“Programmatic creative is using technology to automatically create and iterate ads on the fly, in any size, that can be served in real time,” says Hirsch. “This means more creative flexibility and more efficient campaigns.”
In the same way that programmatic media increased the use of technology for more efficient media buying, technology is being used to help advertisers build creative effectively. Hirsch remarks that this kind of tool has been needed since programmatic media first started, but advertisers were focused on getting the media buying done right first.
Over time, more pieces of the puzzle will come into play in the programmatic arena, Hirsch says. “Media being the first one, creative the second one. I think we’ll see analytics as another one, and of course, all the ancillary things that have to come with that, such as viewability, attribution, etc,” he adds. “All the pieces of the digital media puzzle need to be converted from the old way of doing business to the programmatic way of doing business.”
While it might sound similar, programmatic is different from dynamic display. Dynamic display uses a template and pulls creative elements from data files based on a consumer’s activity. This can be very effective in a retargeting mode, but as Hirsch explains, 40% of premium publishers will not accept dynamic creative tags. This is due to creative that is changing in real time and the inability for the publisher to review the ad. Premium publishers would not want to run ads on their site that they cannot review, and programmatic creative solves this problem.
“Programmatic creative is syncing with the industry in a more specific way where you are still creating many iterations of your message in all different sizes, [but] the output of that is a reviewable ad that can go through the approval process that’s still required by most publishers,” explains Hirsch. “It is taking the concept of what dynamic was designed to do and putting it into place in a way that is much more consistent with how this industry does business.”
The idea is not to automate the creative process, which will always be done by people. Instead, the goal is to automate the production of the ads. “The ideas, the concepts, the strategies and even the copy still have to come from people,” suggests Hirsch. “What we’re talking about is automating the ability to take those elements and put them into display and mobile units very efficiently and effectively by taking those things that are premium, such as your copy, your concept -- those kinds of things -- and then using the tools to make all of that reach more people, more effectively and more personally.”
Programmatic creative will likely go through the same type of lifecycle as programmatic media buying. “It should be accelerated somewhat because of the acceptance of the use of technology to facilitate digital media, and it will still have to go through that curve where you get early adopters, and then you start to see the product mature where more and more people recognize the value of it and take advantage of it,” estimates Hirsch.
Programmatic creative can address an important problem and help to bring programmatic to the next level. I predict innovation like this will increase performance and streamline the process. Hats off to CPXi.