Video: Programmatic Creative vs. Dynamic Creative Optimization (DCO)

Programmatic creative refers to the set of ad technologies that enable data-informed, software-assisted creative executions. The purpose of programmatic creative is to unify data and creativity to drive hyper-relevant ads to each audience.

Dynamic Creative Optimization (DCO) falls under the programmatic umbrella, but is not the only way to solve creative problems for programmatic media. Both Dynamic Creative Optimization and Creative Management Platforms (CMPs) maximize the impact of the creative within programmatic and direct advertising through very different approaches.

In this video, learn how programmatic creative activates audience data through two main technologies: Dynamic Creative Optimization and Creative Management Platforms.

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Video: What is a Creative Management Platform (CMP)?

Creative Management Platforms (CMPs) are a class of programmatic creative technologies that enable digital marketers to tailor, test and optimize display and social ad campaigns.

Leveraging a CMP allows programmatic advertisers to create hyper-targeted ads at scale, dramatically amplifying the creative output of a team and the performance of each campaign.

In this video, learn more about the benefits of using a Creative Management Platform and how they compare to Dynamic Creative Optimization technologies (DCOs).

If you like this video, you might like this post: 7 Ingredients For The Perfect Creative Management Platform.

And if you want to learn more about programmatic creative, download our free eBook: The Essential Guide To Programmatic Creative Technologies.

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Video: Programmatic Display – 5 Creative Optimization Tactics to Drive Performance

A report published by Yahoo! in 2014 found that personalized ads are 54% more engaging and 45% more memorable compared to generalized creative.

To continuously drive higher programmatic display performance, leveraging the right creative optimization tactics will not only lead to more engaging ads that strongly appeal to your target audiences but also higher conversion rates.

Watch this video to learn 5 creative optimization strategies to maximize the ROI of your programmatic display campaigns.

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Thunder November Press & News Roundup

thunder creative management platform press

When deciding between programmatic creative approaches, advertisers face the marketer’s ‘trilemma’; marketers need to find a balance among personalization, experience, and cost. CEO Victor Wong writes on discussing what’s at stake and how to overcome the creative trade-offs.

The majority of advertisers show the same generic, generalized creative to all audiences. A targeted creative strategy requires creating a cohesive story, but in a personalized way. As the world gets smaller, Victor Wong examines why global brands need to start thinking small in their large advertising campaigns.

With the recent founding of the Coalition for Better Ads and Google’s announcement to crack down on intrusive ad formats in 2017, LEAN ads (light, encrypted, ad choice supported, non-invasive ads) are more important than ever before. Victor Wong published a piece on MarTech offering five tips for creating consumer-friendly programmatic ads.

Personalization is critical to boost ad performance, but if marketers use the tactic incorrectly, they could immediately rub customers the wrong way. Victor Wong gives four tips for personalizing ads without being creepy.

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Sara Keesler Wins Bronze Stevie® Award In 2016 Stevie Awards For Women In Business

Women Around the World Recognized at Event in New York City

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SAN FRANCISCO, CA – November 21, 2016 – Sara Keesler, Senior Lead Software Engineer at Thunder, has been named the winner of a Bronze Stevie® Award in the Employee of the Year – Business Services category in the 13th annual Stevie Awards for Women in Business.

The Stevie Awards for Women in Business are the world’s top honors for female entrepreneurs, executives, employees and the organizations they run. All individuals and organizations worldwide are eligible to submit nominations – public and private, for-profit and non-profit, large and small. The 2016 awards received entries from 31 nations and territories.

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How To Overcome 80% Of Your Programmatic Creative Challenges

Image Source: ‘Everything was easier at the beginning’: Marketers vent programmatic frustration – Digiday

At this year’s Digiday Programmatic Summit, participants were asked to jot down their greatest challenges in programmatic advertising. The response was enlightening.

Here’s the breakdown of top programmatic challenges:

  • Telling the difference between vendors (30%)
  • Reconciling creative and programmatic (30%)
  • Time required to improve campaign performance vs. client’s budget (10%)
  • Cracking data budget (10%)
  • Duplication of audiences (10%)
  • Managing campaign cost (5%)
  • Terminology discrepancies between digital and TV departments (5%)

Normally on this blog we try to not talk too much about Thunder. But today I’d like to address these challenges, and show you how Thunder is working everyday to help you overcome them.

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Rich Media Advertising: Who’s Killing It And Why

Who is killing rich media advertising

The writing’s on the wall for rich media advertising as we know it today.

When it debuted, the rich functionality in rich media advertising was seen as a victory. At first it was animation, but then interactive elements became available. Banners could play videos, pop over your screen and expand over content.

The vision behind rich media advertising was admirable: make ads that people want to interact with. But it turned out to be a bait and switch.

Instead of endearing consumers to ads, these formats did the opposite. They pestered users with unwanted pop ups, aggravating expansions, and startling autoplay video with audio. They “politely” loaded megabyte after megabyte on people’s mobile data plans. They intruded at every opportunity because of marginal gains in CTR.

As the ad industry transforms, rich media is on the chopping block. Here are the top 5 attackers.

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Thunder Named Finalist In 13th Annual Stevie® Awards For Women In Business

Sara Keesler, Thunder’s Senior Lead Software Engineer, Named Finalist For Stevie Awards For Women In Business

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SAN FRANCISCO, CA – October 6, 2016 Sara Keesler, Senior Lead Software Engineer at Thunder, was named a Finalist in the Employee of the Year – Business category in the 13th annual Stevie® Awards for Women in Business, and will ultimately be a Gold, Silver, or Bronze Stevie Award winner in the program.

The Stevie Awards for Women in Business honor women executives, entrepreneurs, employees and the companies they run – worldwide. The Stevie Awards have been hailed as the world’s premier business awards.

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Thunder September Press & News Roundup

thunder creative management platform press

To successfully execute cross-platform digital campaigns, different creative messages and variations must be produced to target different audience segments. Yet, two of the industry’s biggest players are falling short of meeting those needs. CEO Victor Wong writes on iMedia discussing how Google and Adobe are failing brand marketers.

Though brands and advertisers have done an excellent job effectively reaching the right people at the right time, most campaigns fail to deliver the right message. In The Makegood’s People of Ad Tech interview, Bill Brazell, WIT Strategy Partner, interviews Victor Wong to discuss why the real problem is the widespread failure to customize ads.

Lastly, Thunder teamed up with its global DSP and programmatic exchange partners to conduct a study on viewability and load times. After studying billions of impressions, they discovered that beyond simply improving the ad experiences for consumers, faster load times dramatically affect viewability rates.

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11 Design Tips To Optimize Facebook Ads

Design tips to optimize Facebook ads

With creative being the biggest driver of performance on Facebook, leveraging the right tactics to optimize Facebook ads is essential to the success of the campaign.

An effective ad not only increases engagement from potential customers, but also boosts your overall ROI. More importantly, testing different elements over time will allow you to keep your creatives fresh and improve the results of your Facebook ads.

Below are 11 best practices to optimize your Facebook ads and videos.

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The 4 Pillars of Ideal Facebook Ad Creative

Facebook ads creative optimization pillars

With Facebook ads, the creative is the strongest driver of performance. An ad that resonates with and engages people will reduce your CPM/CPC, protect ad delivery and improve performance on your overall objective.

The best part is that Facebook does a lot of creative optimization work for you automatically. With a little extra work, you can reap the benefits and earn great ROI.

In my new whitepaper, the Thunder Playbook for Facebook Creative Optimization, I outline the 4 pillars of ideal Facebook ad creative.

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[eBook] Thunder Playbook for Facebook Creative Optimization

facebook creative optimization playbook

With nearly 2 billion active monthly users, Facebook is one of the most powerful ad platforms to reach highly targeted audiences. Smart bidding, targeting, and campaign management strategies can get you a high return from Facebook ads. But one factor makes or breaks your success: the creative.

Creative is the biggest driver of performance with Facebook ads, which is why we’ve published a playbook of creative best practices and expert tactics to help you maximize your ROI.

Explore the expert strategy behind effective Facebook creative optimization by downloading our free, comprehensive, eBook:

  • Get the 3-part strategy for Facebook creative success
  • Learn how to segment your audiences for creative optimization
  • See Facebook creative best practices and expert creative tactics
  • Learn how to evaluate your campaign results from a creative point of view

If you are looking for tactics to reduce your costs, protect your ad delivery AND increase campaign performance, this is the resource for you.

Download your free whitepaper today.

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Thunder August Press & News Roundup

thunder creative management platform press

With over $6 billion being spent annually on data-driven ad technologies like DMPs and DSPs, the biggest challenge is activating this data. Victor Wong and Econsultancy discuss how Creative Management Platforms (CMPs) can help brands and advertisers build creative versions at scale to achieve a significantly higher ROI.

Though marketers have increasingly focused on serving ads at the right time for the right audience, the right message has been forgotten. Victor Wong sits down with Beet.TV to examine why brand marketers targeting consumers should control the messaging.

To successfully reach consumers in our multichannel world, marketers are increasingly favoring relevancy over intrusiveness. In this episode of DMN: One-on-one podcast, Kim Davis and Victor Wong discuss why marketers are thinking strategically about the consumer experience, ad blocking, and the implications of walled gardens.

Despite the rapid growth of programmatic advertising and rich audience data, merging creativity with programmatic to produce data-driven executions lags far behind. Victor Wong offers Digiday one solution to bridging the programmatic-creative divide.

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Programmatic Display – 5 Creative Optimization Steps To Drive Performance

programmatic display creative optimization tactics

With more than two-thirds of all digital display advertising expected to be purchased programmatically this year, according to eMarketer, programmatic display is more sophisticated than ever before.

To successfully serve the right message to the right user, understanding the right creative strategies will enable you to deliver relevant messages that strongly appeal to your target audiences. More specifically, leveraging creative optimization tactics ultimately helps to amplify the results and ROI of your programmatic display campaigns.

Below are five programmatic creative strategies to boost your display advertising performance.

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The Creative Brief Doesn’t Have to Suck


The creative brief sucks because it is too general for the modern customer journey. Here’s a pragmatic solution: Revise our templates so they reflect the advanced targeting capabilities of programmatic advertising and the fragmented consumer landscape they represent.

But today ads can be readily targeted and optimized based on factors like:

  • Demographics
  • Channels
  • Devices
  • Behavioral data
  • CRM/customer journey data

A generalized, generic creative brief is likely to lead to average campaign performance, so it doesn’t invite scrutiny. But if you neglect these details you neglect the most powerful advances in ad tech. Embrace them and your campaign is golden.

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Thunder June/July Press & News Roundup

thunder creative management platform press

Though rich media ads were once touted as more engaging and generating more clicks than standard display, it has not delivered the type of personalization and interactivity we hoped for. Victor Wong published a piece on AdExchanger answering, Why Is Everyone Trying To Kill Rich Media?

Programmatic advertising has equipped travel brands with endless opportunities to target audiences across the web, which is why marketers need to be creative when thinking about programmatic. Melody Yan writes on Tnooz offering travel brands actionable programmatic creative tactics to cut through the noise and drive conversions.

And finally, Victor Wong was recognized on the DMN 40 Under 40, which honors 40 exceptional marketers who have done an outstanding job reshaping their organizations, clients, and the marketing industry as a whole. Congratulations Victor!

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Programmatic Creative Strategies and Tactics Playbooks


The emergence of programmatic creative platforms has unlocked many ways to tailor, test, and optimize ad creative to drive campaign performance. When we looked into other people’s numbers, we found evidence that customizing creative consistently delivers a 30-50% boost in performance. That’s a little under our experience, where our customers that optimize creatives tend to size up to benchmarks by 2X or more.

It’s clear that in the age of so much data in digital media, the model of showing one generalized creative to everyone is giving way to a new style of advertising that combines data and creative in ways that resonate far more with audiences and produce greater results for advertisers.

But for companies seeking to leverage many of these new strategies, where does one begin? If you’re looking for examples of these ads, how can you find them?

The newest installments to our programmatic creative series of eBooks dig into precisely these questions and the strategies and tactics that new technologies like Creative Management Platforms and dynamic creative optimization make possible.

We’re calling them programmatic creative playbooks. These guides contain example ways to tailor creatives to audiences, including example ads. They are meant to serve as inspiration for the next generation of creative strategy.

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