Creating ads that convert to sales is not as difficult as once believed, at least according the research conducted by the big data experts at Rocket Fuel. After studying data generated through an exhaustive survey of over 23 billion (yes, with a “b”) impressions from approximately 40,000 banner ads created by more than 1,000 advertisers across sixteen verticals, patterns emerged that can help marketers create eye-catching ads that bring results.

Among the findings:

  • Ads with red backgrounds have conversions that are more than 30 percent higher than when other colors are used. According to Rocket Fuel research director Robert Jones, ““Our internal research suggests that ads may perform better when their background color has a high contrast with the surrounding page…”
  • Placing a logo in the lower left corner delivers more than 80 percent greater conversions than other placement spots.
  • Ads that incorporate animation that runs from six to nine seconds convert at 138 percent.
  • Ads with male faces convert at higher rates than those with female faces
  • Certain background colors are less appealing and reduce the conversion rate. Says Mr. Jones, “If current Web design trends lead to fewer red backgrounds and more green, white, blue, or gray backgrounds, then ads with red backgrounds might perform better as a result of being more likely to stand out against the surrounding content.”

For those looking for a marketing edge to their website, incorporating changes based on this data may deliver that much-needed boost.


Loechner, Tyler. “Seeing Red: Ads With Red Backgrounds Drive More Conversions,” MediaPost, March 13, 2015.