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What inputs to give Pencil for best results 📷
What inputs to give Pencil for best results 📷
Will Hanschell avatar
Written by Will Hanschell
Updated over a week ago

Here we go, the number one question!

"What inputs should I upload into Pencil to get the best ads?"

First of all, the inputs you provide to Pencil are really important. It's a case of GIGO (garbage in, garbage out.) If you upload beautiful branding and lots of great assets, Pencil will generate killer ads for you. If you upload a single product image and branding that's just black and white... well, best not to find out.

First things first - your branding

The brand kit you create in Pencil is super important. Every single ad that Pencil generates will use it, so setting it up well is the single best way to ensure your ads look great. Here's what you need:

  1. A brand description of a few sentences or a few paragraphs

  2. Dark and light logos with transparent backgrounds (.png files)

  3. Fonts as .ttf or .otf files (or choose from our library of Google Fonts)

  4. Colors as #hex codes

  5. Music as .mp3 files (or choose from our library of royalty-free tracks)

  6. Background graphics as .jpg or .png (or choose from our library of textures)

Setting up your brand kit is easy. Start with a description of your brand that details what you stand for, what your products are, who your brand is for and what its main uses cases are. Provide as many facts about the brand as you can, and try to do it in your brand's tone of voice as Pencil will pick this up! A shortcut is often to lift the text from the homepage of your website.

Next you'll need to provide your logo files (both dark and light versions with a transparent background), your colors (as hex codes) and your font (either upload a TTF/OTF file or choose a Google Font). You can further customize your brand kit with music (your own or from our stock music library), custom background graphics and button styles.

Top tips for a great brand kit:

  • Use a long description with a distinctive tone of voice

  • Use the duplicate function to create a variety of brand "looks"

  • Aim for high contrast but light colors which go well with your products

  • Try to provide custom background graphics if your brand uses them

  • Use a horizontal logo or wordmark that actually shows your brand name!

And now the main event - your assets

The good news is that Pencil accepts all the common asset types that pretty much every brand has sat in a Google Drive somewhere. And Pencil accepts these assets in pretty much any aspect ratio and size within reason. Here's what you need:

  1. Pack shots as white/light background .jpg or .png files up to 10MB, 2000px

  2. Lifestyle images as .jpg or .png files up to 10MB, 2000px

  3. Product videos with music as .mp4 files up to 200MB, 10 mins, 1080p

  4. UGC videos with voiceovers as .mp4 files up to 200MB, 10 mins, 1080p

You can bulk upload your product pack shots, lifestyle images, product video (with music) or UGC video (with a voiceover.) And you should try to upload all of these asset types, as the best ads often include more than one of them.

Top tips for great assets:

  • Bulk upload everything you've got! Pencil will help you choose what to use

  • In general each brief should include 10 assets, ideally a mix of the 4 types

  • 10 assets should allow you to generate dozens of ads for testing

  • Don't upload any assets that already have text! Pencil will add text for you

  • Use Pencil to remove backgrounds from your product images

  • Keep videos under 10 minutes long and images under 2000x2000px

  • Think about what assets you actually have, as you probably have more than you realize! Customer testimonials, screenshots of 3D product renders, behind-the-scenes videos, bloopers, B-roll, app screenshots, CEO interviews etc. all make for great ads content

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