OK, it’s Win of the Week time, so pick your winner:


Drum roll, please…..


And Ad B is the winner, tripling the Click-Through Rate of the previous top performer. That’s huge!

So, what gives? Why does Ad B outperform Ad A by such a large margin? And the answer to that lies in two factors:


  • Internal Consistency (or the lack thereof), and
  • Ambiguity (vs. clarity)


So let’s start with Internal Consistency. How can you have a modern quilt? Seriously, if Ad A is trying so hard to sell me on Modern (and stylish) Bedding, why is it proclaiming it’s selection of freaking quilts. Quilts, by their nature, are sort of old fashioned. And even if there IS such a thing as a modern quilt design, I think most of us would have a hard time imagining it, right?


In other words, Ad A sends an inconsistent message. It lacks internal consistency, and that always kills PPC ad performance. On the other hand, Ad B only talks about “bedding” rather than “modern bedding” and it doesn’t mention sub-categories of bedding, only that the kind of bedding being sold is “chick.” Full internal consistency.


And that brings us to Ambiguity vs. Clarity. Is “Modern” always a good thing? Is it always clear what “modern” means? For some people, modern means mid-century, mad-men styled stuff. For some it means science-fiction ultra-modern stuff. And some might just think it means contemporary. The point is that the meaning of modern bedding is fuzzy enough to leave a lot of ambiguity and uncertainty about what’s being offered.


Whereas “Chic” has a universally positive characteristic. It’s like sylish’s cooler and hipper cousin and it carries a lot more voltage. Even if people have a different idea what chic means, they can probably imagine their version of chic bedding. So you’ve got a more powerful and vivid mental image, creating greater perceived clarity around the offer.


Better yet, because Ad B’s Call-to-Action talks about “bedding sets” this internal consistency reinforces the shopper’s notion of “chic” bedding, as opposed to the losing ad’s laundry list of different items which hurt that ad’s internal consistency.