Jason Wincuinas
Sep 26, 2014

Programmatic and creativity: Marriage of the mediums

SPIKES ASIA - The more personal an ad is, the more engaging it is. Simple enough on the strategic level, but how do we get there? Chris Dobson, executive chairman of The Exchange Lab, shared techniques to programmatically blend digital, social and creative to boost engagement.

Chris Dobson
Chris Dobson

Please see all of our Spikes Asia 2014 coverage here

“Programmatic at a creative forum? What the hell?” 

That was Dobson’s own introduction to his afternoon forum. But his message was pertinent: Context happens and to take advantage of it, creatively, it helps to have a lot of data on hand to inform the wider strategy. The famed ‘dunk in the dark’ effort from Oreo was one example he gave of how creative and programmatic tactics work hand in hand.

Programmatic buying puts your ad in the right place at the right time. But without the right message, you still won’t gain any traction. “If you fail on the creative, you can forget everything else,” he said.

The key takeaways he had for the audience (which was tellingly small for a Spikes session, illustrating that creatives may still have trouble embracing the strengths programmatic can bring to their process):

  • You can test creative ads in real-time and fine tune a message to have the most impact
  • You can leverage insights gained from programmatic feedback to inform creative direction
  • You can personalize creative execution to hyper targeted levels
  • You can combine channels and tactics for more creative thinking and execution
  • And you can react to real-time events

He also addressed the idea that programmatic buying is not yet relevant to TV, where many brands still concentrate creative ad spend. He highlighted that people are online while watching TV, regularly using search or social media. To link digital and TV takes creativity and it’s the perfect place to start looking for opportunity. The timing of a TVC can trigger online ads but simply having them there isn’t enough to grab attention; you need to spark imaginations. And that takes creativity.

 “If we can’t make it effective,” Dobson said “it’s a waste of time”.

Editor's note: The Exchange Lab announced a partnership with Turn and a new platform yesterday (press release). 


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