2024 Creative Strategy Trends

When you think about creative strategy trends for 2024, viral videos and memes of the moment may come to mind.

But when your goal is to create ads with longevity that can handle scale—you’ll want to look for broader “content patterns,” instead of simply jumping on viral moments. 


Because these patterns will eventually evolve into larger-scale trend forces and new creative formats.  

That’s Mirella Crespi’s counterintuitive approach to trend research. And, trust us, it works

Mirella is the founder of Creative Milkshake, one of the largest performance creative studios in Europe. 

Her agency is a creative powerhouse shipping over 2000+ ads every month for global brands such as Amazon,, Dr. Smile, Roman, Johnson & Johnson, Unilever, N26, Sodastream and TheFork among others. 

She has spoken on the biggest stages in our industry including Ad World, Affiliate World, and countless virtual events. 

Recently, she delivered an incredible 1-hour training session.

Let’s take a look at how Mirella’s team researches trends on Meta and TikTok and the top 2024 ad formats she is betting big on. 

2024 Creative Strategy Trends with Mirella Crespi 

I’ve pulled my favorite insights below plus included additional research. But also—watch the full session that Motion put on last week. 

Research trend moments, signals, & forces

“Trends live and die fast,” explained Mirella. “So we don’t spend much time and effort recreating trends.” 

The average TikTok trend lasts for 3-5 days before people get tired of the same joke. So if you chase a specific viral moment by the time the ad is shipped, the trend is fading. 

“Our goal is to create ads that scale and that will become evergreen winners and have a longer lifespan for our clients,” explained Mirella.

Drawing from TikTok’s research into how trends evolve on the platform, Mirella’s team looks at three patterns: 

  1. Trend moments: These are creative prompts (such as a trending audio clip or meme) that quickly gain buzz and adoption. Many creative and social teams chase these moments but they burst fast. 
  2. Trend signals: These are an emerging user behaviour or interest revealed through new content patterns. These can be useful for creative angles. 
  3. Trend forces: These are enduring large-scale behavioural transformations. This is where Mirella’s team often aims as you can create ads with enough longevity to scale and handle spend. 

When researching trends, you need to look at the bigger picture of how these smaller trend moments evolve into “new content patterns and eventually become trend forces” which are larger-scale behavioral changes that happen in the platform.

“You want to focus your time on understanding the behavioural changes and language of the platform you are advertising in—not just jumping on minor trend moments.” 

Mirella’s team studies how trends inform creative execution including the types of camera angles, transitions, and use of sound.

5 creative ad trends for 2024 

With that macro lens in mind, here is a rapid look at what Mirella’s team is betting big on in 2024. 

1. Using AI for all stages of creative development. 

This includes using AI to pump out scripts, ideation, rewriting scripts for different personas, writing script alternatives based on tone, and persona research. 

2. AI generated voices and even AI talent. 

This enables rapid message testing and media buyers can roll out new iterations in a few minutes without waiting for creative teams. Using AI-generated faces / simulated talent is also a good test. 

3. Short-form vertical videos including Reels, TikTok, and YouTube Shorts. 

“If there is one ad format you must master in 2024, it is short-form vertical video. If you can crack short-form vertical video ads, you can make the most out of all the major platforms with one video asset,” says Mirella. 

4. Thumbnail split-testing. 

“This is so overlooked and a major advantage to get right in 2024. 90% of media buyers do not manually select their thumbnails or upload a custom file.” This is a huge mistake as this minor detail can make or break a creative. 

5. First frame retention. 

For auto-play placements, you need to nail the first microsecond of retention which has a giant impact on performance. 

“Motion’s creative analytics are amazing here as you can easily see the first frame retention metric—aim for 80-90% first frame retention,” says Mirella.

“Because if you aren’t retaining people in the first second, nothing else is going to work. There’s no point in worrying about your hook rate if your first frame retention rate is low.” 

📈 Note: Motion makes it easy to analyze first-frame retention. 

🎬 Watch how to add these metrics in Motion

📁 Plus, here is a bonus spreadsheet with all the metrics you need to make ads that hook and retain attention. 

You can easily pull first-frame retention into any of your Motion reports. 

Not using Motion? That’s devastating to me. But you can also create this as a custom metric in Ads Manager using the equation: (VIDEO PLAY ACTIONS / IMPRESSIONS) * 100)

2024 creative ad trend: Sound-first approach 

The audio experience of short-form videos is an example of a larger trend signal. 

Creating ads with a sound-first approach is a trend that Mirella’s team is betting big on in 2024. 

95% of TikTok, Reels, and YouTube Shorts users spend time on the platform with sound on which makes sound a powerful tool for capturing attention.

“We put so much time and attention into developing the visuals, the hook, the script, and then we just layer on stock music at the end,” says Mirella. 

This contrasts with how the average TikTok user creates native video content. 

Your average TikTok creator begins with some type of audio. 

They might use a viral clip from a recent celebrity interview or nostalgic pop culture clip, a trending pop song, or an altered voice effect—and then build their video around the sound element. 

“We’ve found that creating custom sounds for our ads consistently outperforms BAU creatives,” Mirella told us.

Mirella’s team has been spending the last six months going deep into creating audio-first creative. 

They have a full-time sound editor who helps them create custom sounds. 

“When we add bespoke sounds to our clients’ ads, this supercharges campaign performance. Hook and CTR doubles and we’ve seen it lower CPAs by up to 50% on Reel and TikTok ads.” 

In 2024, Mirella recommends trying to create an audio hook for every one of your creatives. 

You can then retain attention by adding sound effects at different points in the ad. 

Here are a few sound-first ads that Mirella created to inspire you.

How to get started with sound-first ads 

The most important technique is to start with the sound. Instead of writing down hooks or thinking of visuals, start building your ad from the sound up. 

  • Use The TikTok Commercial Music Library (CML) or Meta’s Sound Library or look through TikTok’s approved sound providers for music licensing.

  • Work with an audio engineer to create custom audio hooks for your ad. At Motion, we are going to work with Creative Milkshake to build some custom sounds in our ads. Think money sounds and cash registers pleasantly ringing as you ship more winning ads using Motion. (stay tuned!)

  • Partner with a musical artist. I loved this personal finance ad from the rapper Bbno$ & the bank BMO. The viral engagement is wild as the ad combines three things TikTok loves: funny people, fast-cut music videos, and a real bop.

  • Hire a D-list celebrity to create a funny catchphrase or quirky voiceover. I love looking through Cameo and searching for undervalued talent. For example, audio clips from this weird little character Mona nanalan' has been trending on TikTok—and you can hire the actor to deliver phrases like “best day EVER!” Get creative such as hiring a collection of nostalgic WWE stars to express a product benefit like ‘toughness.’

2024 creative ad trend: Creative diversification

Creative diversification is another key trend that Mirella’s team is betting big on in 2024. 

The way the Meta and TikTok ad auctions work is this—your creative is the targeting. So if you roll out 25 similar ads, they are going to be served to the same audience. 

“The goal is to create many different types of ad formats, so that you are reaching people in various stages of the buying process, reach different audiences, and get more sustainable performance.” 

For Mirella, creative diversity means a lot of things. “It can be how you craft your message—such as going more emotional vs. more functional benefits of the product—or how the ad looks such as looking more native to the platform or containing more branding.” 

Diversity can also come from the ad’s point of view. 

“You can try mixing things up with a more personal founder’s story or you are telling more of the brand’s mission and values story or telling things from the perspective of the customer.” 

“All creative formats contribute equally to performance—so test all of them!” 

“ChatGPT is wonderful to use here,” says Mirella. “Take a creative that is a top performer. And then use the list above to get it to rewrite the script into a different tone of voice such as taking a funny script and making it formal, inserting more statistics, making it more empathetic, and so on.” 

“After you’ve rolled these out and tagged and identified each ad using your naming conventions, you can use a tool like Motion to run comparative analyses. You can ask things like ‘do ads with a humorous tone perform better than ads with a formal tone? Or do my ads from a brand POV perform better than a customer POV?” 

You can also use Motion’s custom tagging feature for deeper analysis and to bypass naming conventions (useful if you forget to tag them or are working with chaotic naming conventions from a client or inherited ad account). 

How to use performance ad data to iterate & find winners

Analyzing the data can make good ads, even better. 

Here are some common creative analysis situations you’ll likely encounter.

Let’s look at how Mirella’s team uses performance data to iterate and uncover new evergreen winners

How to uncover quick creative wins 

Whether you’re trying to impress a new client or boost your reputation to your CMO, every marketer needs some quick wins. Here are some common creative levers that Mirella’s team attacks first. 

How to iterate ad concepts & maximize winners 

The path to a unicorn ad is usually through at least 3-5 iterations. 

So once you have an ad concept that is starting to work—it’s time to dive deep into the creative analytics. 

Here are three analysis questions Mirella’s team uses to guide iterations. 

1. Did it make them stop scrolling?  

That’s the first question to answer. 

Start by looking at the 1-second retention. This is video play actions/impressions. 

Each ad account is different but Mirella’s team looks for at least 90% retention rate in that first second. 

“If you aren’t retaining people in the first second, there is something seriously wrong with the ad and nothing else you do such as improving the hook rate or CTR is going to matter if you can’t even get people to look at your ad for a second.” 

You can go deeper in your creative analysis by looking at your Hook Rate (3s views/impressions). This should be around 30%. 

2. Did it retain them after the hook? 

That’s the next question to ask. 

Answer this by looking at your Hold Rate (aim for +25%), Average Watch Time, and Waterfall Rate (aka video drop-offs). 

“I like to use Motion’s reports to see where the biggest drop-offs happen in a video, analyze the frame where you are losing people, and then try swapping out a visual or adding in a sound effect or cutting down the voiceover to boost engagement with the video,” says Mirella. 

3. Did it generate interest & make them want to buy? 

Finally, Mirella looks at CTR, CVR, CPA, & ROAS. 

These metrics help you understand whether the creative is doing its ultimate job: selling people stuff! 

Note: you can use the landing page preview feature in Motion to analyze your ads and landing pages together. 

This helps you spot any congruency issues between your ad and landing page that might be losing sales. To fix these, you can launch a custom landing page that better matches your ad or adjust the creative to better match the landing page. 

Creative fatigue: How to not hit a spend wall 

“Spend does not equal reach,” says Mirella. 

“If you have a winning ad, you can pump as much budget as you want into it but it doesn’t mean you will reach new people. You will likely just saturate your core audience and start to see creative fatigue.” 

What most people do here is to keep pumping money into that winning ad set, see fatigue, and then pause the ads. 

Instead, Mirella says that you need to remember that the learnings are on the creative. So you want to maximize your winners by then adding new ads into the ad set that has high spend and is showing fatigue. 

“Creating iterations of your winning ads allows you to beat fatigue and squeeze as much profit as you can from an audience that is working.” 

The nuance here is that you are not just swinging for the fences, searching for a new big winner. 

Instead, you are merely trying to replicate and refresh your existing success. 

“Sometimes it is not about how you can pump in as many net new, big swing concepts into an ad account. Instead, you have a concept and audience that is working. So how can we create more variations of that concept, more diversification, but still expressing that concept that has been validated?” 

This could involve creating new creative targeting the same benefit or motivator that is working, helping you support an increase in spend for the ad set. 

I like to think of this in Hollywood terms. 

Netflix, for example, had a big hit with the sports show “F1: Drive to Survive,” a docuseries following the FIA Formula One World Championship. 

The producers of F1 then instantly repeated their success with three similar docuseries about sports—Break Point (following tennis players), Full Swing (following golf players) and NASCAR: Full Speed (following NASCAR drivers). 

All of these shows follow a similar concept—they package up an entire season of sports, following more of the athlete’s story which makes these sports appeal to an audience beyond hardcore fans. 

Netflix knows that they can get a lot of miles out of the “sports docuseries” format. So they are adapting and maximizing the winning concept they found with F1. 

At the same time, they will at some point reach saturation.

So they also need to keep hunting for that new idea—not just betting on sports docuseries. 

The lesson? 

You need to attack both levers of growth (redoing what’s working and searching for the next big idea) at the same time in different ad sets. 

That’s why constantly unlocking new audiences is crucial.

You should always be looking at your account to figure out how you can refresh your creative that is resonating with a core audience, while also trying to develop new creative experiments that will unlock a new audience and maintain your performance. 

Get a tour of Motion’s creative analytics platform. We’ll even build free sample reports for you using live data from your TikTok, Meta, and YouTube ad accounts.

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