Infographic: Red Backgrounds and Male Faces Net Higher Advertising Conversions Says Rocket Fuel


Visual Companion Highlights Key Findings of Landmark Rocket Fuel Creative Study.

Rocket Fuel, a leading programmatic marketing platform provider that uses artificial intelligence (AI) at Big Data scale to optimise marketing ROI for global agencies and enterprise marketers, has published a companion infographic to the company’s landmark Guide to Creative Optimisation that provided ground-breaking analysis about the impact of design on conversion rates.

The newly released infographic provides a visual snapshot of key findings, highlighting an additional set of pertinent insights from the 68-page study released earlier this year.

Creative Optimization Infographic
Click to enlarge

Key highlights of the infographic include:

  • Ads with red backgrounds averaged +31% higher conversion rates, followed by orange (+28%), and yellow (+24%). Blue, gray, purple, black, and cream backgrounds all performed negatively.
    Ads featuring humans averaged 4% higher conversion rate lifts, with ads featuring men performing 102% better.
  • Call-to-action messages such as “Learn More,” “Click Here,” and “Build Your Own” performed positively, while “Try it Now,” “Start Shopping,” and “Free Quote” performed poorly.
  • Across all verticals, ads showing the product in-use had 5% higher conversion rates than those only showing the product.

The comprehensive study analysed more than 38,000 distinct banner ads from 1,076 advertisers across 16 verticals, totalling 23.3 billion impressions over a six month period.

Researchers categorised ads to determine which elements played a role in engaging customer response according to the following criteria: background colour, whether the ad was static or animated, animation length, call-to-action, presence of an advertiser logo, presence of people, and whether an ad’s message contained a special or limited-time offer.


Joshua Hughes
Joshua Hughes
Advertising Editor. I love adland, having worked in the industry for the past decade. In addition to advertising, I love my movies.

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