Ad Templates

Your Secret Weapon in Scaling Growth-Driven Creative

In the endless stream of ads we see each day — thousands, if not tens of thousands — an ad that makes you stop scrolling could literally be one in a million. The right ad feels like a message in a bottle written just for you.

Digital marketers working to make ad magic at scale have their work cut out for them. Senior leadership may not understand the meticulous work it takes to create an ad or the volume of ads an organization needs to succeed on social platforms. Without the creative and budgetary resources they need, these marketers often find themselves slaving away in Canva with no end in sight.

Starting from scratch with each idea or campaign puts a huge bottleneck in your process. A set of high-performing ad templates can be a growth marketer’s best friend.

    • They give you a head start in generating creative
    • They help standardize best practices and learnings over time
    • They ensure your ad meets readers where they are, answers their most immediate questions, and makes it clear what they should do next.

Do’s and Don’ts

of Effective Ad Templates

Not all ad templates are created equal, and the last thing
you want to do is standardize a template that doesn’t perform.




the dos and don'ts of ad templates

Optimize ad templates for channel

  • Using the exact same ad on TikTok, Facebook, and Instagram won’t deliver the best result. Even aside from basic best practices like sizing, each social media platform comes with its own distinct personality, a personality largely dictated by the habits, trends, and preferences of its users.
  • High-performing ads don’t feel like ads. They feel organic to the platform. They feel created by another user, not by a company or brand, and they employ the formats, sounds, fonts, colors, and other elements trending among the user base.
  • User-generated content (UGC) is perhaps the latest example. In a survey by AdWeek, 85% of users surveyed said UGC content was more influential than brand-driven content. But even in radio and podcasting, ads read by the host of the program outperformed pre-recorded “announcer”-read spots.
  • Ad templates built for lead-gen or brand objectives won’t work in a growth marketing context. Your brand takes somewhat of a backseat to the platform’s environment, though you should certainly consider how to blend into that environment while maintaining a consistent brand experience. This may require a shift in mindset regarding your creative process.

It may necessitate a shift in process, too. To keep your templates current, you need to stay on top of the ever-shifting trends gaining and losing prominence on each social media platform on which you deploy ads.


Ensure your ad templates

consider the entire user journey

An ad doesn’t exist in a vacuum. To de-friction the path to conversion, the ad-to-page journey must be seamless. Think of each piece of your journey as different parts of a conversation.

    • The message of each piece must be appropriate to the customer’s position in the conversion funnel. If your ads are focused on prospecting, they will spearhead this journey. Its goal is to catch the viewer’s attention and pique their interest by answering their most immediate questions. A viewer who is already aware of your brand needs a different message than a viewer encountering it for the first time.
    • It must pick up where the previous piece left off. The landing page should feel like a continuation of the ad’s message. It should answer all the questions the buyer may have before making a purchase.
    • It must clearly indicate what to do and expect next. The call to action on your ad must be clear, compelling, and succinct. If you’re tantalizing the viewer with rich product shots, compel them to see more. If you’re painting a picture of their pain points, entice them to find relief.

Even though the conversion path comprises several assets, your ad template should consider the entire user journey and establish an efficient, cohesive train of thought.

Ad templates support the user journey

Use battle-tested ad templates

and creative


If you’ll remember, back in April of 2021, Apple’s game-changing iOS14.5 disrupted the paid social landscape by limiting tracking, changing attribution windows, and generally stemming the flow of customer data flowing back to Meta and other ad platforms. For growth marketers, it became more difficult to gauge their ads’ effectiveness.

In the wake of that change, ad creative emerged as the most powerful lever for driving growth. No matter what changes occur in platforms, devices, or the regulatory environment, ad creative will always be a lever you can control.

And marketers can still drive targeting by working the platforms’ algorithms to show content to users who engage with other, similar content. “Similar” can refer to subject matter that is similar to your ad, or a similar format, like Reels, Collections, etc. By using ad creative to speak to different audience segments, you can leverage the ad itself to do the targeting for you.

Creative is king. Testing several iterations of your ads to see what resonates with your audience is a powerful way to know for sure which ads are performing and driving efficiency for your ad spend.

When testing ad creative, don’t get caught in the “wait-and-see” trap. Within a few days of running your ad variations, the winners will emerge. We call this the Outlier Method, and its rapid pace prevents our partners from putting unnecessary budget behind losing ads.

The Anatomy of


Video Ad Templates


use battle tested ad templates


In 2023, video is it, and it will be for the foreseeable future.

While static ads will always have their place, video ads are a whole different animal. With video, the possibilities are endless, but the ads that stand out from the pack tend to follow a pattern.

1 – Hook the viewer

The hook of your ad is the initial :03 window during which a viewer decides to scroll on or keep watching. Considering that the average ad doesn’t even receive a full “one-Mississippi” of gaze time, your hook must be interesting. It must meet the reader where they are in some way.

Need some inspo? Check out these 101 video hooks guaranteed to get more clicks >>

2 – Address the main pain point

After the hook, the next :03-:04 seconds of your ad should address the viewer’s main pain point or points. It clearly conveys the problem your product, solution, or service will solve. During this section, you should strive to make the viewer think, “Yep, that’s me!”

Remember, your ad should feel native to the platform. Here are a few ways you can make your TikTok ads feel more organic >> 

3 – Solve the problem

Ok, your viewer is in deep at this point. They’re committed, so take the next :03-:04 seconds to explain how your offering will solve their problem. You only have a few seconds, so don’t get bogged down in features. It’s better to spend this time on high-level benefits — how your product will make the viewer’s life better, and what their life will look like after they buy what you’re selling.

The food and beverage industry excels at this. Borrow (steal) from these mouthwatering video ads >>

4 – Wrap it up

For your last few seconds, make it clear what the viewer should do next. Whether that means viewing more products, signing up for a newsletter, or requesting a demo, they need to know what they’ll get for their click.

Ideally, your ad links to a landing page that continues the conversation. We’ll show you how to build landing pages that convert >>

All told, your ad should only last :10 – :35. There’s no time for fluff! You must use your time wisely and hit the right high points of your solution with both clarity and creativity.

Using Ad Templates

to Drive Ad Testing


Ad templates are vital to your testing process. They help make an ad modular, giving structure to the creative which makes it easier to implement iterative changes in graphics, copy, CTAs, and other elements to test against one another.

Your kit of resources should consist of templates and themes. Think of a template as the skeleton of the ad, while the theme is the mind of the ad, and the creative is its hair, skin, eyes, and clothing.

For example

    • We love the “How it works” theme. This theme shows how easy it is to use the product to reach a desirable outcome.
    • For this theme, we often use a template that breaks the image into four sections which walk the user through each step from problem to solution. It concludes with a checklist-style graphic that provides proof of the solution.

The fun comes with mixing and matching themes and templates. Often, certain themes work better with certain templates, but exploring themes across different formats can be a great generative exercise in creativity.

Steal from us. Here are 9 video ad templates to start building your ad template library >>

How It Works Ad Templates

Iterations vs. big ideas


At Primer, we think of ads in two types: big ideas and iterations.

A big idea is a never-before-used idea, theme, or style. Big ideas emphasize a different audience or value proposition than your previous ads. Copy and headlines are brand new. To test a big idea, you’ll create 3-10 different ads to test. These aren’t variations of previously tested ads.

Iterations change just an element or two from an existing ad. Maybe you test a few ads where only the image changes. Maybe you test a few more ads where the image is the same, but the headline or CTA is different. For a video ad, you may just change the opening hook or the music. Once you’ve identified which elements perform best, you can combine them for even more impactful wins.

Unlocking the ROI of rapid-fire creative testing


ad templates creative testing



You could iterate the elements of your ad forever, but how many variations are enough to substantiate testing? Between static image ads, video ads, copy tests, and landing page tests, we’ve found success running 50 tests per $25,000 in monthly spend. That requires between 80-100 creative assets per month.

The more you test, the faster you’ll grow. To see any benefit of ad testing takes a minimum ad spend of $25,000 per month, but it takes $50,000 or more per month to truly create an engine for growth. This may sound like a high number, but that’s what it takes to enable an effective volume of testing and scale your winners.

The simple fact is that one good ad is not enough to grow your business.

Those willing to make the investment have seen mind-boggling returns in the form of higher purchase volume, lower cost per acquisition (CPA), and an increase in total savings. One of our partners achieved savings of $240,000 in the first two months and $1.07 million in six months compared to their original CPA.

Success story:

Madison Reed

Madison reed ad templates


Madison Reed makes unique, high-quality hair products that enable women to color their own hair at home, achieving fabulous results without the salon price tag. In 2019, after working with Primer for a year, the eCommerce brand wanted to expand its presence with physical Color Bar locations.

This new offering would place them in new market territory. They needed to increase their testing to support increased scale.

    • In a single month, Primer and Madison Reed worked together to produce more than 400 ad tests to identify top performers and meet the goal CPA.
    • We found three winning ads and one finely-honed landing page that generated incredible customer response.
    • Madison Reed saw a 54% increase in YoY purchase conversion rate and a 41% increase in YoY customers. <

That’s just one part of the Primer + Madison Reed story. In all, Madison Reed has worked with Primer to launch over 7,000 tests.

Check out the full case study here >> 

Get a Partner Who Gets Growth


Creating a growth culture in your organization is one thing. Sustaining it is another. Ad testing at scale requires a reliable set of processes, organizational buy-in, and a substantial volume of ad creative.

At Primer, we’ve perfected the art of the growth-driven ad template. Running thousands of tests each month, we have our finger on the pulse of what customers are responding to in the paid-social landscape.

We’re here to help you fill the pipeline of creative and position ad testing as a viable strategy within your organization. We’d love to work with you to unlock hypergrowth, and we can partner with you in whatever way suits you best.

  • Agency partner // We’ll handle the creative strategy, design, production, reporting, and media-buying. You can just sit back and watch the wins roll in. Book a consultation >>
  • On-Demand // Our On-Demand platform lets you order high-quality creative directly from our creative team for delivery in 2 to 4 business days. Schedule a demo >>

In growth marketing, execution is the hardest part. At Primer, we’re here to help you crush your goals.