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Banner Design Inspiration – 5 Big Brands That Nailed It

Banner Design Inspiration – 5 Big Brands That Nailed It

Banner ads are prevalent online – from Google to Facebook and beyond, just about every business uses them. In fact, the average startup spends $9,000 on Google Ads.

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However, banner ads have gained an unfavorable reputation from the online community. This is because of the increase in ad-clicking bots, rise in native advertising, and the constant presence of ad-blocking software.

If your banner ad audience has no prior knowledge of your business, they might consider your ads as spam.

By creating a relevant banner design that caters to your target demographic, you can stand out amongst your competitors in the sphere of online ads.

Not sure what makes for a great banner ad design? Let’s draw some inspiration from the world’s biggest brands.



The Starbucks name alone is enough to make you understand the importance of banner ads. This corporation made 22.4 billion dollars worth of caffeination in the year 2019.

The primary reason that this luxury coffee enterprise made advancements in its growth is due to its online advertising endeavors. Of course, one cannot ignore their delicious Caramel Frappuccino which is still the star of their enterprise.

If you have seen the banner design of Starbucks, you will notice how similar they are in layouts especially when it pertains to their branding guide. However, the designing aspect of these elements is either copied or distinct in order to maintain the consistency of their brand.

If you look at their Macchiato beverage, they are artistically swirled and drizzled with caramel. This exudes the feeling of elegance and richness. The Macchiato is a mixture of cream and gold.  Its “beautifully layered” supporting copy, reflects upon its elegant outlook.

If you take a closer look, you will realize that Starbucks makes banner ads of new flavors that complement the seasons. Refreshers are promoted in the summer season which is appealing to customers who want a cool fresh beverage.

You can adopt the same process and design for your banner that reflects the atmosphere of your product. It is necessary to limit the designs and not overdo it or else you will seem desperate which is negative for your brand. Stay within your boundaries and focus on design elements such as texture, structure, color, font, and imagery.

It doesn’t hurt to include an offer in your banner design. This will gain you more clicks and revenue.



Oakley made a “One Obsession” campaign in which they displayed several athletes admiring their own sporting games. The Oakley Banner ads showed these athletes wearing Oakley products in their fields as well as in everyday life.

Oakley managed to stand out by advertising the essence of their products particularly the lifestyle and the vibe that came from using the sunglasses. Basically, you can never become a professional athlete and you don’t need to become one to wear these shades. But by putting them on you can envision and feel as if you are among those elite players.

Most of the Oakley athletes appear to be looking at something that is beyond the camera view. This artful and focused look evokes the feeling of the experience associated with the wearing of Oakley sunglasses.

Oakley has utilized Twitter and Instagram by associating their banner with the #CantStop hashtag. You can find this hashtag on all their pictures. Anyone who uses the hashtag will equally feel connected with the elite athlete lifestyle. These banner ads are effective in making the Oakley brand recognizable, especially when utilized in a retargeting campaign.

Instead of a sole picture of a product. You should utilize your product being used by real and authentic people in the real world. Then snap a pic of it to showcase how original your product really is. Convey to your audience that your product does not come with sunglasses. It comes with a lifestyle.



Chipotle changed the game with its banner design which was not only spicy but also politically charged. Using copy pertaining to sustainable farming, they boasted about providing the best ingredients raised with respect for animals and the environment.

The choice of grey hues may seem boring at first view. But the boring aspect of the banner ads actually works to Chipotle’s advantage. It elaborates on the message that there is more to the burrito than they are offering. Designers at Chipotle enhanced the copy of “Genetically Engineered by Mother Nature” where it is filled in the space between two rounded foils, creating a mirage of a burrito. Their usage of the “genetically engineered” is basically to reassure their health-conscious audience that their product is healthy and safe.



Sephora has been dominating the online advertising game since their inception in 2000. The key ingredient to their success is relevance especially when they are so fashion-forward. They need to retain this relevance to lock in their loyal following.

Are your audience into the 90s pop culture? Are they fans of reality TV? Enhance the interest of your audience with the usage of references from a group, phrase, app, or behavior which they will proactively respond to. Sephora did this with a Tinder-style campaign for its banner ads.

Don’t overdo it when it comes to references that will make your base confused. The context of the message is irrelevant unless your message is complete.

Dollar Shave Club


You might be aware of the old toilet paper commercials where a customer showcases how they are pouring liquid on toilet paper and comparing products against their competitive brands.

Believe it or not, this strategy is not passe. In fact, it is still as effective as it was in the 90s. The Dollar Shave Club appropriated this tactic and adopted the art of comparison.

The Dollar Shave Club banner design showcases both its products and the other ones. Both share similar packaging and design. The difference lies in the pricing, not in their features and quality. Its background is also distinguished to give a little edge to the ads.

You could adopt light and vibrant colors for yourself and make the distinction between your brand and the dull and boring aura of the other. The branding industry is fiercely competitive. You need to make sure your competitor never has the advantage over you especially when it comes to banner design ideas.

Wrapping up

The banner design competition is ruthless. You need to utilize everything in your arsenal to give leverage to your product or service. By making authentic, bright, and lively banners, you can stand out from the crowd.

It is not about stealing or cheating from these brand’s ideas. It is more about taking inspiration from them. All is fair in love and war and this is no exception.

Guest author: Tabish Khalid works as the Digital Marketing Manager for Designster. He develops and implements digital strategies for Designster, along with aligning business goals with digital marketing activities. He actively contributes articles related to digital and content marketing.

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