Creativity in advertising used to be all about thinking about how to make an impact on a billboard, a 30-second TV spot or a full-page ad in a newspaper. The digital-first nature of advertising today requires just as much creativity, but it also demands attention to detail around the specific constraints and nuances of online channels.
Having a great idea is obviously important, and you need to stay on-brand, but upfront planning has become even more important in executing a successful dynamic or data-driven creative campaign.
That said, the process can be reasonably straightforward. First, you need to decide what types of data signals or rules will inform creative changes. Next, focus on designing which types of ad variations you want have displayed. The last step is building the creative template and interchangeable elements that bring your dynamic ad to life.
Here are a few tips on how to optimize the visual elements during creative production:
- Choose headlines and text content that fit properly and look good across all ad sizes by limiting your text to an ideal character limit.
- Use clean and bold fonts for best legibility
- Test special characters for visual appearance in your feed before pushing to a live environment that way, you’ll ensure everything renders correctly.
- Keep headlines concise so viewers see and can understand your ads quickly. Keep one main message as the focal point in each ad variation.
- Optimize image dimensions based on each ad size, rather than trying to scale an oversized image to fit during ad serving to reduce the file size.
- Consider how the image looks in the finished sizes. A wide horizontal object may not look ideal in an ad that is taller (e.g. 160×600).
- Use JPEG and PNG files, saved at 72ppi resolution, that are under 1MB to maintain a low file size.
- Use RGB color space, not CMYK, which is optimized for digital display.
- Always consider file size limits. Your creative file size must be able to contain the non-dynamic images and fonts needed for your ad.
- Test and test again. Dynamic variations of an ad may not always render the way you intended and elements may overlap or push out of the ad canvas. Use a testing environment to ensure that each variation displays the right combination of images, text, and elements in the output you want.
- When setting up dynamic ads, ensure that the proper ad file structure, as well as the code, is implemented correctly by your production team.