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Simpli.fi Brings Quick Ad Creation To Local Programmatic

Local media outlets, agency trading desks, and advertisers will have a choice of 44 ad sizes instead of four when creating geo-targeted ads “on the fly.”

Simpli.fi's James Moore
Simpli.fi’s James Moore

Local programmatic platform Simpli.fi is closing the loop on its automated ad serving, bidding, and unstructured data management offerings with the release of its OnTarget software product.

The idea of “programmatic creative” has been attracting a lot more attention lately. Companies who provide automated image ads include PaperG, CPXi, and as of this past week, display ad network Undertone, which unveiled its digital creative studio, PixL. Programmatic creative also reflects the prominence of native advertising as marketers and media outlets attempt to incorporate social media styles across desktop and mobile screens.

Creative Inspiration

OnTarget was inspired by conversations Simpli.fi’s sales teams had been having with its media company clients. The digital arms of the regional and local newspaper publishers, cable, TV, and radio broadcasters were looking for an alternative to the vendors that were focused specifically on programmatic creative services.

“We always have been — and always will be — a media services company committed to empowering marketers who want to get more out of audience targeting for the purpose of driving local ad impressions,” said Simpli.fi CRO James Moore. “We have many clients and prospects who are using some of the preexisting tools in the marketplace. But those tools generally force those companies to buy media through their integrated partnerships on the backend.”

In Moore’s view, those partnerships tend to limit the amount of choices in terms of ad size, pricing, and placement quality for both buyers and sellers. Since Simpli.fi serves both sides of the local digital ad marketplace anyway, it made sense to try to come up with a solution that brings the same automated ad serving, data, and bidding offerings to meet those brands’ creative needs.

Plus, having a creative tool also positions Simpli.fi as a one-stop shop for local digital advertising.

“This is a great ad ops tool that decreases our dependence on in-house creative teams, who may be very talented, but we’re looking for a way to do creative on the fly,” Moore said. “This is a mechanism to do just that.”

Sizing Up

The ads created using OnTarget can be exported in 44 different size sets and in multiple file formats. This is a big advantage according to Moore, who said that when it comes to programmatic creative, advertisers usually get a choice of just four sizes. With the ability to choose from so many sizes, clients should have an easier time of buying and selling remnant (aka “unsold”) inventory.

With more options to fill many kinds of available online ad space, including desktop, mobile, and Facebook units, Simpli.fi can promise a higher degree of scale.

“Because advertisers often create ads in only four popular sizes, that leaves them unable to bid on — and win — impressions for valuable inventory in more than 40 other sizes,” Moore said. “The ability to export ads in all 44 sizes makes the entire process more efficient and cost effective in extending campaign reach.”

OnTarget in action
OnTarget in action

Best of Both Ad Worlds

For years, the online ad industry has bemoaned the view of banners and search ads as primarily viable for cheap direct response ads. When real-time bidding emerged as the main use case for programmatic, exchange-based ad buys, that impression only hardened.

While native advertising is largely considered a throwback to “advertorials” and a form of customized, content marketing, the industry has remained challenged when it comes to developing ads that would match a high-quality, artful branding campaign, which is intended to build consumer affinity with a product over time. Creative programmatic is a fairly nascent concept. But by spreading it beyond national brands down to the local level, the realization of improving the digital ad marketplace appears imminent.

“This tool is designed to meet the needs of all advertisers, both direct response and branding,” Moore said. “When you look at local advertisers, which are some of the largest consumers of geo-specific marketing, these organizations have gotten a tremendous amount dollars from advertising from search, which is primarily text-based. With image ads in multiple sizes and formats, you can communicate so much more and in a way that resonates with people the way an attractive magazine ad does, while at the same time, preserving the efficiency and targeting value of online.”

About The Author
David Kaplan David Kaplan @davidakaplan

A New York City-based journalist for over 20 years, David Kaplan is managing editor of GeoMarketing.com. A former editor and reporter at AdExchanger, paidContent, Adweek and MediaPost.