We Overlook Humans And Creative When Talking Programmatic, Says InSkin Media’s GM

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Even with the industry frothing over programmatic, it’s paramount creativity isn’t put to the wayside.

Emma Mackenzie
Posted by Emma Mackenzie

As Kurt Burnette, chief revenue officer at Network Seven told B&T in the April/May issue of B&T about programmatic coming to TV: “If you start getting sent ads that are relevant, that’s going to be great, but if they’re crap ads it doesn’t matter how relevant it is, you’re just going to ignore them”.

And echoing Burnette’s sentiment, Matt Newcomb, general manager of online and video advertising company InSkin Media, said the company has yet to focus on programmatic because it’s hammering into how crucial creativity is.

“We are particularly fixated on creative, producing high quality, high impact, great creative via HTML5, which lots of people can’t do very well, in order to deliver the right kind of outcome for advertisers,” Newcomb told B&T.

When questioned whether the industry’s quest for automation and efficiency has been at the detriment of creativity, Newcomb said: “It’s hard to build amazing creative without human beings, I think,” and referencing one of the major Aussie publishers, Newcomb outlined how the native product was great, but it was very simple and functional at the moment, it was text, image and headline.

“That is great for what they’re trying to achieve,” he said. “But to turn that into something really creative without human beings is impossible.

“So you really do need human beings to build amazing creative. Human beings have great ideas. And that is so fundamental to how effective advertising is, and too easy to overlook when everyone just wants to talk about programmatic.

“But not matter how well something gets done with its delivery, if the creative is terrible, it’s terrible. Amazing creative and the right delivery is the result.”

While not pushing aside the possibility the company may focus on programmatic in the future, Newcomb believes not everyone needs to focus on programmatic right now.

“There’s definitely room for some people to not be programmatic, but never say never,” he said.

“The thing that’s changing at the moment, if you want to build high impact, amazing creative, it’s quite difficult to do that without human beings being involved. That’s the reality. And that’s the space that we’re in.

“Part of what we’re about is that kind of high end of advertising where design is really important. It’s not a question of necessarily one or the other, it’s this particular space and what we do, it’s quite hard to do programmatic.”

Since programmatic came onto the scene there has been wide discussion around whether it will help or hinder the creativity. Marketing Land’s Melody Gambino says programmatic doesn’t have to crush creativity. “While reactionaries are calling programmatic the ‘death of creativity,’ on the contrary, it offers great, new opportunities to move beyond the status quo,” she writes. 

Similarly, publication eMarketer has suggested that while programmatic has helped speed and efficiency in advertising, creativity is following suit.

“The creative process of the past isn’t sufficient to keep up with the needs of the programmatic era. But a significant amount of infrastructure change and mindset change will need to happen before the new rules of creative development emerge,” said eMarketer.

Brands and agencies can look to a number of existing practices to help the age of creativity in this programmatic era.

The key difference is the access to data that programmatic provides, said Luke Kintigh, global media and content strategist at Intel in the article. “We’re used to it on the social side. But programmatic takes it to a whole other level with personalization, because of the proliferation of DMPs [data management platforms] and all of this data.”