When advertising networks get with the program
Advertising networks used to have their own specific technology, used solely by their departments to buy inventories. But that’s all changing. More and more advertising networks (such as Teads, Tabmo and S4M) are developing their own creative studios to ensure optimum compliance with the network’s in-house formatting rules, thus boosting campaign effectiveness.
All this requires is supplying the creative assets and leaving the advertising network to get on with producing different variations. This avoids having low-performing, non-adapted formats.
Technology used for storytelling
New formats resulting in new creative opportunities
It goes without saying that Google draws heavily on these technical and AI aspects throughout its campaigns. This is particularly noticeable on its platform YouTube, in which a flexible and targeted process lets you combine different videos to tell a story, based for example on past interactions with a video (e.g. video viewed in full, skipped videos, etc.). The Video Ad Sequencing feature allows advertisers to transition from one video sequence to another based on earlier interaction. Different formats can be combined such as Bumper Ads (six non-skippable seconds), TrueView InStream (personalized running time, skippable) and TrueView For Action (personalized running time, skippable with a Call-To-Action prompt at the end that redirects traffic to a website, for example).
Yet again, media/creative integration is key here. While the media agency has insider knowledge of the advertising formats available, the creative agency has the power to turn ideas into something concrete. Ahead of a campaign launch, the media agency needs to select and recommend the best YouTube formats depending on the campaign’s objectives (reach, engagement, conversions, etc.), passing this information on to the creative agency. The latter will then take care of storyboarding and developing an advertising narrative based on the different chosen formats.
Before launch, it’s important to reflect on a few questions to ensure you get the sequencing right: What’s the goal (reach, engagement, conversion, etc.)? What’s the most relevant opening video? What message can be used to re-target a user who skips the video vs. one who watches the video in full? Are there any key dates to consider (e.g. store opening, flash sales, VIP events, etc.)?
Using your target as a source of creative inspiration
Another area of added value that shines through in the creative/media pairing is in how video content can be tailored depending on the audience. Again, on YouTube, you can use various targeting features available on the platform to identify the preferences and interests of a category of user (e.g. Affinity Audiences, In-Market Audiences, Custom Affinity Audiences). This precious information can be plowed into the creative strategy, using a single creative framework to create different variations, weaving a personalized story depending on the campaign’s set target audiences.
This approach is particularly well-suited to short, digital-native formats in which creative variations are less expensive than a TV branding commercial.
As an example, Volvic developed several videos using a single template, changing the baseline according to the audience or type of video that would be viewed just after: « take on the wave » before a surfing video, and « ready to become a chef » before a cookery video.
While new technological opportunities are coming to light, it soon emerges that these new solutions only yield maximum results when bridges are built and synergy developed between media and creative teams. This brings us back to the subject of organizational structure between the various parties involved. It would seem as if we’ve come full circle. But although the advantages and necessity of overhauling the way we currently work seem obvious, how do you start and what stage are you at in incorporating creative and media integration into your campaign management? We tackle getting started in our next article.
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