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Jon Nash Head of Programmatic UK Teads

Programmatic and creative: a match made in heaven?

As a region, it took us a while to latch on to the programmatic spectacle, but when we did, we embraced it to the maximum. In the last few years programmatic, with particular focus on programmatic video, has boomed. The IAB’s Ad Spend report for 2015 found that 47% of desktop display advertising traded programmatically in 2014, it now stands at an impressive 60% - an increase of over a quarter in just one year. When fixing on video we see 24% growth on desktop video, however mobile video is the real advocate with a whopping 94% increase. 

Whether through programmatic direct (such as Private Marketplaces) or programmatic indirect (Real-time Bidding and the Open Exchange), brands and agencies have truly embraced programmatic trading. It’s often now referred to as the ‘new normal’ and the IAB is predicting it will account for 80 – 90% of display ad spend in 2019.

Despite the growth there’s a new challenge which is coming to light; how can programmatic and creativity work hand in hand? 

When describing programmatic trading, the most commonly used phrases include ‘automated processes’ and ‘big data’ with little human involvement. Creativity however is fully human and personal experience. Some may ponder how on earth these two processes work in unison. We believe they do. In fact, I’d go as far to say they are a match made in heaven. 

'Why?', I hear you ask.

Let’s go back to basics. Before programmatic, our industry worked upon assumptions and estimations to reach the end goal; the user. Stepping forward a decade, the technology has made astounding advancements to ensure we collate, manage and digest data. Data which was once lost before.

Through data capture, format development, dynamic creative and premium inventory, advertising has been propelled to the next level. As an industry we are driving further towards a seamless cross-screen environment and the only way we can achieve this is through marrying our audiences with the correct creative. We’re entering a world of perfect harmony, where humans and technology work side by side to build a sustainable advertising ecosystem. The reality is that programmatic enables powerful storytelling; we create, programmatic delivers.

However, with every opportunity arises obstacles and concerns. Perhaps the most prevalent of issues in the market right now is the lack of online material created to suit the screen in which it’s being viewed. As Millward Brown’s research discovered, 90% of online video is repurposed TV material.

This is quite alarming considering we now operate in a digital environment full of multiple devices and screen sizes/orientation. We’ve morphed into a new generation who on average own nine screens per household and four screens per person, building a plethora of opportunities for brand to tell a story. So why use a large format, 16:9 cinematic advert for a vertical, intimate smartphone screen? 

It’s not rocket science. It’s simply a case of re-jigging our brains to amend our strategies into a more creative focus. 

So, is programmatic technology and creativity a match made in heaven?

Join my session at the next Programmatic Masterclass on 24th May, and see if I can change your opinion on the creative abilities that lie within programmatic trading.