Best Display Advertising Campaign: Nextory

Best Display Advertising Campaign: Nextory

The Winter of 2021 is over and here at Bannerflow we are proud to announce the first winner of our 2021 best display advertising campaign.

And the winner? Nextory and its unique cross channel campaign for Valentine’s Day.

Nextory is a streaming service for audiobooks and e-books founded in Sweden in 2015. And It’s service is available across several European markets, it produces advertising, in-house, which covers a range of digital channels.

Originally made for Instagram, Nextory’s campaign is simple and effective. Over 50 different titles are rapidly displayed in the ad and viewers are invited to press print screen to select their next title to read or listen to. This fun and interactive campaign was developed for Valentine’s Day, and featured across its display and social channels. It was designed and built using Creative Studio.

We spoke to Art Director at Nextory, Maria Tidlund about how she created the campaign and how her team produces innovative digital advertising across channels.

Body image of Maria Tidlund

What was the purpose of this campaign and how did this translate into design challenges?

Maria Tidlund, Art Director at Nextory: The purpose was to do something fun for Valentine’s day. And since we have a large library of romantic books, we thought it would be fun to play with that idea and show our thousands and thousands of titles. SO we took 50 of our most popular romantic titles and displayed them in one ad! The idea being that if you took a print screen of the ad, you can get an idea for a good book to listen to for Valentine’s Day.

Which design challenges were the most satisfying to solve?

Maria Tidlund: Bannerflow helped a lot, especially with the smooth animations in the first scene with the heart and text. It was very simple to animate. Also with the book images, it was very easy to just drag and drop all titles and put them in the ad in over a very short period of time. The creation process went very fast.

Making the ad in Bannerflow was smooth. Plus, I did it there because if we wanted it to go across other channels, it would be very easy to replicate it across formats and sizes. If I had done it manually in another programme it would have taken far longer.

Are the creative assets repurposed from Nextory’s brand library?

Maria Tidlund: The campaign was especially created for Valentine’s Day. While, the book covers and brand elements we had in our brand library ready to use.

Does the context of where your campaign is placed influence your ad designs?

Maria Tidlund: A little bit. For example this particular ad started as an Instagram idea, as we had seen similar print screen ads on Instagram for other products. For us it was the best of both worlds, people get a book tip for what they should read, and then if they want ,they can share the book tip too – which is fun as well.

We actually started the design with a bit more copy about sharing your book tips with your friends. But later decided to just keep it simple instead and focus on the customer finding their perfect book

How do you tackle the design process of producing display campaigns?

Maria Tidlund: We usually have a start-up meeting, where me, and someone from the online team, such as a copywriter, brainstorm ideas. The Valentine’s ad is a perfect example of that process. Me and the copywriter had the idea together and then expanded it, making a fast sketch of it using pen and paper.

I then did the design and showed the online team who liked it and wanted to use it in other channels too. This is how it usually goes. And it is always a very fast process, as we are always testing many new ideas.

When working on the design process which other tools, beyond Bannerflow, do you use?

Maria Tidlund: I still use pen and paper. Sometimes you just want to show someone a sketch! I even do it now in digital meetings, holding up a sketch in front of the camera – sometimes it’s just good to show someone quickly what’s going through your head!

Other than pen and paper, I sometimes use aftereffects to make an animation effect that is currently not in Bannerflow. Sometimes I use Premiere Pro too, to cut together the sound for an ad. But more often than not it’s mainly Bannerflow that I use.

What have been the most radical shifts in how you create campaigns?

Maria Tidlund: I definitely save time with Bannerflow – making language variations isn’t a big deal anymore! Now I have more time at the beginning of a project to think about the design, looking for images, and testing concepts. Today there is definitely more time to focus on the creativity side of things.

I would say we are talking days in the amount of time saved compared to before. Now I can get a big project – in all our languages – done in a day and that simply was not possible before.

How has the pandemic affected how you work as a team?

Maria Tidlund: Of course the pandemic has changed how we work. Today we only have digital meetings and everything is done remotely – but work-wise there is no change and that’s good!

Plus, since we work only digital now, Bannerflow helps us by being able to share the links for the whole ad set. Instead of like sharing 50 images in one email, which helps a lot!

How has Bannerflow helped you take your designs to a higher level?

Maria Tidlund: I’m spoiled with all the built-in animations. I’m not a natural motion designer, so having not worked with motion design for that long, it’s good to have basic – but very good and helpful animations – just one click away. It’s so helpful – I miss them when I work with other tools!

As a designer, how do you continue to find inspiration for your work?

Maria Tidlund: As a team we are always good at trying new ideas. 

However, what’s forgotten sometimes is that as a designer,  it’s important to go back to the concepts you have done before and do it all over again – but better. 

What I mean exactly is that at some point you need to remain consistent. You have to hold the brand together, and not be overly wild – which is what me and my colleagues are very good at. Our focus is always on asking the question: Can we step it up? Can we do it better?

As well as that we are all on social media and try to keep up with what other brands are doing. Not just book services, because we don’t want to do the same thing as them – we have a lot of inspirations. The smart thing is to always look outside of the box.

Take the next step

If you would like to find out more information about you too can create innovative display and social campaigns like Nextory, then get in touch. Or if you would like to see how Bannerflow’s creative advertising platform works apply for a demo now!

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