How we bought Harmon Corner programmatically at DSE this year

April 5, 2018Samantha Brault

We’ve been exhibiting at DSE for 13 years now but we did something a little different this year. As you might have noticed, we weren’t just present in the conference hall, we were front and center on the Las Vegas Strip.

We placed an ad on Harmon Corner: bought, sold and delivered fully through automated programmatic buying. And while it’s not quite how the saying goes, for us, everything is bigger in Vegas.

Booking our Harmon Corner campaign

We’ve long been preaching the benefits of programmatic digital out-of-home: how easy it is for media buyers to book their campaign, how flexible targeting abilities increase campaign impact, how triggers better distribute the campaign budget…

Well, we decided to put our money where our mouth is and put ourselves in the buyers’ shoes. Here’s what went into planning, buying and delivering our programmatic digital out-of-home campaign.

1. Discovery

When planning a digital out-of-home campaign, the first step is to list your objectives. What do you want your campaign to achieve? How? When?
Things to consider include point of interest locations, target audience, campaign dates, the impact you want your campaign to have and your campaign budget.
In our case, we wanted to run our campaign in Las Vegas during the week of DSE. And we wanted to make a huge impact!

2. Planning

Based on the goals set out in discovery, it’s time to start selecting the screens on which you want to bid. This can be done by either working directly with the media publisher, where they will set up custom packages for you in the DSP, or through existing packages already created in the DSP.
Unlike traditional online media buys, where inventory is created based on a user event like loading a web page, DOOH supply can be more scarce. A venue’s operating hours, for example, can affect when a screen is available. It’s important to know the specifics of each screen and venue before finalizing a deal.  
With our goal to do something huge, Harmon Corner was the obvious choice.
Since we wanted to buy only one screen, planning was pretty straight forward. However, when planning other buys, where thousands of screens suit your goals, be sure to check in with the DSP to know the specifics of the screens and venues to understand when and where your ad will be playing.

3. Campaign setup

In this stage, a few things need to be done by each party involved in the deal: the publisher, the DSP and the media buyer.

Deal setup (by the publisher in the SSP)

After we finalized all the details of our programmatic media buy for Harmon Corner, Branded Cities, the media publisher, created the deal in the OutMoove DSP.

Campaign setup (by the media buyer in the DSP)

Once the deal was accessible in the DSP, we, as the media buyers, assigned campaign parameters around our delivery goals. This included:

  • Campaign flight dates
  • Budget goals
    • Daily delivery pacing
    • Daily budget cap
    • Total campaign cap
  • Targeting

In our case, targeting was simple: hitting Harmon Corner, 24 hours a day. However, other targeting possibilities include:

  • Location: geographical area, city, store front…
  • Day parting: morning, night, day of the week…
  • Data trigger: weather, audience, traffic…

Creative setup (by the media buyer in the DSP)

To get our videos ready to go, we simply uploaded them to our OutMoove account; no emailing or manual communication was required.  
It is also possible to set different targeting triggers for each creative uploaded.  For our Harmon Corner campaign, we uploaded four different versions of the creatives, which we set to rotate evenly. 

4. Creative approval

This is where out-of-home varies slightly from traditional web and mobile programmatic buys. Given the high-visibility of each screen, the publishers have a creative approval process to ensure the content is appropriate for the location.

Once the campaign was activated in the OutMoove DSP, Branded Cities received an email alert to approve the pending creatives in Broadsign Reach. They simply had to log onto the SSP, preview the creative, click the “approved” button and our campaign was good to go.

5. Delivery

Once all the above elements are complete, delivery began.

In our OutMoove DSP seat, we were able to see delivery reporting in almost real time, which allows for quick campaign optimizations based on KPIs.  While the campaign was running, we altered the campaign in real-time to increase video plays during more relevant times, like when important industry events were happening in the area.

Branded Cities, the publisher, can also see delivery metrics updated about every 30 minutes in the SSP.

How we created the ad

While there are some considerations similar to the digital ads we’re used to creating for online and our digital out-of-home campaign, like screen resolution and ratio, ad content and design, a 300 pixel online ad doesn’t quite add up to a gigantic 8K screen.

To make sure our campaign turned out as bright and bold as we envisioned, we teamed up with digital out-of-home specialized creative agency, Voodooh.

“It was a pleasure developing the content for this groundbreaking Broadsign campaign. The sheer scale of the Harmon Corner screen perfectly suited Broadsign’s programmatic ambitions, providing the optimum Las Vegas canvas to generate compelling, attention-grabbing creative to target the DSE audience. We are super proud to have been part of that step in their technical evolution.”

Keith Nilsen, founder of Voodooh

Seeing our ad on such a big screen was a main highlight for us at DSE this year. We’re pleased with how the campaign turned out and are looking forward to our next programmatic buying adventure.

To learn more about buying, selling and delivering programmatic DOOH campaigns, check out Broadsign Reach.