We optimized ad creative for Elton John’s colorful autobiography using data that was black & white.


Henry Holt & Company


Social Ad Campaigns

When Elton John’s publisher asked us to run social media ad campaigns for the global music icon’s new autobiography, a bit of panic set in. Well, first excitement (Sir Elton?!), then panic.

Elton’s marketing team handed us their library of rainbow-themed brand assets for things like digital display ads, print and out-of-home. The creative was bright, colorful and uniquely “Elton.” But it lacked movement and, socially speaking, was just too limiting.

The beauty of social media is that it’s the largest, captive, real-time focus group ever gathered. They’ll let you know right away if your ad is resonating or not.

Our campaign approach identified several initial target audiences that would be served multiple variations of ads. Then, based on engagement data, we would serve more ad variations to our audiences. After convincing Elton’s team to let us test a range of additional assets we had developed, we launched the campaigns and kept a constant eye on the results.

It didn’t take long for our creative approach to prove out. Within a few days, our “black & white” ads were clearly outperforming the rainbow-themed ads. And our animated creative was yielding far more engagement than the original static versions.

And they say data isn’t creative.