The Highlights

  • Ads with predominately white backgrounds were the best performing in terms of conversions but at the bottom of the pack in terms of CTR
  • Ads that utilized green backgrounds had strong CTR but weak conversions
  • Ads dominated by orange backgrounds were bad in terms of CTR and CPA

Does background color impact your performance?

The Darwin team is constantly using our technology to see if we can spot trends across the market. Darwin analyzed 200 million impressions to see if we could determine what background colors will move the needle in terms of performance. While marketers intuitively know that background color is important, many are not tracking it in relation to performance metrics.  

Our Methodology

Given there are millions of colors, we had to first break down the data into meaningful segments. Darwin used a ‘box of crayons’ technique where we took the predominant color of each visual, and found the “closest color” (closest hex code) in a “box of 9 crayons”. This allowed us to pinpoint what was doing well without getting lost in the infinite mess of color variability. We then aggregated the data to break the CPA’s down into five quintiles (with 5 being the best performing). Pairing this information with our aggregated CTR data, we were able to make the three following conclusions.

The Results

White Backgrounds - Best conversions but bottom of the pack on CTR

Surprisingly, white backgrounds ranked 1st in CPA. While showing great conversions, they also unfortunately ranked 7th in CTR. This ultimately means white backgrounds are best at conversions but not clicks.

Two examples of ads with predominantly white background colors:

Green Backgrounds - Strong CTR but bottom of the pack in terms of CPA

Backgrounds showcasing primarily green colors had the strongest CTR results but fell in the second to last quintile for CPA. Unfortunately, strong click performance did not translate to high conversions.

Two examples of ads with predominantly green background colors:

Orange Backgrounds - Poor CTR and CPA

Orange was universally bad. It struggled both in terms of CTR and CPA. Pairing the worst CPA result with very poor CTR results, it is safe to say orange backgrounds are not a risk worth taking (for now).

Two examples of ads utilizing primarily orange background colors:

The Full Dataset

About Darwin AI

Darwin AI is a SaaS company that helps marketers identify and test data driven creative to improve the effectiveness of marketing campaigns. Founded in 2018 by former Mediaocean co- founder, Darwin has offices in New York and Chicago.

For more information about our technology or to schedule a demo, please visit us at