Best Display Advertising Campaign: Supla+

Best Display Advertising Campaign: Supla+

Today we celebrate the final winner of our seasonal best display campaign competition for 2020.

At the end of every quarter, we highlight the very best display campaigns out there, focusing on the use of technology, design, and overall impact of the display ad. The winner is then put forward to compete for display campaign of the year.

This quarter’s offering is a great example of a timely Black Friday campaign that engages through HTML5 animation and makes a visual impact though a premium design. And the winner of the best display advertising campaign of Autumn 2020 is audio subscription service, Supla+.


Supla is an app and website for radio and podcasts, plus it has an audio subscription service for audio books called Supla+. It is part of Finnish media conglomerate Sanoma. Supla produces digital advertising across social, display and email channels, with regular and special campaigns, like Autumn’s winning one for Black Friday.

We spoke to Art Director, Sanna-Maria Pihl about her winning Black Friday campaign.

Display Campaign Autumn body image Supla+ Art Director

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

Sanna-Maria Pihl, Art Director at Sanoma B2C: We made this display campaign specifically for Supla+’s Black Friday and it was live for 24 hours. Hence why we choose to use the countdown timer widget.

The concept is a little different from what we would normally do for our campaigns, as it’s a one-off campaign. So within the ad, we tried to differentiate the design and make it look a little bit separate; doing this we hoped that the ad would be more eye catching.

The idea for the ad visual comes from me – I’m a fan of the 80s. So that’s how I started to build up the idea for the Black Friday, adding neon and other recognisable stylistic flourishes.

What were some of the technical things you did in the Supla+ ad set?

Sanna-Maria: I used a GIF animation on the bottom of the ad. And then I used the lightning effect widget, and then another for the countdown timer.

The design came together pretty much how I wanted it to. First, adding the lightning, and then adding new elements. Unfortunately, I couldn’t use the lightning to our email design, so that’s a little bit extra for the display and the social media advertising. Hopefully it injects a little bit more impact and helps make sure the customer’s eye catches onto the ad.

Are the assets part of a wider campaign or custom built?

Sanna-Maria: We used our stock library, plus the phone and book cover assets were provided from our service. From there I created the master ad, putting together all of those key elements.

We have to produce for email, and social media – such as Instagram stories – plus display. And all those act a little bit different when considering which graphical elements to use across all of them.

In general, how do you tackle the design process of building display campaigns?

Sanna-Maria: Usually we have a kickoff meeting with the sales team. This is when we set the target and decide who, or what, it is we want to reach with the campaign. We then touch upon the idea of what the campaign might look like – for example, if we have any ideas already.

After that I normally work on the visuals of the project by myself. During coronavirus times that has been the case for most projects! I take the notes from our kick-off meetings and then I go to work on a visual concept for the campaign.

I collect and create all the resources, then I use Bannerflow, After Effects and image manipulations to get all the assets I need. Sometimes I even come up with some of the copy too! After the campaign assets are designed and approved by the brand, we put the campaign together and the rest of the team pushes it live.

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

Sanna-Maria: I normally create designs for digital channels using Photoshop. Then I use After Effects for most campaigns on social media. Bannerflow I use mainly for display but sometimes I use it for social too. I try to utilise the fact that you can download ads as MP4s, meaning I can use Bannerflow to create the social videos.

Do you still use pen and paper, or is that long gone?

Sanna-Maria: Pen and paper is still there! I start with pen and paper. I use it to think and test initial ideas out, like layouts and other stuff. From there, I usually start building it in Adobe and let the concept develop to its final look.

Since you started using Bannerflow have you seen any shifts in how you work?

Sanna-Maria: Definitely! We used to create all our ads individually; now Bannerflow has cut the time it takes to build-up a whole ad set. I love the Creative Studio side of it too – it’s a really agile tool. When you can copy and paste designs to new projects or within the banner set to a new size, it makes a big difference. It’s definitely an improvement in our job.

How did COVID-19 affect your work? Did Bannerflow enable you to carry on just working remotely?

Sanna-Maria: Yes. That’s the best part of it – we carried on working as a team. Of course COVID has made you work a lot more by yourself, and you can’t reach out to everyone all the time, like you would normally. However, using Bannerflow we can share all the designs in the cloud. It’s really handy to get feedback too, as it’s not all in my local drive.

What is it about the Bannerflow platform that makes designing ads easier?

Sanna-Maria: Bannerflow has definitely made my life easier, especially as you can make dynamic ads so easily. Plus, the platform itself is quite simple to use as well.

We produce so many banners, so it’s definitely helped improve our process. One year – not this particular year – we produced something like 3000 banners. Making variations, not different campaigns, but it was a lot.

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

Sanna-Maria: I like to build mood boards for myself to kick-off creative thinking. I keep an eye on social media and websites to see what the trends are too. Although I work under brand rules, having a mood board is a quick way to come up with new ideas and inspiration for different visuals for campaigns or digital layouts. Sometimes it’s just an image with certain colour and emotion that sets off my thought process for something new. Mood boards are definitely what I like to utilise.

Take the next steps

If you would like to find out more information about you too can create winning Black Friday display campaigns, then please get in touch with us. Or if you would like to see how Creative Studio works for yourself apply for a demo now!

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