Bottom Up Advertising and Programmatic Creatives

Does Programmatic change the way we build advertising communication today? Join the discussion.

Today at work I had a discussion with one of my colleagues about ways advertising agencies could benefit from Programmatic creatives.

The work model accepted in today’s advertising industry is to start from high level concept ideas, TVC’s and key visuals which should build awareness and generate sales in target groups (TG) that clients define during the briefing process. TG’s are proposed basing on different research, key learnings from previous campaigns and expert knowledge. Sometimes, creative ideas then pass a research phase after which we can finally start planning communication at lower levels (e.g. social media, programmatic display, mobile). We spend a lot of money to define TG’s, to create, to test and to build high level ideas that are expected to work. We all know this process very well (sometimes too much).

But, what would happen if we reverse this process?

For example by starting a programmatic campaign distributed to the widest possible audience and using a variety of creative approaches. Based on data from such campaigns we will see which creative generates the greatest amount of traffic to our website. But what is more important here — we can put a 3rd party data filter to website visitors’ data. This way we can find out more about those users (their age, location, habits, interests etc.) and define data patterns that help us refine the „high level” conpept idea that drives campaign roll-out.

What benefits this approach to planning brings us?

  • The key benefit is that we can testing how creative ideas work in the real world, not in a lab environment.
  • We can test bolder creative ideas and see how (and which) people interact with these.
  • We reduce the amount of risk taken at the creative selection level gaining certainty that campaign idea is going to work as expected.

A good, but not perfect example is Spotify’s “Wrapped 2016” campaign, where data patterns were defined first (this it is my assumption) and based on that wider communication was planned. That’s how people win awards at Cannes.

Do you know any other examples of such an approach to communication strategy? To start with a variety of tactical campaigns, test, define and expand creative based on that? Could this possible be the new way for successful creative development?