MasterClass vs Studio – Who Nailed Paid Social Ads?

MasterClass vs Studio

MasterClass: MasterClass offers online classes created for students of all skill levels. Our instructors are the best in the world.

Studio: Studio creates hands-on classes with the world’s best creators.

The Positioning

Both are similar products – one focuses on content with celebrities and the other on creators.

The other difference is that Studio focuses on “hands-on” learning while Masterclass is for “all skill levels,” so both are addressing different markets.

That’s about what they are and how they are different (positioning).

The reason I picked these two is that they both use their teachers’ credibility to sell their courses.

Ads that appeal

Caveat: I’ll be only picking slightly older ads that are still “active” – they tell me that those ads are performing “well”. We’ll be evaluating two to three of the best video ads and some single-image ads.

Note: Click on the ad first and check them out, and then look at my evaluation afterwards (to understand it well)


This ad (thanks for Foreplay I can save it and evaluate it later) has been running since October, and we can learn a lot from it.


So, here’s the script and its structure.


So, what do we learn from it? The structure:

  • Hook – Show, don’t tell with his performance
  • Intro
  • Credibility
  • Benefit
  • How
  • JBTD
  • CTA

Now you can use this for your ads too. Surprisingly, he didn’t even use the brand name once in the entire ad. Also, it is weird that they don’t use captions at all.

Let’s jump into the MasterClass ads.


Apparently, MasterClass does not use the teacher all the time; instead, they use clips and add more content that supports the teacher.


We are using Esther’s ads because they were recently launched in October and are still active. She teaches Relational intelligence. I had no idea who she was until I saw her ads.

First, wow! I have never heard about this term, so I am naturally curious to learn more.

Ad # 1 – Difficult conversaion


Apparently, MasterClass ads are shorter; they create an open loop and make the viewer curious enough to check the landing page.



  • The hook directly addresses someone who is a leader and manager because they need to fire someone
  • Credibility is the face of the celebrity

Ad # 2 – Stage ad



This one ad is long (1 minute & 19 seconds), but the ad makes sure that it has a second hook for viewers to continue watching. The hook is the question, and her stage performance is a pattern disruptor.

Key learning:

  • Long videos – add more hooks and open-loop questions
  • Use stage as a hook
  • Agitate the pain by asking a question

Now that we have a good idea of how their video ads are working, let’s see how good their single-image ads are.

I’ll talk about below each add what stood out to me as learning.


Studio’s ads are below, and both get into the “promised land” after the teacher.



They are definitely simpler and in your face ad with selling the course with some credibility.



The headline above with an empty seat gets my attention and speaks to me.


This one is my favorite because it hits my inner desire to be with people.


Nothing fancy other than an open loop about “Relational Intelligence”. I guess they wanted to use Esther’s credibility and face to sell the course.

How can you apply it to your ads/marketing

  • Use stage as a hook with an opened ended, relatable yet deeply insightful question
  • If you make videos longer than 60 seconds, use two hooks and add more questions
  • With your ads, you can follow this structure – Hook > Intro > Credibility > Benefit > Benefit > How > JBTD > CTA
  • Sell “What” with a promised land in the picture
  • Primary Text on Facebook Ads focus copy does not matter that much
  • Always use credibility even if you are a known face
  • You can explain your product or service with text and a talking head ad together

The Short of It

A credible face does get attention, but you still need a hook that gets your audience’s interest more than a face. And if your video is more than 60 seconds, at least have two hooks (one in the beginning and a second in the middle)





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