Ad Proofing featured image

Ad Proofing: What It Is & How to Do It (for Agencies & Creatives)

If there’s one thing that you can guarantee about the internet, it’s that nothing on the web can ever be truly forgotten. The internet always remembers. 

Once something is on the web, it’s virtually impossible to remove. From Beyonce’s hilarious photo fail to Rihanna’s extra thumbs in her Instagram posts – many have tried to remove stuff from the internet. And yet, it never works. 

This means that if you release an ad creative online that isn’t properly reviewed, you could essentially enter your company’s name in the list of ‘fails’ that exist on the web. 

That’s why you need ad proofing to avoid such expensive (and potentially hilarious) slip ups. In this article, we discuss what ad proofing is, its importance, and, more importantly, how to do it properly. 

ad proofing failed campaign
You’d have thought that at least one person would have spotted the alarming implication in this poorly worded advert!

What is Ad Proofing?

Ad proofing is a comprehensive process where a team is responsible for reviewing the different aspects of an ad, including the creatives (video, photos) and the copy, to ensure that it’s error-free.

Ad proofing is an important part of quality control, and is usually the last stage before a finalized ad is sent to the client. Companies primarily use collaborative platforms to comment on ad creatives to highlight key points, such as:

  • Poorly written copy
  • Design issues (Photoshop errors)
  • Content that might be offensive to some readers
  • Grammatical or semantic errors

Here’s another example of a terrible, yet incredibly funny fail that underlines the importance of ad proofing:

ad proofing failed campaign 2
Source: Copywriter

If these guys took ad proofing seriously, someone would definitely have pointed out the error (firsthand, rather than first hand. Removing the space would have saved some face!) 

But, now that you understand what ad proofing is and how important it really is, let’s talk about how to do it. 

Ad Proofing 101: How to Proof Your Ads

Here’s a full guide to help you ad proof all creative elements before you send them off to your client. 

Create an Interdisciplinary Team

You can’t expect a designer to have a strong handle on the copy, and you can’t expect copywriters to give you comprehensive design tips.

Before you start an ad proofing session, you need a team of professionals who can actually look over different sections. 

Ideally, you need a creative designer or a video editor, and you need a copywriter to review all the text. Creating an interdisciplinary team ensures that you’re able to cover every aspect of an ad. 

Use a Collaborative Platform like Atarim to Identify Improvements

Ad proofing is only possible when all team members use a collaborative platform. Instead of sending emails back and forth, it’s much easier to just bring everyone together on a single platform and gather their feedback.

ad proofing visual feedback example and resolving comments on Atarim

Atarim’s frontend visual feedback and collaboration feature allows teams to comment on creatives, explaining changes to specific parts of the creative. This reduces needless communication and ensures that feedback isn’t lost in translation. It’s the ideal platform for high-performance teams to identify and communicate changes swiftly. 

Atarim allows team members to review the different designs for ad creatives, then leave their comments directly on the page for everyone else in the team to see. 

This way, all information is collated and gathered in one place, allowing other team members to review it, and make the necessary changes before the ad creatives are forwarded to the client.

Using a collaborative platform like Atarim also reduces needless communication via email or through platforms such as Slack, making it easier for teams to gather feedback and identify common errors.

Improve Feedback Loops

Companies often have difficulty in gathering feedback over longer sessions. It can be hard for creative individuals to implement feedback that’s been collected over email, as understanding the thought process behind each suggestion may not always be clear. 

On top of that, clients are frequently left frustrated when the edits aren’t quite how they envisioned them. 

This is one of the main reasons why companies need to invest considerable time improving feedback loops. When using a tool such as Atarim, this can be done more easily – quickly identifying common errors, and creating systems and processes to ensure that they aren’t repeated. 

Visual commenting makes it easy to ensure that all parties understand the context in which a particular comment was left – there is no ambiguity or misunderstanding. 

Why Use a Visual Commenting Tool for Ad Proofing?

There are a number of benefits that creative teams stand to gain for using a visual commenting tool for ad proofing. Here are some of the main reasons. 

Cut Down on Emails and Scattered Communication

Ad proofing is difficult when you have different team members leaving comments across various channels, in different ways. Scattered communication can prolong the time it takes to proof an ad, and there’s always a risk that something will be missed.

With a tool such as Atarim, you can ensure that communication is streamlined and kept in one single place. And, since these are visual comments, it’s also easier to understand the context behind each comment.

Save Everything in One Place

Tools like Atarim make it easy for companies to improve efficiency in workflows. Everything is saved in one location, allowing team members to easily find what they need. 

They don’t have to worry about sifting through email threads to find specific comments before implementing an edit. This also makes it easier to look for other ads that the team has worked on and to ensure consistency throughout.

Better Workflows

Collaborative platforms like Atarim make it easier for companies to improve workflows. Because there are multiple individuals from various disciplines collaborating on one ad, it’s also easier to identify and remove internal biases. 

Gather Client Feedback

Once you send the creative assets to a client after ad proofing, you’ll also have to gather their feedback and implement it. 

With Atarim, it becomes much easier to determine exactly what the client is thinking when they leave a comment, as they can leave feedback on specific sections of the ads. 

On-Time Deliveries

Visual commenting tools also ensure that you are able to collaborate with each other, gather comments, resolve them, and deliver the project on time to your client. 

You can review all comments, keep track of those that were resolved, and identify any recurring issues. Since all of it’s done through a single platform, it’s much easier to get the ad ready for sign off and ensure a timely delivery. 

How to Improve Your Ad Proofing Workflow in 5 Steps

visual commenting feedback gathering on Atarim

Visual commenting tools like Atarim make it easier for organizations to gather feedback and streamline ad proofing sessions. If you work in a distributed team, Atarim can simplify communication and ensure all comments and data is gathered in one place. 

Here’s how to improve your ad proofing workflow in 5 simple steps using Atarim:

1. Upload Your Ad Creatives to Atarim

uploading ad creatives to Atarim

Once you log into Atarim, you can upload images into the tool. Atarim supports all popular image formats, including PNG, JPG, SVG, and BMP. 

2. Create and Assign Proofing Tasks

create and assign proofing tasks in atarim

Atarim lets you assign tasks to different team members, so you can easily bring your ad proofing team together to get their feedback. 

3. Gather Feedback

gathering feedback on Atarim for proofing

The next step is to gather feedback from your ad proofing team. Atarim lets them leave comments on specific areas of the ad creatives, making it easier to understand the context behind each comment.

4. Resolve Comments

ad proofing visual feedback example and resolving comments on Atarim

Once you get feedback from your ad proofing team, you can go through it and resolve all comments to prepare the creatives for final delivery. 

5. Track Team Activity and Bill Your Client

tracking team activity and billing your clients on Atarim

Atarim also lets you track billable hours, review team activity, and ensure that you get paid for the work done by the team. You can generate reports showing hours worked by each user, and use those to bill your client. 

Start collaborating online in seconds with the free forever version of Atarim, and discover how much easier and more effective it is to communicate visually rather than using lengthy email conversations!

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