By: Austin Dicharry
Even though programmatic advertising (also commonly referred to as automatic advertising) is based almost entirely on campaigns getting triggered based on certain types of actions, creativity is still hugely important. Triggering a campaign and sending a user an email reminding them that they still have items in their virtual shopping cart is one thing. Getting that customer to actually read the email, connect with it and do something about it is something else entirely. Creativity is hugely important for campaigns to be effective for a number of different reasons.
In the nascent days of advertising, a marketing campaign didn’t necessarily have to be creative in order to be effective – it essentially just had to exist. When there were only three major broadcast television networks that hundreds of millions of people were watching at any given time, even the most basic and straightforward ad would get in front of a huge set of eyes and could expose a particular product to the world.
Marketers have been using various creative tactics for decades in order to increase effectiveness and brand awareness. Every time that you hear a jingle from a commercial that just won’t get out of your head for days, weeks or even years afterwards, you’ve seen (or heard) an example of creativity at play.
Think about some of the most effective ad campaigns of all time and then determine the one thing they have in common: creativity. Apple Electronics had a hugely successful campaign going through the mid to late 2000s – the “I’m a Mac, I’m a PC” campaign. It isn’t a flashy campaign that the company spent hundreds of millions of dollars to create. It doesn’t have high intensity music, special effects or any other superficial techniques that are used to quickly get the attention of viewers. It’s two people, standing against a white background, talking normally about the benefits of Windows personal computers versus Mac machines.
It’s effective because it’s so brilliantly simplistic. It immediately attracts the attention of viewers because it is unlike any other ad that you are likely to see. Even though that particular ad campaign is no longer running, it is easy to see imitators for various types of products every time you turn on the TV. It was successful because it was wonderfully creative.
The same tactics hold true for programmatic advertising and digital advertising of all types. In order to attract the attention of a customer who has likely already viewed 100 ads that day and will view close to a thousand more before the day is over, you need to come at them from a new angle. You need to be bold and innovative at the same time. Simply having flash video in your ad isn’t enough to do it – users have seen those videos before. You need to be creative, clever and above all else direct in order to increase the effectiveness of a particular campaign in any way that you can.