Without a doubt Facebook is a trending platform for advertising at the moment.
Everyone wants a piece of the action with 92% of social media marketers investing budget into Facebook advertising.
It’s no surprise, because organic reach on Facebook has plummeted to a staggering 6%… That means that only 6% of the people who like your Facebook page will see your updates unless you “Boost” them.
Diving into the world of Facebook advertising can be overwhelming however. On the surface the concept is pretty simple, but if you make some wrong decisions when it comes to audience targeting, ad design and positioning – all of a sudden you’ve blown your whole budget and don’t have any leads for your troubles.
So we decided to put together an epic list of the best Facebook ads to give you some guidance.
These ads are from companies with big budgets, and lots of advertising experience. They’ve done the hard work – and spent the money – on testing ad formulas, design elements and formats to run Facebook ads that deliver results for their business.
From analysing hundreds and hundreds of successful Facebook ads, we cut the list down to 35 winners.
We’ve also learnt a whole lot about what makes for a good Facebook ad along the way… As it turns out there are a set of elements that continue to turn up time and time again.
What Makes For A Successful Facebook Ad?
The best Facebook ads include a selection of these elements – some are non-negotiables.
- Stunning visual elements (non-negotiable)
- Focused value proposition (non-negotiable)
- Specific audience targeting (non-negotiable)
- Brand congruency (non-negotiable)
- Goal-oriented objectives (non-negotiable)
- Compelling call-to-action or offer
- Potential benefits/results for the prospect
- Multiple versions and split testing
- Using faces in the visuals
- Adequate background space and simplicity with images
- Incorporating social proof
- Leveraging video ads
- Image scrolling and carousel ads
- Humour, emotion or curiosity
- Previewing the product/service offering
Now let’s look at some of the best Facebook ad examples and see how they measure up to that list.
Airbnb is an online marketplace where people can list, find, and rent residential housing in over 190 countries worldwide.
The below video ad came from a strategic partnership with Disney’s Jungle Book movie.
It’s compelling because it engages the audience with a professionally developed video, and elicits excitement and emotion by tapping into childhood dreams and the adventure tendencies of their target audience.
The ad also gives a real-life preview of the unique properties available to Airbnb users. (This is their value proposition)
With over 4 million views, it’s obvious that they’ve nailed this video.
Quip is a software product that helps you create, discuss and organise all the important documents your team is working on.
The below ad does a great job of sparking curiosity in the viewer with provocative language and some edgy connotations.
Using simple, brand congruent colours in the image, paired with a clear call-to-action make this ad easy to understand and visually appealing.
Is the language too provocative for your liking? Or have they just nailed their target persona?
Adonit make a touch screen stylus pen for tablets and smart phones.
In this video ad they have effectively used a “product preview” strategy to spark curiosity with their prospects.
It’s more of an education and brand awareness campaign, but it does the job very well.
Do they target too broadly with the “Everyone” suggestion at the end of the video? Perhaps.
4. Real Estate Webmasters
Real Estate Webmasters create SEO-friendly websites specifically for the real estate industry.
Given the specificity of their messaging in terms of the target audience, it’s no surprise that their Facebook ads are laser-focused too. This is a good thing!
One of the most compelling things about the below ad is the use of “proof language”. Words such as “most effective” and “famous” build immediate credibility, they entice the prospect to click through and see if they are what they say they are.
The phone number in the image also enables a prospect to take immediate action and call them on the spot.
What would I change? The only distracting element in this ad example is the jargon-heavy description towards the bottom. Terms such as “Integrated IDX” and “SEO & PPC” probably aren’t necessary in achieving the outcome they are looking for, which is a click through or phone enquiry.
Skillshare is an online learning community with thousands of bite-sized creative skills classes.
In their Facebook advertising campaigns they use real photographs of designers at work, placing their target audience in the shoes of a buyer.
Below is an example which also includes a very specific call-to-action and price benefit for the prospect.
It’s really the simplicity of this ad from Cadillac that makes it so good…
Everyone who sees this ad most likely already knows who Cadillac is and what they are getting themselves into, so the purpose of this ad is simply to reinvigorate buying behaviour, and create excitement.
The use of sleek colours, a message-consistent back drop and a TV quality video are all aligned to Cadillac’s target audience who are seeking status and recognition.
Modcloth has a growing reputation for their social media marketing, especially when it comes to Facebook ads.
In this example they have used the Facebook carousel ad option to include multiple images – this is a high-performing strategy for ecommerce businesses, especially in fashion.
Visually these ads are eye-catching, with simple backgrounds and curiosity sparking elements such as the pineapple.
They also provide a preview of the goods, plus create a human connection with real-photos and faces.
If you run an ecommerce business, I’d recommend tracking Modcloth and learning from their Facebook ads strategy.
BarkBox has jumped on the “monthly gift box” trend by offering a subscription service for dog goodies.
The best thing about their Facebook ads is the use of dog photos and product previews. It really puts the prospects (the dog owners) in the shoes of a buyer, and helps them see what it would be like to be a customer.
Whilst the visuals in this example are compelling, they could simplify the supporting text by eliminating some of the fluff and getting super-focused on the action they want a prospect to take.
Billetto is a UK business that helps people discover, promote and run events.
The genius of their Facebook ad below is how well it shines the light on their ideal customer, and captures the emotion associated with the end result of their service.
Again though, the supporting copy is a little confusing – they are trying to include too much information and not enough action-oriented information.
10. College Raptor
College Raptor offers a unique search engine and pairing service for college hopefuls, parents and counsellors across the US.
In this Facebook ad they are building awareness for their service with potential candidates. What makes it good is the clear definition and articulation of the problem they solve for people.
The image is a great accompaniment because it utilises stunning visuals, including their logo for brand congruency and an overlay of text that pops off the page.
CoPromote is a network of what they call “creators”… Essentially people who produce content of some sort online. It helps these content creators expand the reach of their content by collaborating to promote them across social networks such as Tumblr, Vine and Twitter.
They do a lot right in the below Facebook ad by using an eye-catching visual that sparks curiosity and humour. It also aligns to their brand and core messaging with the subtle use of their logo and supporting text.
Farmdrop offers a direct connection to local produce with a service that delivers straight from the farm to a household. (At the moment it’s only based in the UK)
This ad is really a brand awareness push because the call-to-action isn’t as specific as it could be. But they do effectively use overlay text and a high-definition image to make the ad standout in the Facebook content stream. They have also done a great job of using the headline text below the image to deliver a very specific message that tells you a LOT about what the business does.
Nespresso has revolutionised the coffee industry, and it’s largely due to their smart branding and marketing efforts.
This video ad is simple yet extremely effective. It uses a basic set of colours, lots of background space and shows off their range of products. For the coffee lover, something like this would peak interest very quickly.
Plated is part of the “subscription box” trend taking the world by storm… Pick your recipes, get a weekly box and cook amazing meals; is their value prop. It’s simple and enticing for the busy family or career-focused couple.
In this Facebook ad they have packed in lots of goodness when it comes to our list of elements. The visual has brand congruency, a preview of the goods, faces and specific audience targeting. They’ve backed it up with some well thought out text and a clear call to action.
15. Josh Harris
Facebook ads aren’t just for the big brands, and this example from Josh Harris proves how effective they can be for service firms of all sizes.
What is most compelling about this advert is the use of Josh’s face in the visual, this builds immediate trust and credibility if you know who he is. Which is likely to be the case if this is a remarketing ad.
He also gets super-sepcific with who his target audience is; “SaaS Businesses Looking For Customers”. This type of specificity talks to people on a more personal level.
Flok is a loyalty based app for small businesses – it’s like a punch card gone mobile.
In this ad they’ve immediately made it clear who their ideal target audience is; owners of restaurants, coffee shops, spas and salons. If you run one of these businesses, all of a sudden you’re taking notice.
There is also some great consistency in the call-to-action, making it much easier for people to make a quick decision. And the image utilises consistent colours, background space and a human face for personalisation.
17. Free Restaurant Recipes
Free Restaurant Recipes is exactly what it sounds like… A website that provides heaps of recipes for free.
The reason I chose to include this ad is because the image does all the work. It’s high-quality, shows off the end result of the service and taps into the indulgent emotions of our brains.
Unfortunately they haven’t used the space for text as well as they could have by delivering a clear call-to-action and consistent message.
Freeletics offers an app-based training program for people looking to get into shape.
In this ad they have used some compelling visual elements and social proof to entice click throughs.
The “New” badge taps into our love for new things, and the real-life photos of fit looking males shows potential users what they could look like if they get the app. It’s showing off the end result.
As a bit of icing on the cake the strategic placement of “Join more than 6 million athletes” is a great piece of social proof.
Ok… so this is another box subscription called Freshly. The difference between this one and FarmDrop is that the meals are chef-prepared and ready to go when they arrive at your house, rather than just getting the ingredients and recipe.
I love how clear and to the point this Facebook ad is. There’s no guessing about who their target audience is or what type of service you will get by clicking on the offer. Plus they’ve stepped it up with some stunning visuals, a product preview and branding.
Fundera is a US company that lets business owners search and compare loan rates.
This ad smartly uses a sliding scale graphic to let prospects know how much funding they could be getting from this site, and it’s supported with some well positioned supporting text and a clear call to action.
They’ve also used high-converting power words such as “lowest”, “safe”, “best” and “free” to entice users to click through.
FutureAdvisor is an online financial advisor.
The results graph that compares an average investor to a “FutureAdvisor” is a great piece of social proof and a nice bit of eye candy. This graphic partnered with the simple but brand congruent green, supporting visual text and logo works wonders.
Geico are a car insurance company, but their brand positioning is typically humorous and fun – this ad is no different.
The image in this case is a bit obscure, which makes it intriguing and draws in the eyes. Plus they’ve got the logo and mascot at the bottom of the image for congruency.
Something subtle but really intelligent in this example is the use of capital letters for “GREAT” and “GEICO”. Subconsciously the brain matches these two terms together.
GoFormz helps businesses take their paper forms digital and modernise their business.
What I like about this Facebook ad is the use of the before and after imagery… It’s kind of like the age-old weight loss transformation photo but for forms. There is also some clear supporting text and it’s very obvious what the business has to offer.
One downfall is the text and heading below the image which doesn’t reiterate the messaging or encourage an action.
We use Infusionsoft internally and with a majority of our clients here at Marketing Results. On top of a having a great automation and CRM platform, there marketing efforts are pretty special too.
The below ad shows of the Facebook carousel option, allowing them to have multiple images and benefits within the one ad. It also does a good job of using human faces to personalise the ad and some well positioned social proof in the supporting text.
Kabbage offer quick and pain free small business lines of credit.
The genius of this ad is really the image again… They have some great brand congruency with the colours and logo, plus they’ve used real people who mimic the look and feel of their ideal customers. To top it off their messaging is succinct and to the point.
26. Men’s Health
Men’s Health used Facebook ads to run a campaign which saw a select group of their staff do a health and fitness challenge.
What makes it so well executed is the use of video ads that personalise the brand and hero their employees. Whereas what they are really saying is; “Read our publication and you could get these same results”.
Metromile is a new form of car insurance that lets you pay for how much you drive, rather than on a set rate.
You will see in the ad below they have used a recurring visual technique we’ve seen a few times now… The real-life image combined with a plain coloured background and short tagline.
The other thing they have done well in this Facebook ad is spell out their value proposition and point of difference by comparing themselves to every other insurance available. “Traditional car insurance isn’t fair… Fixed car insurance rates don’t make sense”. This positions them as unique and different, and shows prospects exactly what they have to offer.
Rinse is a door-to-door laundry service for busy professionals.
The Facebook ad below combines humour with practicality by using a visual that reminds the prospect of what it’s like to do laundry all the time. The offer becomes more specific as you trace your eyes down the ad and finally read the specifics below the image.
Snapfish does personal photo printing at a dirt cheap per-photo price.
This ad gets off to a great start by skipping straight to the important information… “Get 99 beautiful 4×6 prints for 99 cents”.
That’s crazy value and a really really specific offer that anyone would understand.
If that offer doesn’t convince you then the supporting image sweetens the deal by showing you what the prints could look like and reinforcing the deal with a “Penny Prints” embedded graphic.
Sometimes the biggest brands in the world just know how to rock it, and Snickers on Facebook is a great example of that.
This video ad is a part of a campaign to build awareness about a new Snickers product. Obviously the brand is already well known so this is more of an association style advertisement that tries to position the feeling of humour and fun alongside eating a Snickers bar. It’s brand congruent and has worked for the company for a long time on all sorts of mediums.
31. Thrive Market
Thrive Market is all about buying organic health foods at wholesale prices.
In this Facebook ad example, Thrive are running a contest to win an entire month of groceries. Running contests are a great way to build brand awareness and rapidly grow your contacts list.
Not only is the text in this example clear and specific, but the image provides a visual look into the type of food on offer at Thrive Market.
Verlocal connects people in local communities by promoting local events.
What’s great about this Facebook ad is that it gets very specific about one of the events Verlocal has to offer, rather than trying to promote the platform as a whole, which is less targeted. If you are interested in cooking classes, then you’ll likely click on this ad.
Walkme helps businesses simplify the online user experience for their prospects.
Their value proposition is about user experience and that is reinforced in this ad, both in the text and the image. The ad also uses a nice overlay image, brand congruency with the logo and a real photo to personalise it.
34. Your Free Quotes
This Facebook ad from Your Free Quotes uses what looks like real-life images to put prospects in the shoes of someone who has saved money on car insurance.
The images they have used aren’t high-definition or professionally developed, but that is deliberate. They are shining a light on the customers they help, and if you happen to associate with these images you will be more inclined to take action.
Last off the ranks we have Smaato…. Smaato is a mobile advertising platform for app developers and publishers.
In this Facebook ad they have combined a clear benefit (“Increase App Revenue”), with smart graphics (consistent colours, phone imagery and a world map), brand congruency (logo and brand congruent colours in the image) and some nice social proof (“10,000+ Quality Advertisers”).
If you develop apps, then raising your revenue is an interesting proposition, they know their target audience.
Facebook advertising is a growing trend for a reason… It has the potential to drive a big ROI for your business.
But it can be hard to grapple with if you’ve not done it before, or don’t have the budget to test things out.
The Facebook ad examples in this list are all from seasoned advertisers who have tested and seen results from their efforts.
They are a great starting point for you to shortcut your way to a successful campaign and design a high-converting ad of your own.
Still a bit unsure on what will work for you, or just want some help getting results? Get in touch.