The goal of this article is to provide greater understanding into the process of creating display ads with dynamic ad content from a creative producer’s perspective using Google’s dynamic content tools. If you have considered running dynamic creative, this is a brief explanation of what you might expect and how the integration works with Google’s DoubleClick tools. I have personally created several dynamic ad campaigns in the agency I work for, before it became a separate programmatic department and traffickers took over the basic groundwork that I helped lay with the VP of our agency. It is important to know that there are typically experts in creative production to design the ad and separate the ad elements into assets, a trafficker well versed in DoubleClick Campaign Manager, and if you want to run programmatic ads you will need someone who understands DoubleClick Bid Manager, and potentially someone who knows digital technology who understands Google Tag Manager and firing triggers and tags for setting up triggers based on website events that will enable various rules for a dynamic ad. In starting out, our agency tip-toed into dynamic ad creation with one client before setting up a lot of parameters that would convolute the process between the different tools that make the ad run effectively. At a minimum, for setting up basic dynamic ads for the first time, you will need someone who can produce the ads, understands trafficking in DoubleClick Campaign Manager, and can get in and figure out DoubleClick Studio after passing the trainings required, both the DoubleClick Studio certification and the Dynamic Creative for Media Agencies certification, to have access.
Designing the Dynamic Ad
I recommend creating the ad in standard 2d art design programs like Illustrator and Photoshop and present the dynamic capability in a presentation to the client. Then, once approved, break up the elements/assets needed for Google Web Designer and recreate the ad in the program.
Google Web Designer
Google Web Designer allows you to not only create the ad but also set up any animation. But the greater impact of Google Web Designer comes in the capability to connect assets into dynamic elements that can be housed in DoubleClick Studio and connected with a feed. There are also event handlers and configurations when actions are taken on the ad itself and you would like to track those events. In order to connect dynamic properties in DoubleClick Studio you will need to upload your assets and elements into DoubleClick Studio and then create the feed. Then you will want to come back to Google Web Designer to connect they dynamic properties to the feed.
DoubleClick Studio and Dynamic Feed Setup
So, in tandem, you will be building out the feed, producing all dynamic assets needed to provide the necessary dynamic rotation, and uploading it into the assets section in DoubleClick Studio. You will also create the creatives in DoubleClick Studio. This can be a very long and tedious process but the flexibility you have afterwards when running your ads far exceeds the initial frustrations assuming you have set the client expectations up front.
Google Feed Connectivity With Google Web Designer
Once you have added the assets and creatives within DoubleClick Studio and set up the feed, you will connect the feed to the dynamic content section of DoubleClick Studio. You will also need to have your DoubleClick Campaign Manager setup in order to preview and test your dynamic properties within DoubleClick Studio. This can be a test campaign or the actual campaign if your traffick manager has gone ahead and set up the ad placements. We just want to make sure that these ads are not set to run until we have confirmed the dynamic properties are firing. Once you have DoubleClick Campaign Manager connected, you can go back and set up the values in the dynamic content section of DoubleClick Studio. This is what connects the dynamic properties within Google Web Designer. Once those values are setup, again go back to Google Web Designer and set up dynamic bindings for each dynamic element using custom schema to connect with the values you’ve just created in DoubleClick Studio. When enabling custom schema, Google Web Designer will ask for your DoubleClick Studio login to communicate between those interfaces.
After setting up the dynamic bindings, you will go back to DoubleClick Studio and in the dynamic content section you will want to preview dynamic creatives. This will allow you to see the dynamic features in action and make sure all properties are working as expected.
Doubleclick Campaign Manager and DoubleClick Bid Manager
At this point your ads are ready for distribution through normal ad trafficking means. DoubleClick Bid Manager also integrates to provide endless targeting opportunities and can connect with Google Tag Manager to manage events and triggers that allow firing events on the website to connect with certain ads or assets within those ads. These connections are very powerful. For example, they allow an advertiser to determine whether a website visitor should receive a retargeting ad for reaching a specific location on the website and what criteria the ad should serve based on the specific content viewed on the website.
Dynamic Ad Creation Conclusion
As mentioned at the beginning, this article was meant to provide a high level overview of the process of setting up dynamic ads through Google’s dynamic content tools. As you can see, it is quite complex but gives lots of opportunity and flexibility for A/B testing and customizing ads with personalized messaging and only scratches the surface of the type of personalization available in the online ad viewing space.