Wednesday, August 19th 2020

A day in the life of a display banner


Imagine yourself surfing the web…

You have spent a long time looking for a model of sneakers to your taste. You’re more than ready to show off your new style on your next outing. You visit several fashion websites and a pair catches your eye. You notice a display banner on a web page displaying one of the styles of shoes you shopped for earlier. This display banner, powered by the Baskia brand, is beautiful and its harmony attracts your attention. Moreover, the advertised offer seems to be competitive. So, in the heat of the moment, you decide to click on it to learn more. You might think this is your destiny calling you at first, which is exactly what you needed to convince yourself to buy these shoes! But did this display banner really end up in front of you by chance? Not exactly… Let’s dive in deep!

What is the story behind this display banner?

It’s not quite a sign of fate. The cards have been dealt a few times, because indeed, before reaching your eyes, a display banner has to go through several stages. First of all, the Baskia company, of course, carried out a market research before launching its new style of footwear. Now that the production has started, it’s time to promote it. 

Programmatic campaign brief to the media agency

The advertiser (Baskia) sends a brief to their media agency to get strategic recommendations for their programmatic campaign. This brief outlines the details of its business objectives, as well as the typical audience to target, as well as the type of positioning desired.

brief to media agency illustration

Strategic recommendations from the media agency

After having read the brief (and generally after a few meetings and discussions with the advertiser), the agency develops a media placement strategy according to the campaign objectives, the target customer, the target market and the available budget. This proposal includes recommendations for the best media types, formats and size of creatives to use. The choice of display banner formats is very important because they do not all meet the same objectives. For example, if Baskia’s goal is to increase their brand awareness online with their new footwear, it is best to use both impactful and engaging formats, such as Skin, Pre-roll, Billboard or 3D banners. On the other hand, if Baskia wants to maximize their conversions, then dynamic creatives or native placements are best suited to reach that goal.

For more details on the formats available for programmatic campaigns and their uses, visit our Creative Gallery.

baskia web banners

In the proposal, the suggested display banner formats are presented as mockups (created by a designer) offering a visual overview of the display banner as well as the technical characteristics. The proposed strategy also includes an estimated budget, targeting options (contextual, behavioral, socio-demographic, etc.), type of targeted devices, geolocation, etc. Once the strategic proposal has been accepted by the advertiser, the creative process can begin.

baskia standard banners mockup

Creation of the display banners

The creation, meanwhile, can have several stages and the stakeholders may vary. Does the media agency or the advertiser have an in-house creative team? Is a creative agency already working with the advertiser? Is the creation done by external suppliers?

In any case, the creation process remains the same. Depending on the brief, display banners are proposed, created by the designers, and sent to the campaign manager at Baskia for validation. These are rarely approved the first time around. We can often expect anywhere between 1 and 10 rounds of modifications. This may depend on the types of formats, their complexity and their amount. Once these creatives are approved, they are sent to the media agency’s operations team for the campaign launch.

Campaign launch

Once the creatives are approved, they move to the Ad Trafficker team, whose role is to host the creatives on an ad server and to associate trackers to them. This will make it possible to properly measure the display banners’ performance (impressions delivered, clicks generated, etc.). Following the hosting process, a script is exported from the ad server which will be sent to the various campaign broadcasters.

Before a programmatic campaign is delivered online, creatives must go through a mandatory audit process. This checkpoint is performed by the DSP (Demand-side platform to buy inventory) and the SSP (Supply-side platform to access inventory) to ensure that the display banners comply with the following standards of the industry:

  • Maximum display banner weight
  • Compliance/legality of the message and the advertiser
  • Declaration and category of the advertiser (fashion, automobile, travel, etc.). Some publishers have established a “black list” which includes specific content categories such as tobacco, politics, gambling, sexuality, etc. They could therefore prevent the display banners from being displayed on their sites. No worries on that side for our Baskia shoes!
  • Duration of the animation (if there is one)
  • Validating the language of the creative
  • Etc.

The final touch

Finally, the trafficker associates each creative with precise distribution rules (by line item). Within the same campaign, an advertiser may want to deliver a different set of creatives depending on their targeting options. For example, in the case of Baskia, a display banner could target users depending on their context, making them appear on sports or fashion sites. Specific users could also be targeted according to their behavior, in other words, according to the sites or domains they visited previously, including the Baskia brand! All of this in the same campaign.

From the brief to the launch of the campaign, intricate teamwork is required to make sure the right message or product appears in front of you, the consumer, in the right place and at the right time. Indeed, at least 7 people, from different teams, possibly across different networks, were exposed to the same display banner before you even saw it online. The rest is in your hands. It’s up to you to determine if we did our job well enough to cater to your various interests. The next time you see a display banner online, stop worrying, the mystery is solved!

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