UGC For Fashion Brands: Why & How To Do It

This was originally published in the No Best Practices newsletter on 04.16.2023.

Ugly ads? For my fashion brand?

If you spend any time on DTC Twitter, you’ve probably heard that “ugly ads” or UGC-style ad creative is a must-have if you’re running Meta ads. But this tactic is under-utilized by fashion brands, and other brands with wide, shallow product catalogs.

How do I know this? I struggle mightily to find good competitive examples in this space when I do research for my own clients. Many brands recycle the lookbook shoots they do for wholesale accounts and run them as ads.

Why does it matter? Because “ads that don’t look like ads” crush traditional, polished campaign photography every time. I have seen low-fi ads transform fashion brands from “Facebook doesn’t work for us” to sales growth and profitable new customer acquisition.

These ads don’t even have to be ugly. They just can’t look like they’ve been shot by a professional photographer and ripped from the pages of Vogue. You’ll have to give up some aesthetic control, but you can still apply a brand framework to this type of ad.

Here is everything you need to know to try out this format in a way that your media buyer, CFO and creative director can get behind.

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