13 Leading Advertisement Ideas for 2024

Need ideas for advertising but don’t know where to start?

Don’t worry. We’ve got you covered. 

Keep reading for 13 advertisement ideas to try in 2024.

Plus, get inspiration from examples of successful and creative ads that have worked for other businesses.

1. Target the Right Keywords with Your Paid Search Ads

Paying for a search ad gets you to the top (or close to the top) of the search results page for your target keyword.

Like this:

13 Leading Advertisement Ideas for 2024

But you shouldn’t bid on just any keyword.

For example, you probably don’t need to bid on your brand name. Because if someone searches for your brand, they are probably looking specifically for your website.

You should bid on keywords that:

  • Are relevant to your products and services
  • Are related to your marketing goals (e.g., if you want to sell more bar soaps, then bid on a keyword like “best bar soap”)
  • Have good monthly search volumes
  • Aren’t too competitive

For example, this Adobe ad got served for the keyword “photo editing software”:

Google search result for the keyword "photo editing software" showing a sponsered Adobe ad.

Here’s an easy way to find those keywords.

Look up what keywords your competitors are bidding on. To narrow down your keyword ideas. Using Advertising Research.

First, enter your competitor’s domain into the search bar. And click “Search.”

Semrush advertising research tool start showing the search bar containing the website nike.com.

You’ll get a report showing the number of paid keywords that increase site traffic, the amount of traffic the site is getting, and an estimate of what this traffic costs.

Advertising research dashboard overview showing metrics like estimated traffic, keywords and traffic costs.

Scroll down to find the “Paid Search Positions” report. 

Here, you’ll find a list of the keywords your competitor is bidding on. Along with data like:

  • Cost per click
  • Search volume
  • Position in search
  • The URL of the page containing the keyword. 
Paid search positions report showing metrics like cost per click, search volume, position and URL.

You can use the Export function to download this data and use it when choosing which keywords to bid on. 

Paid search positions "export" button to download selected data.

Create a list of keywords that your competitors are targeting. That you might benefit from targeting, as well.

Use the “Ads Copies” tab to view your competitor’s exact ad copy. So that you can better understand their paid advertising strategy. And get advertisement ideas of your own.

Ads copies tab showing competitor Nike's exact ad copies.

Another easy way to find potential keywords is with Google Keyword Planner.

First, set up your Google Ads account. If you don’t know how to do that, then check out this Google Keyword Planner guide.

Then, using the left-hand sidebar, go to “Tools” > “Planning” > “Keyword Planner.”

Google keyword planner tool dashboard showing the keyword planner button.

Choose “Discover new keywords” from the two options provided.

Google keyword planner tool dashboard showing the "discover new keywords" button highlighted.

Enter a keyword from the list you already created through competitor research. Or enter a new keyword related to your product or service.

Then, add your website to the field provided. And hit “Get results.”

Google keyword planner "discover new keywords" field with the keyword "women's sneakers" in the search bar.

The tool will generate a list of keywords. Pay attention to the following columns:

  • Avg. monthly searches: The estimated number of searches each keyword gets per month
  • Competition: An indicator of how many brands are already bidding on this keyword (i.e., the more competitive, the harder it to nab the top paid spot for that keyword)
  • Top of page bid (low range): The average lower-range bid that advertisers have paid for
  • Top of page bid (high range): The average higher-range bid that advertisers have paid for

Make sure to target keywords with enough monthly searches, aren’t too competitive, and are within your budget.

Google keyword planner result overview for the keyword "women's sneakers" showing metrics like monthly searches and competition.

Now you know which keywords are worth targeting with ads. Use this paid search ads guide to create your first campaign.

2. Highlight Your Company’s Strengths with Display Ads

Display ads appear on websites, apps, or social media platforms. In the form of banners, images, or rich media.

Like this:

A website page showing examples of display ads such as banners.

Be thoughtful about what you include in your display ad material. So that people who see your ad understand exactly how you can solve their problems.

For example, these display ads by Semrush have four important elements:

  • A solution to a problem: The ads tell viewers that Semrush is everything they need to succeed in SEO and outranking their competitors
  • An eye-catching image: The images show the tool in action, which further emphasizes the benefit of the tool
  • High-contrast colors: Semrush uses colors to emphasize key phrases and highlight the call to action (CTA) button
  • A clear (CTA): The CTA tells readers exactly what to do upon seeing the ad: “Try It Free”
Display ads by Semrush showing elements like solution to a problem and a clear CTA "try it free".

Consider incorporating interactive elements into your display ads to make them stand out.

Like this one that allows viewers to use a slider to change the image displayed. Transforming what looks like a regular couch into a recliner:

Interactive display ad showing the before and after transformation from a regular couch to a recliner.

Social media ads are paid ads displayed on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, X (formerly Twitter), LinkedIn, and Pinterest.

These ads usually target a very specific subset of people. Meaning you can target people based on the following:

  • Location
  • Demographics (age, gender, languages, etc.)
  • Specific interests

Which is why you can get extra creative with your ad campaigns. By making your target audience feel like you’re speaking directly to them.

For example, this tongue-in-cheek ad by luxury barber shop Scissors & Scotch feels like it’s talking directly to the reader. 

Scissors & Scotch Instagram ad mentioning ad targeting to their audience.

The ad works because of the following:

  • It’s self-aware and playful: The ad acknowledges that it’s an ad. And even jokes with the viewer, saying, “We’re not saying you need a haircut” and “ad targeting is highly effective these days.”
  • It’s targeted at the right people: The ad says, “It’s been a minute. Come see us.” Which probably means it’s targeted at people who have started searching for haircutting solutions.
  • It has a clear CTA: The CTA, “Book now,” allows viewers to instantly book an appointment upon seeing the ad

You can also create social media ads based on user demographics, interests, and behaviors. 

Like this Shopify ad targeting social media users based on interests inferred from previous online behavior.

Shopify social media ad showing a female entrepreneur and a call to action to start you free trial today.

And this Amazon Web Services advertisement that says “calling all data professionals”:

Amazon web services social media ad offering data professionals 33% off their data engineer exam price.

4. Use Creative Videos to Increase Brand Recall

Videos are a great way to showcase your products and services to a wide range of people. Get creative with them so that viewers share those videos. And remember them.

Like this viral Squatty Potty video. That has over 41 million views. 

Youtube video thumbnail

Sometimes, being outrageous can be an effective branding strategy. 

Like Duolingo leaning into its reputation for “unhinged content” with its viral “Spanish or Vanish” video. The tagline references a longstanding fan joke about the Duolingo owl’s slightly menacing “do-your-lesson” reminders. 

Youtube video thumbnail

It’s dark and outrageous. And audiences love it. 

The youtube reply section showing positive feedback from the audience.

5. Get Creative with SponCon to Build Brand Awareness

SponCon, short for sponsored content, is a type of advertising where influencers or content creators promote a brand, product, or service through their content in exchange for payment or other compensation. 

Use SponCon to reach the followers of popular content creators. When done right, sponsored content feels more like a natural endorsement than an ad.

One approach is finding influencers who already use your product. And get value from it. 

For example, Squarespace’s partnership with photographer and YouTuber Peter McKinnon makes perfect sense. 

In this video about the importance of an online portfolio, McKinnon demonstrates how he built his own website using Squarespace. 

Youtube video thumbnail

Interestingly, the “Get a Website” part of the video has the most replays. Showing that viewers also get real value from the advertisement itself. 

Youtube reply section showing positive feedback from the audience towards the advertising throughout the video.

Another approach is partnering with content creators who can introduce your brand to their followers. In unexpected and interesting ways.

With this type of content, your brand doesn’t have to be a ‘natural fit’ for the content creator’s audience. As long as your product is broadly relevant to them. 

In fact, less obvious connections often lead to more unique advertising ideas. And creative (and memorable) storytelling. 

For example, video creator Liam Carps has made several sponsored TikTok videos for Steuerbot, a German tax app.

A tiktok ad for Steuerbot by influencer Liam Carps where he shows his phone that displays the app Steuerbot.

The best part?

When the content is funny enough, viewers don’t even mind being advertised to. 

Tiktok reply section showing positive feedback from the audience towards Liam Carp's smooth advertising.

6. Demonstrate Value with Your Email Campaigns

Use your email marketing campaigns to emphasize the value of your brand’s offerings. To both prospective and existing customers.

Make sure to offer more than just sales content. So that your emails don’t feel like spam.

Do this by sending your subscribers content that is relevant to them. Like:

  • Relevant resources
  • How-to guides
  • Tips and tricks
  • News and updates

Like this helpful email from Adobe Creative Cloud. Which teaches readers a new skill: 

Email from Adobe Creative Cloud containing information on how to easily create a vertical video in After Effects.

You can also use email to remind existing customers of the benefits of your product or service.

Because it’s much easier (and cheaper) to retain customers than acquire new ones.

For example, Grammarly’s weekly writing updates give users insight into their Grammarly usage. While reminding them of the value they’re getting.

Grammarly's weekly writing update showing metrics like productivity and mastery.

It also tries to upsell readers. By highlighting the additional value of a premium subscription.

Grammarly's upsell page showing suggestion that can be fixed by clicking the upgrade to premium button.

Meanwhile, Codecademy’s retention emails use social proof to encourage readers to keep using its product—like the other 250,000 who currently benefit from using it. 

Codecademy email encouraging their reader to keep using their product by including a button to finish the course.

7. Increase Brand Authority Through Webinars and Podcasts

Webinars or podcasts are great ways to provide value to customers through education. They’re also effective at building brand awareness and authority.

Whether you host,sponsor, or guest in them, webinars and podcasts can showcase your product or service. And demonstrate its features in action. . 

Like these webinars hosted by Semrush

Semrush webinar page showing webinars such as AI & the future of marketing, and a free masterclass on contentshake AI.

Or this live stream sponsored by Positional.

A planned Youtube live stream on 'how to get SEO buy-in' showing a logo of the sponsor of the video 'Positional'.

Sponsor events relevant to your target customers. To get business exposure and build positive associations with your brand.

For example, Red Bull has been sponsoring extreme sporting events and athletes since 1989. Making their brand almost synonymous with extreme sports.

Red Bull extreme sport event showing a bike that just launched off a platform about to land into the water.

You can also present a talk at an industry event to establish brand credibility. And show potential customers your expertise.

Similarly, participate in trade shows to unearth a host of networking opportunities. 

Audible trade fair booth showing two rooms where people can record both podcasts and music.

If you’re a small business, consider sponsoring local events that are appropriate for your industry and audience.

Some examples include school sports tournaments, community events, social and environmental outreach projects, or arts initiatives like exhibitions and theater productions. 

9. Stand Out by Sending Physical Mail Ads

With the rise of email and digital marketing, it’s common for businesses to ignore the potential of direct mail advertising. 

Direct mail advertising involves sending advertising material to prospective customers via the postal service. This often takes the form of printed materials like letters, brochures, postcards, or even order forms.

When done right, direct mail advertising can be highly effective. In fact, direct mail (sent to house lists) has an ROI of 161%. And a response rate of 9%.

Direct mail works because:

  • It offers a sense of novelty, especially for younger consumers who don’t receive much mail
  • There’s less competition for the recipient’s attention compared to saturated online advertising channels

For example, this creative direct mail ad for KitKat Chunky works for a number of reasons:

  • They use solid bright red to grab the recipient’s attention
  • The ad appears to be a failed parcel delivery notification with the recipient’s name and address, encouraging the recipient to look more closely
  • The reason provided for the delivery failure playfully draws attention to the chocolate’s “chunkiness” or size—the product’s key differentiating feature
Bright red KitKat Chunky direct mail ad showing a failed parcel delivery notification.

Similarly, this direct mail Lexus ad grabs the recipient’s attention and sparks curiosity with its unusual envelope design.

The envelope’s unusual string-tie closure invites the recipient to physically interact with the tangible advertisement by unwinding the string to see what it reveals. 

Direct mail ad from Lexus showing an interactive envelope with a string that needs to be unwound in order to reveal its message.

Once opened, an insert satisfies the recipient’s curiosity: The string-tie’s pattern represents the elevation pattern of a particularly scenic stretch of road in Canada. 

The insert invites the reader to enter a contest to win a Lexus GX adventure drive on that same road.

10. Use Billboards Strategically & Innovatively

Billboards are a type of out-of-home (OOH) advertising that places ads in large public surfaces.

They are usually located in high-traffic areas, along busy highways or in urban areas. With a lot of pedestrian traffic. Which is why they are effective at grabbing consumers’ attention and building brand awareness.

Get thousands of eyes on your brand and get people talking with creative billboard advertising

Like this ad showcasing a crumpled billboard to discourage tailgating. That shows what an accident caused by tailgating looks like.

A billboard ad being physically crumbled to mimic an accident between a car and a truck caused by tailgating.

Or this toothpaste ad that says, “builds strong teeth.” And shows a man ripping the corner of the billboard with his teeth.

A billboard ad that says "building strong teeth" showing a man ripping the corner of the billboard with his teeth.

Context-driven billboards that interact with the space they’re in can also be effective.

Like this simple McDonald’s ad. That shows part of the McDonald’s logo, uses McDonald’s signature red color, and says, “On your left.”

A red and yellow McDonald's billboard ad showing the simple text "on your left".

11. Make the Most of Magazine Ads

Magazines often cater to specific audiences. Making them well-suited to targeting readers by demographics or interests.

Run creative ads in magazines to capture attention. Use compelling copy or unexpected imagery to make readers pause and take note.

Like this magazine ad for beard care products, which uses unexpected imagery to stimulate curiosity. 

A magazine ad for beard care products showing a man's head upside down but its face edited in the regular position, causing his hair to appear as his beard.

Industry-specific magazines offer great advertising opportunities because the audience is already interested in your niche. Examples include wedding magazines, motor racing magazines, and photography publications.

For example, the ads below, featured in New Zealand’s Bride and Groom Magazine, all cater directly to consumers who are planning their weddings. 

Wedding ads in Bride and Groom Magazine showing couples toasting and posing for pictures at their wedding.

12. Pique Interest by Getting Your Ads on Transit

Transit ads are a type of OOH advertising that places ads on modes of public transport. Like inside and outside buses and trains or at transit hubs like train stations and bus stops.

Millions of people use public transit to commute to and from work. Which means transit ads offer enormous potential for getting eyeballs on your product.

Especially when your ad is in a location where commuters spend extended periods of time, such as inside a subway car or on a train station platform.

For example, the wrap on the tram in the image below would be seen by thousands of viewers every day, both when stationary and in motion. 

A tram showing ads being wrapped on the entire outside of the tram.

Another example is this playful transit ad for Cadbury UK. That transforms a literal double-decker bus into the brand’s Double Decker chocolate bar.

A London double decker bus showcasing a transit ad for the brand Cadbury UK, with the bus being wrapped as a double decker chocolate bar.

13. Don’t Forget TV and Radio Ads

Don’t shy away from traditional paid advertising media like television and radio commercials. TV and radio ads enable you to market to large audiences. Which can raise brand awareness at scale. 

Broadcast ad pricing is based on several factors, including:

  • Broadcast time slots 
  • Programming viewership (or listenership) numbers
  • Ad run time 

Prime-time blocks on national channels may reach more viewers or listeners. However, they’re typically more expensive than off-peak airtime or local broadcasts. 

Subaru’s 2023 “Share the Love” TV ad effectively uses emotional storytelling to highlight the brand’s philanthropic efforts, showing how every car purchase supports various charities.

The advert works because it appeals to customers’ values and resonates with viewers, promoting a positive brand perception and fostering brand loyalty.

Youtube video thumbnail

Specific channels and programs cater to different audience demographics, enabling targeted advertising. For example, daytime television commercials can be used to target offline consumers, including retirees, children, and stay-at-home parents. 

One well-known daytime TV commercial is J.G. Wentworth’s “877-CASH-NOW” ad. This commercial specifically targets audiences that are home during the daytime, such as older viewers and stay-at-home parents. 

Youtube video thumbnail

Improve Your Advertising in 2024

Ready to up your advertising game in 2024? Get creative. Test a variety of media and advertising channels and experiment with these advertisement ideas in different formats. 

Use tools like AdClarity to explore your competitors’ ads and benchmark advertising costs, click rates, and conversion rates. Continuously optimize your advertising efforts to improve performance and increase ROI.

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