By: Jeff Middleton Thurs April 27, 2017


They suck. They’re boring. They’re awesome. They work.

Your hear a bit of everything in the busy, buzzy world of programmatic and dynamically optimized marketing. If you want some reaffirmation it's thriving – here you go. If you want feel a little uneasy about the whole industry – read this.  But my slightly twisted creative perspective on the jam is that no matter how well it works, or how many problems there are, some of this technology is still being swept under the creative carpet and brands are the ones paying the price.

With so many options and algorithms deciding which one of the potential millions of variations of an ad is sent to one of the potential billions of people, the creative potential becomes overwhelming and so does the process. Sure, that was close to being a run-on sentence, and – was I supposed to hyphenate run-on there? Don’t know. But what I do know is that having a creative process that fits each brand’s unique needs it crucial to fitting into the programmatic and dynamic ad world. And while ad tech is being forced to figure that out, from the discussions I’ve had they don’t necessarily want to, and sure are glad we’re doing it for them.

Are you doing dynamic display ads? Personalized videos? Individualized native audio ads? Who’s the DSP, the DMP, what’s your CPM and do you like RUN DMC? Now, if you’re a creative person you’re immediately forwarding this to your creative technologist, and considering closing this page. But hold off, friend of the artisan guild. Hear out one of your own kind on how incredible this creative opportunity really is.

Eventually a creative team will birth a programmatic creative campaign that changes industry thinking and makes us wish we thought of it first And while we strive to be that team, it’s really up to the clients to challenge their process and give the work the chance to help the ad tech prove its merit. This means educating our partners on the creative potential of hyper-targeting unique personas while maintaining brand safety and a creative process that makes financial sense.

Once a creative idea is sold through and the execution duties fall to production teams, a search party is usually held to find the right vendor to fulfill the creative vision. By passing off that work, sometimes creative teams are held hostage by the limitations of the tech or the fragility of the budget. This doesn’t change the need for creative teams to step up and protect the work in every single medium to ensure the maximum brand service to our clients. It’s literally the least they deserve. With programmatic and dynamic creative, it’s not uncommon for brands to go directly to ad tech to get their end product online. To me, this is like brands going directly to the printing press to do their holiday campaign.

It’s not that the talented teams running the press can’t do the job just fine, hell, when I was 18 I worked nights on a press printing chip bags with an interesting cast of blue collar bandits. But just like the agency role, which can exist client-side if so desperately needed, is intended to usher and coddle the special creative process that can catch one of shooting stars as Burnett would say. Now, while compiling 10,000 headlines for your 10 brands, or a dynamic audio ad that speaks to 100,000 unique individuals is admittedly not an easy process for anybody, it’s a process that as creatives we’ve figured out, have a passion for and can now offer agencies the power to do that easily for their most beloved clients.

The dynamic creative process needs creative talent involved who can produce the same caliber of creative product your brand is known for on a larger programmatic scale. Without burdening your internal creative resources. And just like traditional agency-client relations, it’s to the benefit of both parties to have dedicated, knowledgeable creative teams on staff who are passionate about the brand. That’s where we feel only scalable creative model like our can fill those service industry gaps, with experienced creatives trained on the ad tech, trained on the dynamic production techniques, and trained on the programmatic optimization of the entire campaign.

It won’t be an easy adjustment, but when creative agencies become more effective and involved in the dynamic creative process, that’s when brands will truly fit into the programmatic creative ad world.