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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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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What is a Creative Management Platform (CMP)?

Above: Advertisement variations created in Thunder Creative Management Platform

Creative Management Platforms are a class of programmatic creative ad technologies that meet the design needs of modern digital advertisers who are looking to tailor, test and optimize the creatives in their campaigns.

The core use of a CMP is ad design and production at scale. To tailor an ad’s messaging to its audience, for each segment, a different creative must be produced or generated. CMPs use a combination of manual and automated features to amplify the creative output of a team dramatically.


What benefits do advertisers get from Creative Management Platforms?

Advertisers can use the high volume of creative production enabled by Creative Management Platforms to make their creatives perform better through three key qualities:

  1. Tailored: Achieve message relevance by tailoring creatives to audiences
  2. Timely: Keep the creatives fresh by being able to refresh messaging frequently
  3. Tested: Have creatives to split test, learn, and optimize from
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Thunder April Press & News Roundup

Thunder Creative Management Platform Advertising Press Roundup

April was the beginning of a new era for PaperG.

PaperG officially rebranded as Thunder, reflecting our evolution into the next generation Creative Management Platform. The name “Thunder” is derived from the concept of perfectly synchronized campaigns, similar to “rolling thunder,” building in strength as they move through time and distance.

At the same time, Thunder also launched Facebook PowerPlus, making Thunder the first Creative Management Platform to enable marketers to simultaneously build and edit cross-channel display and social ads.

See what the press had to say about the rebrand!

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PaperG Rebrands to “Thunder” as it Unveils PowerPlus for Facebook

Thunder Advertising - Programmatic Creative

Thunder is the First Solution Enabling Brands to Simultaneously Build, Edit and Preview Creatives Across Display and Social — New Identity Reflects Company Mission to Optimize Creative Ads Across Channels

San Francisco, CA – (April 25, 2016) – Effective today, PaperG, the original and leading Creative Management Platform, announces it has changed its name to Thunder. Additionally, the company has unveiled the first-ever solution for marketers to build, edit and preview creatives across display and social creatives in one interface, called PowerPlus for Facebook.

The concept of perfectly synchronized campaign waves is analogous to “rolling thunder,” which is both a natural concept and a term used by marketers to describe how thunderstorms and campaigns build in strength and power as they successfully move through time and distance. It is also part of the thinking that led the company and its board to rename and reposition PaperG as Thunder.

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[eBook] Programmatic Creative Buyer’s Guide

Thunder Programmatic Creative Buyer's Guide

Getting going with programmatic creative isn’t difficult if you have a roadmap to follow.

That’s why we published our proven three-step buying process to help you navigate getting started. Answer questions like:

  • Is programmatic creative a good fit for my organization?
  • What questions are critical to ask when selecting a provider?
  • How can I set myself up for success before launching my first campaign?

This is both a guide and a mini-workbook, purpose-built to help you find success with programmatic creative.

Download your free resource today.

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Data Leakage: How To Stop The Waste

Victor Wong CEO Thunder CMPThis article originally appeared on

While DMPs, social networks, and advertising giants like Facebook and Google struggle to combat data leakage with the unauthorized transfer of their data to the outside world, a more insidious type of leakage is draining ad dollars largely unchecked.

Advertisers and agencies are investing a great deal in targeting technologies like DSPs and DMPs, which account for about 30 percent of the $20 billion being spent globally in programmatic. Even so, only a small percentage of programmatic campaigns have creatives that completely match each targeted audience. In fact, up to 97 percent of programmatic campaigns lack a targeted creative for each audience segment, according to research by AppNexus.

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5 Minute Webinar: Programmatic Creative Explained

This year, $6.1 billion will be spent on DSPs and DMPs. But over 90% of the resulting targeted ads won’t have matching creative.

That means that despite the all the money spent on data and targeting, generic or generalized creatives are being used in the vast majority of programmatic campaigns. Programmatic creative solves the problem—adapting brand storytelling to become tailored to the viewer. It’s an exciting moment. Through technology, creativity and data can finally dance.

This is the subject of the eBook The Essential Guide to Programmatic Creative Technologies. This webinar summarizes the 35-page eBook in just 5 minutes.

Want the full eBook? Download it here: The Essential Guide to Programmatic Creative Technologies

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Activating $6 Billion in Wasted Programmatic Data

Cost of wasted DSP and DMP investments without programmatic creative

Having already overtaken the majority of digital ad spend, programmatic buying continues its rapid rise.

In the US, programmatic already accounts for over two-thirds of all display media. Magna Global forecasts programmatic-driven ad spend in 2015 to hit $20.5 Bn worldwide. Growth for years ahead is projected to remain steady.

To deliver the right message to the right audience, advertisers and agencies have put about 30% of their programmatic spend, $6 Bn, into targeting technologies like DSPs and DMPs.

And yet despite spending billions, the promise of delivering the right message still hasn’t been realized.

Research by AppNexus shows that 97% of programmatic campaigns lack a targeted creative for each audience segment. That means the vast majority of programmatic campaigns use generalized or generic creatives, a factor that has lead to heavy concerns from marketers about driving ROI from big data.

It’s not all wasted data, however. Many companies have figured out how to make creative work in the programmatic era, and they are reaping the rewards:

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[eBook] The Essential Guide to Programmatic Creative Technologies

Thunder Essential Guide to Programmatic Creative Technologies

This year, $6.1 billion will be spent on DSPs and DMPs. But over 90% of the resulting targeted ads won’t have matching creative. Programmatic creative solves the problem—adapting brand storytelling to become tailored to the viewer.

It’s an exciting moment. Through technology, creativity and data can finally dance.

To help you capture this moment, we’re excited to release a free, comprehensive, 35-page eBook. The information on these pages will help you understand the quickly-evolving world of programmatic creative by covering:

  • The two main technologies used for programmatic creative
  • Example programmatic creative ad units
  • A detailed workflow comparison
  • Answers to the questions you need to know before undertaking programmatic creative
  • A programmatic creative case study: How an agency boosted sales by 565% for their client

If you are ready to explore the technologies that will transform programmatic marketing at your organization, this is the ultimate eBook to kickstart your journey.

Download your free copy today.


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PaperG Secures Another $5M from Top U.S. and Asian Investors to Accelerate the $53 Billion Global Programmatic Opportunity

Series B Investors Include AppNexus CEO, KLP Enterprise (Pritzker family), Wavemaker Partners, WI Harper Group

San Francisco, CA–(DATE, 2015) Today, PaperG, a creative management platform that makes it possible for publishers, agencies and advertisers to match creative executions to the increasing variety of targeting segments and ad formats, announced it has secured an additional $5M USD in funding from a roster of well known U.S. and Asian investors, including KLP Enterprise (Pritzker family), Wavemaker Partners and WI Harper Group, along with Brian O’Kelley (CEO of AppNexus). The investment supports what all believe is the market’s best platform for global brands, agencies and publishers seeking to meet the exponential demand for ad creative, as the power of ad targeting and the number of ad formats have risen dramatically over the years.

Uniquely, the technology behind PaperG offers new capabilities that enable users to generate multiple versions and sizes of an ad creative. It also streamlines an extremely labor intensive and costly process by automating the ability for brands to build and adapt creative to match highly individualized audiences in the format most appealing to each.

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Transitioning Display Ads from Flash to HTML5 – A Comprehensive FAQ

Thunder guide to transitioning Flash to HTML5 display ads

The advertising shakeup on September 1st has accelerated plans across the industry to transition display ads from Flash to HTML5. As a result, a lot of questions have surfaced about the finer details of HTML5 ad production and trafficking.

Below we’ve compiled the most common questions and answers into a comprehensive FAQ. Many of the entries here have come directly from customers. If anything about HTML5 is unclear to you, we hope you find your answer here.

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The Final Nail in Flash’s Coffin

Death of flash transition to HTML Thunder adsFlash as an advertising medium has suffered a killing blow from Google and Mozilla, one that has left digital marketers scrambling toward building ads in HTML5 or with HTML5-friendly ad tech. For advertisers, it’s now not only inevitable but also immediate that HTML5 adoption is a must.

The news that rocked the advertising world came in June 2015: In order to extend laptop battery life, Google Chrome will “intelligently pause” Flash animations that aren’t central to the webpage. That’s a nice way of saying that Chrome is going to pause Flash advertisements.

Then on July 13, Mozilla one-upped Google, announcing that Firefox would immediately begin blocking all versions of Flash due to the discovery of three different ways to exploit the plug-in over a five day period.

A few days following Firefox’s action, Adobe quietly released patches to Flash’s vulnerabilities, restoring the plugin’s status in the Firefox browser.

UPDATE: Amazon has joined in on the anti-Flash momentum, saying it will no longer accept Flash ads on or Amazon Advertising Platform.

How bad is the impact of the Chrome and Firefox  updates on Flash ads?

Google Chrome is the world’s most popular web browser, with a substantial lead in usage over other options like Safari and Internet Explorer. The change to penalize Flash ads is already live in the beta version of Chrome, and Google has stated it will roll out the update to the masses soon.

Once the update goes live, Chrome users will find their ads are grayed out, with little play buttons positioned in the center, as shown below.

Above: Once the Google Chrome update reaches the masses, Flash-based ads will appear grayed out with play icons, as pictured above.

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[Infographic] Digital Agency Game of Thrones

Digital Agency Game of Thrones Infographic

Sometimes working at a digital agency can feel like a game of thrones. Teams become siloed. Communication breaks down. In these uncertain times of a shifting digital landscape, clashes between departments result in organizational dysfunction.

Not at your agency I’m sure, but sometimes under the pressure to excel, power struggles ensue.

In the infographic below, we take a look at four of the great houses in a typical digital agency, the sources of their rivalries, their great battles—game of thrones style.

Don’t worry though. Order, and ultimately victory is attainable. But also make no mistake. Programmatic is coming. Is your agency ready?

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How to Develop Creative Concepts for Programmatic Campaigns

Data Driven Campaigns - Thunder CMP

The new frontier in programmatic advertising is a creative one.

Message relevancy allows advertisers to combine the sophisticated targeting in their digital media buys with creative concepts that speak precisely to each targeted group. And through creative optimization, advertisers can test, learn from and optimize campaigns for performance gains of 30-50%.

Customizing creatives for programmatic media sounds great but, by and large, these customizations are all too often, well, not very creative.

To claim right person, right message, many advertisers draw from the same well of basic tactics—strategies like those that modify creatives based on simple geographic or weather data.

If using weather data and city names in ads is what data-driven advertising means to you, you’re taking the statement way too literally. Just because an ad knows it’s hot outside doesn’t mean that the conveyed message is any more compelling to a consumer. We can use ad tech to streamline and automate a lot of our work but we’re still marketers. Our ads ultimately require human finesse to change the feelings, opinions and behavior of human beings.

Effective creative relevancy helps advertisers connect with consumers by providing a positive influence on a consumer’s perception. This effect helps advertisers shape a consumer’s thoughts, feelings, and opinions.

So let’s talk about a creative process for people, not robots. Let’s talk about a process for data-driven campaigns that are full of heart, soul and, most importantly, humanity.

We will dig into creative tactics for programmatic soon enough but first we must build a strong creative strategy to serve as our foundation.

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Programmatic Creativity: Q&A with Adam Cahill on Launching Anagram

Adam Cahill Anagram quote on programmatic creative

It’s a new era for programmatic advertising. Just as the industry is realizing that having optimal creatives is just as important as optimal audiences, new services and companies have emerged to make programmatic creativity a reality.

We saw evidence of this last week as Digiday covered efforts across the industry to close the gap with programmatic creative. On the same day, AdExchanger profiled the launch of Anagram, an agency founded by Adam Cahill, who was formerly chief digital officer at Hill Holliday.

Anagram is one of this new breed—a company built with the specific purpose of helping brands win with programmatic. And we’re not just talking programmatic buying. Anagram does programmatic everything: media, creative, even in-flight optimization.

PaperG is lucky enough to be among the technologies Anagram uses, so we asked Adam if he would dig deeper into what it means to be a programmatic marketing agency.

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