Behind The Scenes

The Digital Advertising Department

By Gilbert Moran Display Advertising Interactive Media Online Advertising February 27, 2016

Display advertising is the driving factor behind the web content that we consume everyday.  For over a decade, PETROL has been engaging audiences with award-winning banner campaigns on a range of the biggest publisher websites for both desktop and mobile.

At PETROL, we pride ourselves on developing an unparalleled caliber of banner campaigns that have helped drive click through rates upwards of 3 times the industry standard for clients like Sony PlayStation Latin America and Activision/Bungie’s Destiny.

The team behind PETROL’s digital advertising development include Interactive Producer Randell Adams, Motion Director David Edeburn and Senior Rich Media Developer Max Herholz. Combined they have more than 10 years at PETROL and over 40 in the industry.

“My goal with creating banners is to create
a work of art that means something to audiences”

— Motion Director David Edeburn

For years, Flash-animated advertising opened up vistas of imagination in banner advertising. But with the recent industry-wide shift from Flash to HTML5, every agency has had to trade away some of Flash’s creative breadth to work within the more limited, albeit more agile and secure, HTML5 format.

Our digital advertising team has been at the cutting-edge forefront of this HTML5 shift by exploring new tools, techniques and changes in workflow to deliver high quality, memorable advertising. “HTML5 is an overall positive step forward, but it also comes with some hitches such as more time needed building creative animations, more quality assurance time, and bigger file sizes to create similar experiences,” says Edeburn.

“We see this transition as an opportunity to tweak the process of banner creation to match the art of advertising with the performance needs of a mobile world,” adds Herholz.

“We’re always communicating a story, not just creating an ad”

— Motion Director David Edeburn

HTML5 empowers the digital advertising team to think about how to tell the brand story cross-device – mobile and desktop.

Creative storytelling is unique to each device, with considerations of hardware, download times, screen sizes and user experience informing the creative process.

With mobile internet and app usage increasing year over year, the digital advertising team continues to adapt our creative and technical execution techniques to excel in the challenging mobile environment.  That’s where our partners’ audiences are spending more and more of their time.

“We say it a lot around here and it’s true. We need to think about how we create for the right people at the right time in the right place,” Adams says.

What does the future hold?

Recently, display advertising has seen some consumer pushback in the form of Ad blocking technology.  While ad blocking isn’t new, Edeburn, Herholz and Adams agree that this recent ad blocking uptick is a symptom of the profusion of low quality advertising, poor quality assurance,  limited technical knowledge by agencies, and publishers who aren’t prioritizing user experience.   Reports show that up to 70% of users accept online advertising if its high quality and non-invasive.

Edeburn explains, “Our team believes that the way to mitigate ad-blocking is compelling, relevant content that’s highly optimized.  Really memorable visuals, content and messaging should do what advertising is supposed to do.  We need to excite the user instead of invading their space.”

Many of PETROL’s clients are in the video gaming industry. With the plethora of special effects that our digital advertising team develops and vibrant gaming characters we are fortunate to have, we can form the kind of relevant ad experiences that customers point to as exemplars of the advertising industry.

Relevance is also about context and behavior. Collaborating with our media department, our digital advertising team creates ads that leverage behavioral and contextual user data to deliver relevant ads. And the beauty of a dynamic ad campaign is real-time adjustments to art, content and messaging so that each user is getting the right message, in the right place at the right time.

“I like that highly-targeted banner ad campaigns use technology to know the consumer’s status in their purchase flow. If they’ve dabbled, we can dynamically deliver new ad content that reignites the user’s interest. If they’ve already purchased, we dynamically deliver ads that might support or upsell, like coupons and other incentives”, Adams explains “That’s why a strategic campaign is so important”. Edeburn adds, “Advertising is only going to get better at being behavior and context-specific. Geotargeting even allows us to deliver location-specific ads when users are doing research inside a brick and mortar retailer.”

What’s in store for the future of advertising is personalization across many more touch points than we could have dreamed of even a few years back. Strategy, technology, data…these are the backbone of a new advertising era that is Mad Men meets Math Men. But in the end, story and content that matters to users rule the day.

Our PETROL digital advertising and media teams collaborate to bring campaigns that blend award-winning creative with the technology and data that make mobile and other platform advertising meaningful at a personal and contextual human level. We’re excited about where this fast-moving industry is going.

In their personal lives, the PETROL digital advertising team are just like anyone else. Randell has a love of music, sports and The Walking Dead, David enjoys a quality meal with his fiancée at one of the many foodie havens in Los Angeles, and Max can’t get enough time with his 2-year-old son.

Gilbert Moran

Gilbert Moran

Gilbert is a passionate lifelong gamer and uses his experience as a core fan to take social media strategies to new levels for brands like Godzilla The Game and Dark Souls.