Can Ad Creative Diversity Accelerate Programmatic Media Growth?

New Industry Report From CPXi Highlights “Programmatic Creative” as the Solution for Increased Performance at a Decreased Cost; Report Finds Display Advertisers Are Currently Paying up to 4x More Than Necessary

NEW YORK, NY – The results of an in-depth special report examining the critical need for an automated solution to the problems of scalability and lack of diversity in display ad creative chronicle the rise of programmatic, highlighting how it has enabled the media buying side of display to increase its operational efficiency and targeting accuracy. However, the creative side remains limited by budget constraints, as well as the lack of flexibility to respond to real time market developments, leading to higher prices and lower campaign ROI.

This CPXi report, based in part on proprietary data shared by AppNexus, revealed that advertisers are currently paying up to 4x more than necessary to reach audiences with display.

In order to understand the performance of particular unit sizes and identify ways advertisers could improve overall campaign results by adopting a programmatic approach to the creative process, CPXi aggregated and analyzed an extensive, combined pool of its own data, as well as that of AppNexus’. AppNexus has unique insight into client activity on both the buy and sell side as the largest independent ad technology company in the world.

Key takeaways of the report include:

  • Look Beyond Common Ad Units: Advertisers tend to stick with the top three most common ad units — Leaderboard (728×90), Medium Rectangle (300×250) and Wide Skyscraper (160×600) — which account for 96 percent of impressions.
  • Diversified Campaigns Perform Better: After comparing CPCs of campaigns using only the most common Medium Rectangle ad unit, campaigns using the top three most common units and campaigns using seven different ad units, the study revealed that the more diversified a campaign’s ad units, the lower the CPC and the better it performed.
  • Campaign Performance Increases Outside of the Norm: Campaigns using only the Medium Rectangle unit cost 150 percent more than those using the three common units, and nearly 400 percent more than those utilizing all seven units.
  • Non-traditional Display Units Are Most Effective: Non-traditional display units, such as the Full Banner (486×60) and the Square (250×250) had the lowest CPM, CPC and CPA, and the top three common units had the worst performance, with CPAs three to four times higher than the additional display units.

“As the world’s largest independent ad tech company, AppNexus facilitates more than 20 billion ad transactions each day. Our massive scale and position at the center of the market gives us a rare, macro view of our industry,” said Brian O’Kelley, CEO and Co-founder, AppNexus. “Based on our data and insights, it’s clear that there are a variety of ad units available, some of which may be underleveraged when it comes to effectively capturing a consumer’s attention.”

Programmatic Creative enables advertisers to leverage automation technology to generate, iterate and optimize creative assets to promote high-touch engagement, regardless of digital strategy or budget. It applies the same streamlined and efficient process that advertisers are accustomed to from programmatic buying platforms to the development of multiple creative assets, the cost of which, as the study shows, can be astronomical and often prohibitive to smaller advertisers.

“The study shows without a doubt that display advertisers are doing themselves a major disservice by limiting the diversity of their campaigns, and now there is a way to address their concerns about cost and risk when it comes to utilizing a broader range of ad units,” said Jeff Hirsch, CMO, CPXi. “Programmatic creative can deliver higher engagement rates, lower cost and better overall performance. Further, it opens up the display market to smaller advertisers who have previously been limited by budget, as programmatic creative does not limit scale or accuracy only to those who can afford to develop a larger variety of creative assets.”

To download the special report, please visit:
For a representative infographic, please visit:

About CPXi
CPXi is a global digital media holding company with over a decade of experience connecting consumers with brands. The company has four primary divisions: bRealTime, offering programmatic solutions for both demand and supply side partners; Simplixity, providing full service media execution for brands; agencies and direct marketers; Affiture, an affiliate network driving performance objectives; and AdReady, providing a self-serve platform for programmatic creative and media placement. CPXi provides multi-screen messaging, leveraging display, social, mobile and video advertising at scale serving billions of managed impressions daily. CPXi is a privately held company. For more information, please visit and follow us on Twitter @cpxi