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9 Genius Programmatic Advertising Examples

So you’re trying to get a better understanding of programmatic advertising and you’d like to see some examples?

Photo by Saumya Rastogi on Unsplash

How Auto Trader Achieved a 90% Reduction in CPA

At the top of our list of great programmatic advertising examples is Auto Trader – the giant digital automotive marketplace that has over 450,000 listings every single day.

They were a big winner in the Programmatic and Performance Marketing Category at the Marketing Week Masters Awards in 2018.

Buying and selling cars online is an incredibly competitive niche. Even though Auto Trader attracted 55 million cross-platform visits every month, their click results weren’t what they should be.

programmatic advertising example

The company had its own in-house programmatic trading team, but targeted digital campaigns were still intensive to run – and optimizing ad spend was an increasing concern.

So, they pivoted and partnered with a new Demand Side Platform (DSP) which allowed them to precisely select the high-value audiences they wanted to reach. Campaign goals in hand, the new machine learning algorithms worked to make their limited ad investment smarter.

Automating their campaign meant only having to pay for customers who were most likely to click on their ads! Plus, the in-house team had more time to manually test and tweak the strategy.

Finding the right DSP led Auto Trader to an incredible 90% reduction in their cost-per-acquisition (CPA), over a 6 month period. With an additional 3 hours saved each day, Auto Trader can now focus on their programmatic creative to extend their brand reach.


Key Takeaways:

  • In-house teams can quickly be overwhelmed with work
  • Partner with the right Demand Side Platform (DSP)
  • Highly competitive markets require agency assistance
  • Finding the right audience is an effective way to reduce Cost-per-Acquisition (CPA)

It’s really neat to see peers in the car industry, like an automotive software company develop cutting-edge technology innovations to enhance vehicle performance, safety, and connectivity!

How John Lewis Achieved a 346% Higher ROI on Black Friday

John Lewis is a UK-based department store known for its high-end merchandise.

Like many retailers impacted by the Millennial market, John Lewis has reported that their profits had dropped over the last few years.

In an attempt to turn things around, the brand partnered with a DSP and set out to buy programmatic ad inventory over the notorious Black Friday weekend, and in the lead up to key days.

Using historical data, the team theorized that people did a lot of research leading up to Black Friday. To reduce inventory and higher bidding costs, John Lewis set up private marketplace deals with premium sites leading up to the bigger days.

Their DSP created an innovative strategy called ‘programmatic guaranteed’ which made it possible for the company to secure significant cut-through for millions of ads during Black Friday.

They partnered with The Telegraph during Black Friday weekend itself. This programmatic direct deal was highly targeted and efficiently optimized.

The strategy helped John Lewis avoid the oversubscribed and significantly increased costs of digital ad inventory available on the programmatic marketplace over this time period.

There is always a huge demand for prime ad space over Black Friday. By partnering with a reliable DSP, the struggling company managed to reach high-value customers at the right time, without the inflated marketplace costs.

This resulted in a Return On Investment (ROI) that was 346% higher than their proposed target! The strategies created a record-breaking Black Friday income for the brand.

Key Takeaways:

  • On big event days, innovative programmatic strategies can amplify ad ROI
  • Reduce inflated marketplace costs with programmatic direct and private deals
  • Optimize private deals using programmatic for highly optimized ad outcomes

How Lacoste Generated 19,749,380 Impressions and 2,290 Sales with Programmatic Display Ads

Key Takeaways:

  • Focusing on the basics can significantly improve sales and reach
  • A/B testing and creative improvement is important in programmatic advertising
  • A campaign is only as good as the real-time campaign adjustments made

How IHG Hotels Used Programmatic Ads to Disrupt the Metasearch Industry

Key Takeaways:

  • Programmatic advertising can disrupt your industry
  • Used creatively, it can educate and convert specific customer segments
  • This is especially true for highly competitive markets and large brands

How Unilever’s Axe Romeo Reboot Tells a Story 100,000 Different Ways

Key Takeaways:

  • Difficult target markets can be penetrated with creative and programmatic ads combined
  • Creative programmatic media is a powerful tool for cutting through the clutter
  • Personalized storytelling helps your brand make an impact

How O2 Created a 128% Better CTR with Creative Programmatic

Key Takeaways:

  • Leverage your data to create hyper-personalized programmatic ads for best results
  • Creative ads convert better when they appeal to specific users or customers
  • Repurposing and refreshing old campaigns can be lucrative when automating ads

How Amanda Foundation Finds People for Shelter Animals

Key Takeaways:

  • Programmatic media has the power to help brands find and reach the right audience
  • Targeting specific segments with unique media increases conversions
  • Even the most basic data can be used creatively to improve campaign impact

How Missing People Found 20% More Kids Using Programmatic

Key Takeaways:

  • Programmatic ads can be used on many platforms, including outdoor spaces
  • Location data can drastically improve response rates in a meaningful way
  • Programmatic can unify and streamline all other digital advertising opportunities

How The Economist Got 3.6 Million People to Take Action

Key Takeaways:

  • Programmatic ads give brands a way to tap into lost audience segments
  • Reach out and find your audience where they are already
  • Test your content and identify what works best with your audience

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