How Advertisers are using DCO to make their CTV Creatives more Effective
February 28, 2022 – by Oz Etzioni, CEO & Co-founder, Clinch
It’s no secret that CTV has become wildly popular in the last few years, and there’s no sign of its momentum slowing anytime soon.
At the same time, DCO, dynamic creative optimization — essentially highly efficient ad personalization — has gained popularity with more traditional advertising, but it’s somehow become a common misconception that CTV can’t handle the technical aspects of DCO. In fact, DCO can be applied to CTV, and it’s easier than one might think.
“Many people still think of CTV as the same as linear, just delivered through a different pipe,” said Oz Etzioni, CEO at Clinch. “They think of it as the new TV, and most don’t realize that they can run DCO on CTV. DCO is more of a strategy you start with and not just a tactic applied afterward. It can and should be easily integrated with CTV activation from day one. A lot of people think it’s a bit more complex than what they do on a daily basis when that isn’t the case.”
As marketers are jumping on the CTV train and shifting budgets over from linear TV and social, some are also repurposing those creatives for CTV. With the right technology, assets made for linear can also be easily modified for DCO use on CTV.
DCO can allow for better ‘repurposing’ strategies
Effectively repurposing creative takes a strategic approach. Different experiences, devices and modes mean those creatives should be treated accordingly.
“Most marketers are either running on linear TV already or are dealing heavily with video and have the video assets they need,” said Etzioni. “DCO can help them venture into this new screen that requires a different user experience than what they may be used to. You can enter a lot of dynamic elements that are really relevant to the consumer in very robust, automated ways that don’t necessarily require investing money in more production. DCO platforms can help marketers personalize and create many more variations in an automated way that will create efficiency. It will save them time and money and allow them to reach more households with more compelling experiences.”
For marketers intimidated by the many variations involved with DCO and keeping track of all the moving parts, especially with the quality of production demanded by CTV, technology is helping to streamline and simplify the work.
“Imagine you have a TV ad or an online video ad that you’re running, but up until now, you’ve invested a lot of media money in order to segment the audiences and buy those impressions specifically for the audiences you want to target,” Etzioni said. “But, you’re showing everyone the same one or two ads. A DCO platform helps you take those audiences and understand how to A/B test many different versions. With that one video asset, a DCO can create many different variations, by adding dynamic elements like maps, QR codes, different messages and overlays and changing them based on the audience during that ad spot.”
In addition to providing a more personalized and better ad experience, DCO is an incredibly valuable tool to manage ad frequency — or ad fatigue. Instead of showing the same ad multiple times in a given household, DCO can help create variations that keep content fresh and take the viewer on a journey. Add to that, a DCO platform can help advertisers change and optimize throughout the campaign itself, rather than waiting until the end of the campaign to apply insights to the next one.
DCO allows for endless data-driven creative opportunities across industries
Personalization across CTV isn’t limited to one industry. While some types of advertisers may seem like a more obvious fit, a vast landscape of untapped potential remains.
“Personalization provides brands the ability to connect all the dots,” said Serge Matta, president at LG Ads Solutions. “Restaurants can use it in their advertising with a specific QR code that provides directions to where the offer is available closest to that consumer. For offers where if ‘X’ player makes two baskets in a row, then you get a free McDonald’s sandwich or whatever the case may be, the question becomes, how do you redeem that?
“There’s always this asterisk denoting, ‘certain locations only,’ and with those ads on CTV, consumers get frustrated,” he continued. “They’ll go to their local McDonald’s and hear, ‘sorry, this doesn’t apply to you.’ Suppose you put actual personalization based on, say, last night’s NBA win and apply it to the creative targeted in that location where there are participating restaurants for that incentive. In that case, the targeting can be based on where the consumers are, and the effectiveness of that is huge. This is especially so when compared to the alternative where the consumers go to the location and are frustrated and disappointed.”
With personalization, the dynamic elements available to brands can become almost endless. Still, while it may be exciting to add on more and more capabilities, it’s essential to start small first, and more, in this case, is not always better.
“Start with one or two dynamic elements and experiment before adding more to learn what really resonates with your audience and what serves your campaign goals best,” said Etzioni at Clinch.
For example, as an e-commerce company, utilizing location is irrelevant, so defining the dynamic elements that best serve the business and its goals is critical.
“I think there’s a huge opportunity here to make DCO for CTV available to endemic partners, so it’s not just the obvious cases of restaurants and retail,” said Matta. “There’s a lot of personalization that can happen in every single category. And the beautiful thing about personalization is that it can be applied to both managed services and programmatic. The fact that we can do both and leverage the DCO technology on top of it is really valuable.”