November 12, 2023 5 min read

Shopping holidays 2023 creative insights

How can brands get ready to take advantage of what’s going to be one of the most important times in the history of eCommerce?

Alison’s Advanced AI Technology analyzed the different ways that retail and e-commerce brands used creative messaging to improve purchase conversion rates on Facebook, Instagram, and Audience Network during the holidays of 2021 and 2022 for this analysis.

Here are our top insights:

Video performs 57% better than Static ads

Upon comparing static and video advertisements, we discovered that video ads showcased a 57% higher conversion rate for online purchases compared to static ads.  During the 2021 and 2022 Christmas seasons, advertisers on Facebook placements were 51% more inclined to use static ads than video ads, despite the advantages of video. This preference can be attributed to the higher expenses associated with generating and producing video ads.

Optimal video length was 12-17 seconds

Duration changes a lot based on how many and what kinds of messages are being used in an ad.

Video ads on Facebook that were 12 to 17 seconds long had a 27% higher purchase rate than the overall average. They also had a 212% higher purchase rate than the worst-performing length, which was 1 to 6 seconds, and a 17% higher purchase rate than videos that were 18 seconds or longer.

12 to 17 seconds ads usually have enough time to get their point across, but they’re also short enough to still work in a social setting. This length was the most popular across all industries, and 46% of all video ads on Facebook were this length. 

Lead with text

Advertisers know that the first three seconds of a video are very important to get people’s attention, which is getting shorter and shorter. During the 2021 and 2022 holiday seasons, we found that leading with text on-screen was a good way to get people to convert on Facebook assets. When ads started with text, 53% more people bought something online than ads that didn’t start with text, whether it was text in the first frame or text in the first three seconds.

“Shop” is the best Call to Action

People who see direct-response ads need to know what to do next. There are many ways to convey a message, so we looked into which words have the most effect on getting people to buy.

When we looked at CTAs in the first three seconds of a video (to account for people leaving), we found that using the word “Shop” as a call to action had an average purchase rate that was almost 7x times higher than using “Buy” or “Get.” 

Use testimonial in the opening scene

Advertisers need to build trust with consumers. One way to accomplish that is through the use of testimonials. According to our analysis, by leading with a testimonial at the beginning of the ad, 47% more people bought something online than in ads that didn’t start with a testimonial. The use of a testimonial in the main scene of the ad generated 15% less than average results.

A female presenter for the win

The use of a presenter, whether as a spokesperson or in a testimonial, can also affect the overall performance of an ad. According to our analysis, including a male presenter yielded an overall performance on par. A female presenter had a 37% above-average performance, while a combination of both genders had a 15% below-average performance. Interestingly, not using a presenter at all yielded a 46% overall lift in performance.

Voiceover and music are best together

Though Facebook is by default sound-off, the use of sound when enabled can have a significant impact on performance. The use of voiceover and music combined yielded a 12% lift in performance, while the use of voiceover, music, and sound effects yielded a 7% lift.

Place discount text at the bottom

When it comes to special offers, it comes as no surprise that discounts can have a positive impact on performance. According to Alison’s analysis, placing it at the bottom of the creative resulted in a 33% increase in performance. In terms of timing, appearing during the first 1-3 seconds yielded a 56% increase in performance, while appearing in 4–10 seconds yielded a 62% increase in performance

Use of brand is ineffective for sales

While a strong brand can be overall helpful to build trust and credibility, it isn’t necessarily relevant when optimizing for sales. According to Alison, placing a brand at the opening scene of the creative has a 23% below average performance, while placing a presenter or an offer has a much higher impact on performance, as indicated before.


While these tips can be helpful as best practices, consider a more data-driven approach based on your own creatives and campaign data. Alison takes the guesswork out of producing results-driven creative assets by providing intelligent creative insights. It integrates with popular media and measurement platforms like Google, Meta, Snap, TikTok, and IronSource in addition to supporting mobile measurement partners through AppsFlyer and Adjust. Once integrated, Alison looks at all available account data to identify creative insights and make recommendations around ad creative, like characters, colors, sounds, text, and more. That means you’ll understand which creative elements resonate with your audience and which need to go.

Are you ready to give Alison a try? Book a demo!



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