How to achieve both creativity and relevance in your digital advertising

by Phil Duffield

Posted on 08-23-2018

Why do some ads stick with us while oth­ers go unno­ticed? There’s no short­age of cre­ative con­tent in the world, but what’s so spe­cial about Old Spice’s irrev­er­ent per­sona or cam­paigns like Dove’s “Real Beau­ty” and Coke’s infa­mous “Hill­top”?

The sim­ple answer is that they appeal to us on an emo­tion­al lev­el. Whether they make us laugh, cry, or think, the best cre­ative exe­cu­tions aren’t just orig­i­nal; they also show that a brand clear­ly under­stands its audience.

Things get more com­plex when it comes to dig­i­tal adver­tis­ing. Peo­ple are inun­dat­ed with con­tent almost every­where they look online, mak­ing rel­e­vance all the more cru­cial if an advert is going to cut through and res­onate with the right people.

Add to this the fact that dig­i­tal con­tent is more restric­tive (i.e. annoy­ing auto­play for­mats) and more heav­i­ly-fil­tered (ad block­ers), and it’s easy to see why many brands are see­ing their hard work go unnoticed.

Viewa­bil­i­ty is an impor­tant mea­sure for brands, and tech­nolo­gies like ad block­ers cer­tain­ly affect the viewa­bil­i­ty of their con­tent, but it’s easy to point fin­gers. The harsh real­i­ty is that online adver­tis­ing still has a cre­ativ­i­ty and rel­e­vance problem.

On a dig­i­tal medi­um, where expe­ri­ences are built around the user, you can’t just serve some­one an advert and hope they care. The way you deliv­er an ad is as impor­tant as the cre­ative con­cept behind it, if not more so. How many times have you enjoyed a clever piece of adver­tis­ing online only to have it served to you 20 more times until you lose your mind and start resent­ing it?

That doesn’t mean there’s no such thing as a suc­cess­ful dig­i­tal cam­paign – there are dozens each year. What sets these cam­paigns apart, in addi­tion to strik­ing the right bal­ance between cre­ativ­i­ty and rel­e­vance, is that they are also opti­mised for the way cus­tomers use dig­i­tal platforms.

Some peo­ple have attacked ad tech, say­ing it lim­its cre­ativ­i­ty, but when done right pro­gram­mat­ic has the poten­tial to breed a cre­ative renais­sance. Our lat­est Dig­i­tal Trends report revealed that, with Arti­fi­cial Intel­li­gence (AI) now allow­ing brands to bet­ter under­stand their audi­ence, mar­keters are look­ing at ways to engi­neer bet­ter dig­i­tal cus­tomer expe­ri­ences.

Pro­gram­mat­ic is no longer just about tar­get­ing. By tak­ing an inte­grat­ed approach across mar­ket­ing and cre­ative teams, brands can deliv­er adver­tis­ing that is both rel­e­vant to cus­tomers and cre­at­ed specif­i­cal­ly for the way they inter­act with dig­i­tal ser­vices. And of course, ensure the right peo­ple are see­ing the fin­ished product.

This is where cloud-based plat­forms can help. They make col­lab­o­ra­tion sim­pler by break­ing down pro­duc­tion silos between teams, and make it eas­i­er to inte­grate cre­ative assets into pro­gram­mat­ic work­flows. That means brands can devel­op thou­sands of cre­ative ads at scale, retar­get them, and per­son­alise their con­tent based on indi­vid­ual cus­tomer journeys.

Peo­ple still appre­ci­ate great adver­tis­ing. The back­lash against online con­tent isn’t direct­ed at the con­tent itself, but at the lack of cre­ativ­i­ty and rel­e­vance that too often goes with it.

There are many rea­sons brands are still adjust­ing to the frag­ment­ed world of online mar­ket­ing, but those com­pa­nies that are get­ting this right are begin­ning to pull ahead. To suc­ceed in today’s dig­i­tal envi­ron­ment, brands need to work in a dig­i­tal way, and the time to adapt is now.

Click here for more infor­ma­tion on how Adobe Adver­tis­ing Cloud helps brands inte­grate their mar­ket­ing and design to cre­ate rel­e­vant, cre­ative con­tent that sticks.

Topics: Creativity, Programmatic Advertising, viewability, UK, UK Exclusive, Digital EMEA