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Apps to create DIY ads

Published: February 13, 2017

Author: Jenny Lee

We see advertisements everywhere, all the time. But how often do they really stick with us? In today’s competitive digital space, it’s not always easy to capture an audience – especially if your creative is boring. Fortunately, sprucing up advertisements doesn’t always have to be a difficult, tedious process. It can be done right on your phone! Using a variety of apps, you can create full video ads or simply make images look more professional and attention-grabbing – all within minutes and for little to no cost.
Before choosing an app, however, the first thing to prioritize when making new creative (rather than using client-given images) is to find an environment that is conducive to professionalism. Find a place with lots of natural light and a subtle background. You can use foam boards to reflect and position light onto any given object, and you can use background materials for a seamless look. If you’re filming a video, you’ll want to use a tripod (or a makeshift camera holder like below) for stability.

Once you have your image, you can use any one of hundreds of apps to improve your ad. For basic edits like adding filters, cropping, and basic photoshopping, apps like VSCO, Knockout, and Snapseed are perfect and free to download (with useful in-app purchases!). Brighten your image and add light effects with Afterlight. Blur the background with Snapseed. Use Knockout to photoshop a funny image of your dog on top of the Louvre.

To create collages, you can download Layout and Kaleido Lens for fun compilations of your image. Or, to add templates and animation to your creative, use apps like Over, Adobe Post, and Legend. These apps offer both pre-made and custom-made options and easily make creative more fun and attention-grabbing.
For longer videos, apps like Quik, iMovie, and Splice offer intuitive and low-cost options ranging from video splicing to music overlay. In just 10 minutes and for $1.99, I was able to make a 10-second video ad about my dog from just one un-edited image:
It’s easier, quicker, and cheaper than ever to make eye-catching creative. With these apps, you can be well on your way to having your ad stand out of the crowd.

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