;

  • there is no opportunity to explain the thinking behind the ads; and

  • whether the ad is effective or not is objective and measurable.


Having worked on these briefs for some time now, these are the common pitfall you should be aware of in creating effective ads not just for ReFUEL4 but in general.


1. Not understanding the client’s business objectives

ReFUEL4 clients are looking at real performance uplifts. It is therefore critical that as a ReFUEL4 designer you bear this is mind. There is always a fine balance between inputting your artistic preferences with meeting the client’s business objectives. At the end of the day, this works as the performance fee model rewards designers accordingly.


2. Not understanding the brief (client’s creative objectives)

Without a clear understanding of what the client wants you can end up making matters complicated for yourself. A lot of time could be wasted working on design ideas that are not relevant to the brief or client’s creative objective. Be proactively in clarifying the brief with ReFUEL4 to understand the brief otherwise you are wasting time and energy.

Moreover, although their business objectives may not change, ReFUEL4 clients are constantly trying different creative directions to see what gives them the best result.

So remember, you need to read carefully and understand the brief to ensure that what you are working on is in line with the creative direction of that brief.


3. Same, same but different

As part of the creative process, it is natural for designers to be constantly looking at other people’s works for inspiration. The contradiction however is that the cornerstone of every designer’s philosophy is also originality.


With online ads, this is amplified because the ad needs to “stand out” for the right reasons. So in drawing inspiration from other people’s work, there is this pitfall of straight out copying. This is a no no. As a designer, it is important to be inspired but to make it your own by adding a twist to it. This is sometimes a very abstract concept but as you work on more and more briefs, experience will tell you when it is same same but different.


Good luck working on your next brief!



Lois Ruiz

Graphic designer, video editor and all round hard worker who is very passionate about what he does. Likes a good challenge and always looking for ways to improve.