December 18, 2017

It’s Not Too Late To Optimize Your Holiday Creative With DCO



Kelsey Meuse

Product Marketing Manager

The holiday season is always a big time for advertisers, who look to take advantage of the uptick in consumer spending. With heavy competition for consumer attention and dollars, the holidays are a great time for brands to try out dynamic-creative optimization (DCO) for online campaigns.


The ability to adapt creative and messaging to fit an audience segment, while also continuing to optimize around performance, can be a major factor when it comes to Q4 campaign success. Brands willing to experiment with DCO should take advantage of the following ideas to amplify their holiday season impact:

Focus on what’s gift worthy

When consumers are in holiday shopping mode, they’re often desperate to find gift ideas when browsing sites and content. Retailers that simply retarget based on what a consumer already saw may not be helping themselves, because the consumer wants new and fresh ideas beyond what they’ve already perused. Use DCO to show shoppers new products that are gift-worthy and that they haven’t seen, and get them to make a purchase on your site.

Gift-worthiness is an important distinction here as well. While brands may have high-end items to push to consumers who meet certain criteria, they need to remember there is often a price range sweet spot when it comes to buying gifts. They should prioritize products within that range when using DCO during the holidays.

Use the power of contextual

As we mentioned above, retargeting is a great tool, but not always during the holidays. Marketers are better off using the full scope of targeting capabilities, including contextual. This ensures marketers can programmatically buy inventory against certain page context, then use DCO to tailor the messaging and creative to display different gifts based on user interest.

Every vertical can take very different approaches to contextual. For example, CPG advertisers should double down on content related to entertaining. This means anything about food, decorating, household preparations for guests, you name it. By targeting these pages, CPG brands can promote recipes for their food products, or other creative ways to use their household goods for holiday cheer.

Brands can also leverage contextual for inclusive messaging that targets pages mentioning different seasonal religious holidays, such as Diwali or Hanukkah. Even products that don’t scream “gift worthy” can be marketed with a holiday slant – toothpaste, razors and deodorant all make for good stocking stuffers for parents to give their adult children.

Luxury advertisers can adopt a slightly different strategy. Many brands push gifts with the idea that one person will give them to their romantic partner, which is a great idea. But by contextually targeting business-related content, luxury advertisers can push messaging geared toward employees giving their bosses a gift. Imagine an ad that said “Give a gift for the job you want: Your boss will thank you for the next project with this elegant Mont Blanc pen.”

Play with fun messages

Yes, the holidays are about family and memories. But brands shouldn’t be afraid to move beyond the sentimental and get cheeky and festive with their messaging. Instead of simple “buy now” calls to action, try messaging like “feel the relief of checking another gift off your list.”

It can also be fun to set up ad sequences around consumers who have already made a purchase. This is the right time to use retargeting, because it allows a brand to find a consumer and deliver a message along the lines of “reward yourself this holiday season,” or, “now that you’ve shopped for everyone else, why not shop for yourself?” This is fun, and it’s different, and there is always a chance it will entice the consumer to spend more with a brand because the messaging appealed to them in a unique way.

DCO gives brands plenty of ways to experiment with fun holiday advertising that goes off the beaten path. If brands remember to keep their products within a gift-worthy price range and leverage contextual targeting, they’ll be able to stand out from the competition with holiday shoppers.