Creative In An Ad Exchange World

In all the hype and excitement of demand sides, buy sides, and the mystique of real-time bidding (RTB), there's one topic that hasn't been adequately addressed just yet -- the quality of the creative message. If you increase the relevancy of an ad placement by retargeting or buying audiences that are of higher value to an advertiser this only puts a heavier weight on the message you give to that audience, right?

I compare this to the likes of my junior high experience when I was urged to ask Tiffany S. (one of the most attractive 7th graders that ever lived) out on a date. Together, our friends co-conspired to have us walk by each other at the most opportune time afterschool in the courtyard. The moment I was close enough to utter a few words...I froze and out came "err...uhh....Um....", and nothing more. I stood there for what felt like one very long moment and then ran as fast as I could to ball practice.

The right ad, to the right person at right time, is the same pressure placed on communicating correctly at a specific moment. My question to advertisers is: Are you equipped to handle the question of "what is the right ad?" If we keep precedence and deliver a static product image with a catchy text offer along with a place to click for more information, then the development of solutions for better audience buying and targeting have little hope of success. The end result is that a lot of effort is put into reaching a very specific audience and the opportunity is nullified by delivering yet another ad that is not engaging.



Pairing the right ad with the right person is a delicate balance and requires more than just targeting the media placement. Advertisers will have to start putting more thought and time into thinking through the audiences that they are buying through the exchanges. Yes, this does create a huge opportunity to say that perfect line or display the most engaging ad to a potentially primed group of people, but that pairing will not happen by chance. Here are the items that an advertiser needs to consider when interested in buying audiences via the exchange:


  • 1. What are the opportunities (prior experience with your brand or demographic trait) that warrant buying on the exchange?
  • 2. What message and thus ad concept is most likely to engage with that audience?
  • 3. Where can rich media enhance those opportunities?
  • 4. What are the expectations in terms of reporting per placement, version, message, etc?
  • 5. Does your DSP /RTB partner have a solution or integrations to help you with dealing with both media targeting and creative messages that will be needed?

Since inventory may be cheaper or even more efficient, it can easily be executed with little regard for the consumer's attention.

However, with a more direct connection to potential customers, smart brands will realize that more strategy will be needed. There are still a finite number of chances to impress the customer and grasp their attention until they move on to the next best thing. Increasing the relevancy of a lame ad makes no sense. Just like my set up with Tiffany, it is a wasted opportunity. Oh, and by the way, my competition, Brad, got a similar chance to ask Tiffany out the very next day and he not only scored a date, but went out with Tiffany for two weeks -- an eternity for junior high.

1 comment about "Creative In An Ad Exchange World".
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  1. Paul Knegten from Dapper, Inc., April 1, 2010 at 10:50 p.m.

    Well, enter product-based dynamic creative :)

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