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How to Optimize Entertainment and Media Ads for Clicks, According to AI

Want to put together a campaign that’s sure to perform? Check out these data-backed tips and boost those clicks.

Every image is packed with visual information. By analyzing how audiences interact with the creative elements within an image, Shutterstock.AI predicts clickability.

Today, we look at which creative decisions are paying off for advertisers in the entertainment and media industries. Artificial intelligence examined the last few years of creative data to discover: 

What are the best casting decisions for ads in the industry?How should you dress your cast? Which settings are the most clickable—and how can you optimize less-clickable settings to enhance their performance?What activities are most engaging in entertainment imagery? 

So, whether you’re writing a commercial or leading a campaign to promote a new book, let’s see what AI recommends for your creative direction.

Curate Your Most Clickable Cast

Casting is one of the most important creative decisions of all, as poor casting choices can live in infamy. When it comes to selecting the most clickable cast members for media ads, AI has some insights.

In terms of actual people, senior citizens have the highest click-through rates (CTRs) in the industry. In fact, their CTR went up a whopping 710% since just last year.

Trends in Media Ads: Grandmother with Grandchild

Senior Friends Watching Movie

Senior Couple on Bench

Grandmother Hugging Grandson
The second-most clickable cast members for media ads are boys, but seniors are still 108% more engaging. Images via Martin Novak, bbernard, PhotographerIncognito, and Zurijeta.

When it comes to animals, cats make the most clickable type of companion. Their CTR has gone up 40% in this industry over the last two years.

Feline friends are even 8% more clickable than birds and 12% more clickable than dogs.

Trends in Media Ads: Senior Man Holding His Cat

Man and His Cat

Senior Woman Holding Her Cat

Ginger Maine Coon
Choose to meow, instead of bow-bow. Images via Caftor, Chumpon Pornnuam, Strannik_fox, and Inna Vlasova.

Data Says to Get Dressed Up

Perhaps this is in retaliation to the athleisure and work-from-home fashion we’ve collectively indulged in over the past few years. Whatever the cause may be, data tells us that dressier clothing is in for entertainment and media.

In fact, vests are the most clickable item of clothing for ads in the media industry. Images that contain a vest have seen their CTR rise 59% since 2019. Skirts are in too, with their CTR being 20% higher than pants. Sweaters are even beating out sweatshirts, with 114% more clickability.

Trends in Media Ads: Man Wearing Sweater Vest

Woman and Dog with Matching Sweaters

Trends in Media Ads: Woman in Skirt and Vest

Man in Suit
Bonus points if you have a sweater vest. Images via Juan He, PH888, WAYHOME studio, and Alex Yakimovski.

When it comes to accessories, hats are 107% clickier than beanies. Even high heels are having a moment, with their CTR up 51% over the last two years. 

Fashion Trends in Media Ads: Man Wearing Fedora

Colorful High Heels

Woman Wearing Hat and Sweater

Trends in Media Ads: New Year's Party
From head to toe, AI says you should dress up for media ads! Images via Prostock-studio, nullplus, Dean Drobot, and oneinchpunch.

Outdoor Settings Are Best for Media Ads

Throughout the pandemic, outdoor activities have grown in popularity, thanks to their allowance for social distancing. As noted across several other industries, like travel and real estate, outdoor settings have proven to be the most clickable for entertainment and media, as well.

This year, photos set outdoors have had an 80% higher CTR than indoor ones. Rural settings have been 51% more clickable than cities, to boot. And, interestingly, winter scenes are the most engaging seasonal settings of all. 

Trends in Media Ads: Cat in a Scarf

Emerald Lake Lodge

Trends in Media Ads: Grandfather and Granddaughter in Winter Setting

Japanese Pagoda

Dog and Cat Running in Snow
Baby, it’s cold (and clickable) outside. As for the race, the cat’s got this. Images via vvvita, rybarmarekk, Halfpoint, Paitoon Pornsuksomboon, and Bachkova Natalia.

If you’re looking for something a littler warmer though, data tells us that sandy getaways are also top performers. Recently, lakes have been the most clickable outdoor setting, seeing their CTR climb 146% over the past two years.

Beyond lakes, beaches are the second most-clickable location, with sand’s CTR rising 452% since 2019. 

Trends in Media Ads: Italy's Lake Como

St. James Park UK

Aerial View of Beach

Trends in Media Ads: Miami Beach

Railay Beach
Throw in some sunny day beach or lake setting in your media ads for a tropical feel. Images via Petru Stan, Sven Hansche, Ink Drop, Sean Pavone, and Preto Perola.

You Can Still Optimize Indoor Settings

Even though outdoor settings are more clickable, there are still ways to optimize photos set inside. AI tells us that choosing the right home and location can greatly improve performance.

For example, the most clickable type of home is a house—and the most clickable room in a house is the living room. The CTR of living rooms is 30% higher than bathrooms and 73% higher than kitchens. 

Certain accessories will boost a campaign’s clickability, too. One example of this are sculptures. Over the last two years, consumers have become 519% more likely to click on an image if it contains a sculpture or statue. 

Trends in Media Ads: Cat in Living Room

Pink-Accented Living Room

Modern Living Room

Minimalist Living Room

Trends in Media Ads: Family Dancing in Living Room

Stylish Living Room Composition
Include 3D art for five times the clicks. Images via Alena Ozerova,, Zastolskiy Victor, Followtheflow, fizkes, and Followtheflow.

The Most Clickable Entertainment Ad Activities 

Getting out and staying active has been a top priority for many people during the pandemic. This has certainly been showing up in creative trends, too.

When it comes to athletics, AI tells us that soccer and golf are both highly engaging . . . and tied as the most-clickable sports.

Behind them comes football, with a CTR that’s just 14% lower. Running is performing well too, with its clickability having risen 30% over the last two years. 

Trends in Media Ads: Kids Playing Soccer

Golfer Lin Yezhou

Trends in Media Ads: Father and Daughter Playing Football

Friends Jogging
These sports are in it to win it. Images via Africa Studio, mooinblack, LightField Studios, and Rido.

If you’d rather center your creative around more relaxing activities, AI tells us the following are trending up: 

Eating salads has seen its CTR go up 125,826% since last year.Drinking wine has seen its CTR go up 230% over the last two years. Reading books is 93% more clickable than video games. Writing is clickable, too . . . with pens having a 54% average higher CTR than pencils or laptops.
Trends in Media Ads: Man Enjoying Salad

Young Girl Reading

Senior Couple Drinking Wine

Reading on Couch

Trends in Media Ads: Woman Journaling
Eating, drinking, or just relaxing . . . these are the ways to make your media ads more engaging. Image via, ESB Professional, oneinchpunch, Prostock-studio, and GaudiLab.

Cover image via Preto Perola.

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