6 ways travel brands can benefit from dynamic ads
4 min read

6 ways travel brands can benefit from dynamic ads

Dynamic ads are revolutionising travel display advertising. It’s digital advertising that provides cruise lines, ferry companies, and airlines alike with the ability to present the right message, to the right person, at the right time.

Combined with developments in data and targeting, dynamic ad campaigns are helping brands to improve ad performance. What’s more producing dynamic ad campaigns is painless, thanks to creative management platforms (CMPs)– they are well within the capabilities of all in-house marketing teams.

But what are the different types of dynamic ad campaign that travel brands can use?

1. Dynamic ads that use data feeds

First-up, on our different types of dynamic ad, are those that apply data feeds. These types of ad are perfect for travel brands and easy to create if you have access to an enterprise-level creative management platform.

For example, you could create product focused dynamic creative campaigns that serve viewers with selected products or offers, via either live, or spreadsheet-based, data. Perfect for those brands with seasonal, or changeable offerings, such as ferry services.

You could also target consumers who have shown intent. Product focused dynamic campaigns retarget selected viewers, with specific products – useful for abandoned cart promotions, and cross-selling. Plus, with features such as a burn pixel, you can make sure you only show viewers offers they’re interested in (and not spam them!).

Another challenge facing the cruise industry is having display advertising is live pricing. With a CMP it’s possible to display current prices inside dynamic banners that change automatically.

The message is this: whatever data you have, you can use it in your dynamic ads.

2. Dynamic rich media ads with search

Another type of dynamic ad worth considering, is combining rich media with a search. Yes, this sounds elaborate (it is) but it is an excellent way of grabbing a viewer’s attention with quality HTML5 ads. Plus, getting them to engage with your travel brand instantly. Bonus!

And the best thing?  Producing data fed rich media ads is simple when you use a CMP!

Indeed, you can add a search capability to your banners without the need for hours of technical coding. What’s more, serve your dynamic ad – with a search – on a website that viewers visit during their research and you can enhance your brands position in their thinking. It’s a no-brainer for marketing teams looking to boost ad performance.

Use a CMP and from one master creative you can scale all the variations you need, code-free, with all the benefits of rich media and data. Plus, with the added ability to A/B test and optimise ads with analytics features such as heatmaps. Meaning a designer can improve designs – without the wait.

Furthermore, what makes these search-focused rich media ads significant for multinational travel brands is their relative ease to create and control in-house via a CMP. From a central editorial team, global messages can be optimised by local teams, with copy, data, images made relevant for regional markets!

3. Geo-targeting ad campaigns

Third on our list of dynamic ad campaigns is geo-targeting. More than 60% of travellers use mobile apps while travelling – a tremendous opportunity. This type of campaign relies on using location touch points – such as an IP address or GPS data – to present viewers with relevant ads.

For example, you can localise the content in your ads through familiar imagery, or copy specific to cities and regions. You can also serve local promotions depending on where the viewer is – right down to the district of a city.

Combined with a CMP, an in-house marketing team can produce as many geo-based ad variations as required –without manually coding banners. Meaning that you can easily show offers that are relevant to local tastes. For example, MSC Cruises in Sweden may well use very different offers, compared to that of the UK.

The beauty of geo-targeting, and dynamic data fed banners, is that it lets you drill down to a granular level. Plus, if you use a CMP that offers translation services, producing variants for these locations is easy too.

4. Demographic targeting

Demographic campaigns are another way that travel brands can benefit from using dynamic ads. They allow travel brands to use the first party data they hold, or purchased third party data, to create optimised ads. It means you can take the same offer, or product, and iterate display ads that target a specific demographic.

For example, one demographic group may have contrasting reasons for visiting a destination compared to another. For example, a weekend trip to Tallinn. It is unlikely images of the castle in the Old Town will attract young travellers. While, copy that mentions the city’s nightlife, may put-off certain groups.

Clearly serving the best dynamic ad, to the correct demographic is a better way to work. What’s more, it’s also possible to make your demographic dynamic ads even more effective. Use a premium CMP and you can easily produce all the landing page variants required for all the demographics you are targeting.

5. Dynamic ads that mirror the user journey

User-journey campaigns only show viewers dynamic ads tailored to each layer of the sales funnel. From top to bottom, from awareness to conversion. This means your cruise brand will only show viewers messages that are right for them.

To enable programmatically creative user-journey campaigns you first need to integrate your data management platform (DMP) into your dynamic ads. Again, the simplest way to do this is to use a creative management platform.  From a single banner, you can supply dynamic ads relevant to where the user is in the sales funnel.

What’s more, according to Seamus Whittingham, SVP, of IgnitionOne “a 4x uplift in return and conversions” for travel brands is possible when data is effectively leveraged to inform display campaign strategies.

6. Dynamic creative optimisation (DCO)

Dynamic creative optimisation is the next logical step for travel brands. DCO is all about using the data you have for targeting, and combining it with analytics, and optimisation to serve hyper-relevant dynamic ads.

For example, a ferry banner ad will not only show destinations based on viewer location, but it will also present the latest prices and the most suitable copy for the viewer. From the colour of a button, to images, to the CTA: it’s all about using cold, hard data, to enhance dynamic ads.

Furthermore, there’s DCO, which combines your CMP, DMP, and DSPs with artificial intelligence (AI). This DCO uses an algorithm to select specific creative elements on the fly. It uses data, both first and third party to pick the best combination of creative to put in front of a viewer. There’s no limit to what you can do; build campaigns that use as many data sources as you want!

It offers travel brands true personalised advertising. And is something that creative management platforms make happen; whether, in-built, or in combination with other solutions such as Google Marketing Platform.


Many travel brands are already using dynamic ads. Some in-house, or just beginning to, while others are applying dynamic creative optimisation to its full potential. What they have in common is that they know that personalised dynamic ads aren’t easily achievable via the old agency model.

Finally, a creative management platform enables your in-house team to make dynamic ads a reality. A CMP lets you work in-house, have full control across editorial teams, and be efficient within all areas of ad production.

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