Perricone MD Red Pencil Banner



It's important to mix up your creative pool so that you avoid banner degradation. This practice not only keeps your creatives fresh, but sometimes lets you find new, winning layouts. When Mercatis™ Media won a contract with top beauty brand Perricone MD, it was important for us to test with a variety of creative. We started with the traditional beauty banner layout which utilized before and after photos to get clicks. To help these creatives run longer, we also needed to come up with alternative creative to test.


When I get unique projects like this one, I like to take my time and brainstorm out ideas on my sketch pad. The answer isn't always the obvious one...and creativity is critical for concepts like this. My thought process went something like this, "The Polaroid style has been over done, whole face comparisons wouldn't fit in the file size requirements, and simply moving the BAs around on screen just felt weak. What would I want in a wrinkle cream? I really would just want to erase my wrinkles." Once I had that thought in my mind, I knew what I had to do. I needed to make a banner that would let the consumer visibly erase wrinkles on screen.

A/B Testing

Iteration 1

The starting point for this banner ad centered around the pencil animation and its heavy ActionScripting. In order to meet deadlines, I stuck with previously approved messaging. The ad demonstrated a lot of promise, but it was still far from its final evolution.

Iteration 2

Now that the concept was proven, I was able to innovate and improve the ad. The orange / yellow of the pencil fell flat when I saw the banner live in its placement. Thus, the first thing I went after was color. The second iteration ended up being changed to be a bold red color. Originally I was hesitant to use red, simply because it symbolizes "stop," but when I dubbed the banner into the placement it really popped off the page. Luckily, the numbers agreed with me for another win.

Iteration 3

The final iteration of this banner ad had to deal with copy. Since I used default copy to start with, I knew it would be a good test to brainstorm some alternative messages. The clear messaging winner utilized a line directly from Dr. Perricone ("The Wrinkle Cure") along with a trimmed down bullet list that didn't overwhelm the awesomeness of the pencil animation itself. The resulting banner ad outperformed the classic before and after ad, becoming the clear control in a number of days.


  • Developed an original ActionScript that caught eyes by allowing the user to interact with the ad. This dramatically increased CTR's and conversions because of the natural tendency users had to click on the pencil.
  • Transformed the classic representation of a before and after photo into something fresh and new in the market space.

Red Pencil - Property of Mercatis™ Media
Perricone MD Red Pencil, Iteration 1 - Property of Mercatis™ Media
Perricone MD Red Pencil, Iteration 1 - Property of Mercatis™ Media
Perricone MD Red Pencil, Iteration 2 - Property of Mercatis™ Media
Perricone MD Red Pencil, Iteration 2 - Property of Mercatis™ Media