There’s no shortage of ads for telecom products in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). And with consumers constantly on the hunt for better mobile and internet deals, it’s important to tune into their passions to encourage action.
That’s why Abu Dhabi-based telecom company, Etisalat UAE, made the call to complement traditional out-of-home and static banner formats with dynamic creative optimisation (DCO) to boost engagement.
Discover how the telecom brand’s pivot from product-focused to people-focused ads helped them unlock a 3.5X increase in lead generation, a 54% rise in click-through rate in just two months, and a 20% drop in cost per lead.
Saying hello to new formats
Etisalat UAE’s products — from postpaid and prepaid mobile offerings to its eLife TV and internet packages — are generally well known across the UAE. But the brand recognised it needed to move beyond brand awareness to drive engagement.
“It wasn’t enough to be top of mind anymore,” says Saadeddine Nahas, director of digital communications at Etisalat UAE. “We wanted to serve the right ads, at the right time, to the right customer. To do that, we needed a new approach.”
So Etisalat UAE collaborated with Google and creative partner Ad-lib to design a laser-focused dynamic creative optimisation strategy. Their goals were three-fold: connect consumers with their ideal products, encourage engagement, and harness data-driven insights to optimise results.
Designing 3,600 creative variants in just 7 days
The Etisalat UAE team focused their efforts on elevating campaign creatives.
“Knowing creative drives 70% of campaign performance, it was important we honed in on asset design straight away,” Nahas explains.
Dynamic creative files are adaptable ad templates built from raw photo assets, or base ads. An automated creative management platform switches out the template’s content elements — including calls to action, exit URLs, images, and more — personalising content to suit specific audiences’ interests. Take a look at how the templates are built from within the creative management platform:
For Etisalat UAE's always-on campaign, Ad-lib developed 3,600 dynamic creatives from six raw assets in just seven days. If a designer had created these manually, it would have taken several months. Thanks to automation, the ads — designed for multiple formats and channels — went live within three weeks of inception.
Calling on the right audience
But how did Etisalat UAE know which audiences to design creatives for? They turned to Google Signals, segmenting consumers by interest and location. Based on viewer data sourced at the time of an ad being served, assets automatically adjusted their content. In this way, the most appropriate ads were always served to the ideal audiences, in real-time.
Assets were grouped into four categories:
- Etisalat UAE's eLife offerings: This content featured eLife products — mobile, internet, and TV packages — that consumers would likely want to learn more about, based on previous interest.
- Sports fans: Using data insights around upcoming matches, content automatically showcased upcoming sporting events days ahead of kick off. Messaging encouraged consumers to consider Etisalat UAE's eLife TV product — which includes sports channels — to catch the game.
- Internet bandwidth and location: Etisalat UAE utilised a changing application programming interface (API) to log internet speed tests across key UAE locations. Plugging this information into assets, ad content offered audiences a real-time comparison of what internet speed they were getting on their devices in their area, versus what Etisalat UAE could offer.
- Movie lovers: Creative automatically optimised to shoppers’ film interests, encouraging consumers to consider eLife internet and TV packages.
“This innovative campaign helped us deliver real-time, personalised creatives to potential customers looking for our services any time of the year,” said Fares Hamad Fares, vice president of digital communication and planning at Etisalat UAE. “This helped us stay top of mind, even between tactical campaigns.”
Here’s an example of some of the multi-format ads created across each category:
Picking up the best-performing ads
To ensure top-performing ads were always being shown to interested consumers, Etisalat UAE assessed creative performance throughout the campaign.
Content performance insights covered the macro and micro, from the most effective calls to action and images per frame, to the most responsive audience per ad category, the best day of the week to serve ads, and more.
“Slotting new creatives into our existing media activation structure made it easy to scale the production of the ads, optimise creatives mid-campaign, avoid disruption, and ensure efficiency,” Nahas says.
“A test-and-trial phase was useful too, allowing us to build a library of creative best practises, learn which content performed best, and understand which audiences were most responsive.”
Dialling in on results
Etisalat UAE's personalised dynamic creative optimisation campaign saw fantastic results:
- 3.5X increase in lead generation
- A click-through rate (CTR) increase of 54% in just two months
- A 20% drop in cost per lead
“We’re the first telecom provider in the UAE to turn to dynamic creative to scale asset production, minimise costs, maximise exposure, and use live automated data feeds to take our marketing to new heights,” Nahas says. “And we’re really proud of the results.”