The Insightful Media Series – Dynamic Creative Optimization

Tuesday 4th June, 2013

The Insightful Media Series – Dynamic Creative Optimization

This week The Insightful Media Series takes a look at Dynamic Creative Optimisation (DCO), a powerful new method of serving highly relevant and personalised inventory that increases the retargeting and engagement capabilities of RTB traded advertising.

Dynamic Creative Optimization

What is Dynamic Creative Optimization?

In digital advertising, brands have two hurdles to pass when planning a campaign. The first is to reach the right audience, the second is to serve the right ad at the right time to that audience. Most advertising systems are set up to solve issue one, but Dynamic Creative Optimization (DCO) aims to resolve that tricky second hurdle.

DCO streamlines the process of creating individual ads based on user-level cookie data and serves a user relevant creative. This allows a brand to display individual products that users have expressed an interest in, gleaned from their previous internet activity.

The purpose of this advertising method is to drive increased engagement, a higher CTR and ultimately better ROI in the form of sales or brand awareness uplifts for the advertiser.

Consider how powerful it is to re-message people who had placed products in their shopping cart but didn’t complete the checkout process. Or how effective it is to recommend new products to people based on identifying similar purchase patterns at scale. 

How does DCO work? 

When you look at a standard display ad, particularly in the ad categories such as deals, retail, travel and property, it is full of imagery, logos, pricing, call to actions (cta’s), colour and text. In a regular display campaign, it is very likely that a single unchanging creative will be served to an audience.

DCO derives its power from customization and brings it to the level of an individual user. To do this the system collects data on a user’s online activity and parses the intended display ad into a number of variables based on that history.

The system then matches the variables from multiple images, logos, price options, languages, CTAs (call to actions) and text to serve a display ad most closely matching the user’s activity and demonstrated preferences. This allows the ad to showcase products or CTAs customised for that user.

For product level remarketing, a pixel needs to be placed on all product pages of a site. When an ad request is made and the user has the relevant cookie, the request will go to the real time creative company to deliver the most relevant ad based on previous browsing history and product pages visited by that user. 


Dynamic Creative How ToWhat Are the Benefits of DCO?

DCO offers brands the opportunity to engage in deeply driven audience segmentation that creates a high level of affinity between the advertisement and the user. Relevancy has a high impact on a user’s likelihood to engage. We are stating the obvious… but people are more predisposed to products or services when they are truly relevant.

In an Adacado case study a custom template was created for a retailer which featured a product image and a unique coupon offer, along with other variables such as store locations and price deals.  The ad dynamically pulled in and ran five different products in rotation all served as part of one ad impression. 

Adacado found these dynamic product ads combined with contextual targeting delivered a 400% increase in CTR for the retailer. E-Consultancy reports having seen personalized retargeted ads reaching a 14 fold performance increase compared with non-targeted ads. 

DCO is also very effective in the cross-selling and up-selling of products for a brand. By putting products front and centre that are closely related to another product a user had been recently viewing, the likelihood of the user following up on the product is increased and can lead to incremental sales for the brand.

The DCO method also allows for a major cut down in time spent on creative production. Once the variable frames have been created and sent, DCO systems will generate contextually sensitive creative automatically. This allows for a campaign to be scaled at a fraction of the cost it would take for manual creatives to be generated.

DCO gives the advertiser an opportunity to use a single campaign to promote multiple messages. Multiple messages can be fed into the ad, so the brand can promote variable products or price deals for example, using one single ad impression. This use of DCO dramatically increases the potential for higher ROI.  
To discuss Dynamic Creative Optimisation options with Insightful Media, contact Lee on (01) 703 0406 or email

Further Reading


Media Mind: “Driving Results with Dynamic Creative Optimization”

DQNA: “The Power of Dynamic Creative Optimization”

Adacado Retail Case Study DCO

E-Consultancy: “The RTB World of Display Advertising Part 2: Dynamic Creative”

E-Consultancy: “NMA explains Dynamic Creative Optimization”

Cream Global: “The ABC of DCO”

PointRoll: “Is DCO Too Hot to Touch? Absolutely Not”

Figaro Digital: “Debunking Dynamic Creative Optimization Myths”

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