Spot creation explained simply: Which creative elements really matter in campaigns?

In advertising, attention is one of the most important aspects marketers want to achieve, along with target group relevance. They face two challenges here: In a world of increasingly intense sensory overload, campaigns must not only take into account the specifics of the type of media, but also be particularly creative in order to attract attention. The spectrum of possible elements ranges from the right visual eye-catchers to sophisticated storytelling. In this white paper, we explain the special features offered by the media types DOOH, advanced TV, "classic" TV and online video.


The billboard is one of the oldest advertising media. With DOOH, it is being brought into the digital age; however, the tried and tested parameters still apply. The motto here: "Keep it short and simple," also known as the "KISS principle." An outdoor commercial must be grasped in seconds as it passes by. All elements need to be easy to understand, and color contrasts as signaling devices can also attract attention. In the case of screens at traffic junctions, known as roadside screens, the message must be understood quickly. On LED screens in pedestrian zones or in roadside traffic, such as our CityNet in Bochum, the main requirement is also: large type, little text and lots of contrast. Due to the high pixel size and the latest LED technology, the advertising message should be large and strikingly placed. Passers-by grasp the message as they walk/drive by, so the first few seconds are very crucial.

The texts should be readable and understandable, and use short and concise words (rule of thumb: 7). Only in this way can the text be grasped within 2-3 seconds. Therefore, experiments with the font are also not advisable.

The product should be placed as centrally as possible on the advertising medium and the size of the product should not exceed 15-20% of the advertising space. These design guidelines are important because advertising spots in DOOH must be convincing without sound. There are exceptions, e.g. in the King Channel, the screens in Burger King restaurants, spots can also be played with sound.

With DOOH, digital advertising spaces are not only becoming more dynamic, including data-based control of the creative, but above all one thing: even more precise in addressing the target group. Meanwhile, DOOH can also be booked programmatically and played out in real time. If different target groups are to be addressed, content and messages can be adapted to the external conditions, such as weather, time of day or location. 

The use of so-called dynamic ads enables the flexible adaptation of motifs in DOOH on the basis of data. This results in increased attention and perception, and ultimately the desired advertising impact. In addition, budget efficiency is optimally utilized.

Meanwhile, advertising media in 3D optics are also a way to increase the attention of viewers. The first 3D campaign in Germany ran in the run-up to Christmas at Mercedes Platz in Berlin. The three-dimensionality makes the commercials look even more realistic.

Important note: a large part of the digital advertising space is in portrait format. This must already be taken into consideration during the spot production. You can find out more about the technical specifications of our Goldbach channels here.

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Advanced TV

According to the latest Goldbach Advanced TV study (2022), "Connected TV" (CTV) enjoys a high level of awareness in the DACH region: 84% of respondents are familiar with the term. At 99%, almost all users are also familiar with the app and VOD function. 43% are aware of advertising in the Connected TV environment: 52% of 30 to 49 year olds find advertising "completely okay", 43% of 30 to 49 year olds find advertising helpful.

How can advertising be particularly creative in this environment? Basically, the same tips apply to "classic" TV spots and Connected TV spots as far as creative design is concerned - more on this below. It is important to consider the technical characteristics of the screens and the visual experience. The advertising messages should be placed right up front and use close-ups to trigger attention.

An important aspect to reduce a kind of wear and tear of Connected TV advertising is the production of different motifs.  In this way, viewers are constantly provided with new stimuli that counteract fatigue ("burnout effect"). This kind of motif rotation can be excellently combined by frequency capping (audience-specific advertising control) - right up to targeted storytelling. Keyword storytelling: it is another way to keep the attention span of Connected TV advertising high through motif diversity by telling a continuous story via the various motifs. For this purpose, the advertising is "extended" and divided into smaller sequences ("sequentialization").

A decisive and often underestimated advertising opportunity is represented by the so-called Connected TV Ads, which appear as display areas in the user interface of Smart TV devices. Here, the advertising message and logo should not be too small, as the advertising medium only takes up part of the screen and the viewers are sitting at a distance in front of the Smart TV. The minimum font size for an ad of size 480x270 is 43px, so that the text is easily readable from a TV distance of 3-5 meters. Of course, this can vary depending on the type and size of the booked ad.

This form of advertising offers the possibility of "bridging" between banner ads and content marketing. Through videos, apps or landing pages, viewers:inside can learn more about the product. Want to know more about Connected TV Ads? Then we recommend our guest article on Adzine.

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The TV spot is still an integral part of the marketing and media mix of many companies today. Brands can use strong, emotional images to set the stage and make an impact on branding. But performance is also playing an increasingly important role on TV.

TV consumption is a "feel-good" setting that is often recreational relaxation for viewers. Humorously formulated advertising messages are more likely to be remembered. Of course, they must fit the product. The slogan and branding should ideally be integrated into the storyline and not appear for the first time at the end. Since TV is a medium in which viewers frequently "zap" into the current program, it is important to mention the brand or insert the logo several times. The integration of testimonials or prominent brand ambassadors is also significant. Especially under the aspect of performance, the direct address of the audience with a concrete offer or call-to-action is central. The integration and naming of a URL is crucial for measurable success on the website.

Not to be neglected are emotions via music and sympathetic voices that underline the contribution, as well as aesthetic images with close-ups that make the product attractive to experience visually.


Brevity is the key: the length, depending on the message, should not exceed 10 seconds. A maximum of 30 seconds is conceivable with a skip button. As with the other forms of advertising, short and concise statements are important, as well as a direct address to the user Attention "is king"; contrasting colors that stand out from the website are more attention-grabbing. Especially with videos that feature advertising, for example, with a skip button, it is important to maintain interest. Interruptions help here - and not just visually in the setting, but also by changing the angle of view.

But what sets online video apart from other formats is the ability for viewers to respond directly. Opportunities for interaction and the call-to-action should therefore be used strategically and creatively. A compelling call-to-action after the end of the ad, should be aligned with the added value conveyed by the message.

In the case of car ads, for example, viewers could click directly to an interactive page where the car (e.g. with a different color) can be tried out individually.

Important: Consider the different end devices during development and production. No matter if it is a smartphone, tablet or smart TV, so the size of the screen is very different. The thumbnail image should also not be forgotten.


The right messages are one thing, but the right execution is another. Across all genres, it is evident that creativity as an integral part of campaigns increases the advertising impact. In case you already have an existing commercial, but would like to book another media genre, this is half the story! Adapting an existing spot is always an option and often only involves minor costs, because the formats of the genres only differ marginally. 

If you want to learn more about how to design creative campaigns and play them out across the most effective channels, feel free to contact us! We look forward to your inquiries at [email protected]