How to match engaging ads with the right audiences for high performance gains with Display & Video 360

Therese Lundin / November 2019

Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi (DCT), Spark Foundry and Google piloted a dynamic display campaign with +5,400 creatives in the UK and Germany across six audience segments. The campaign leveraged geo location and a weather API for the dynamic elements and drove a massive increase in engagement with the ad as well as longer stays in Abu Dhabi.


The Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi’s goal was to drive and increase awareness of Abu Dhabi as a tourism destination in the UK and Germany. The challenge was to successfully deliver a relevant key message to several busy and over exposed audiences.


Use weather API, applying weather data to personalize the creative artwork with the temperature of the targeted city as well as Abu Dhabi’s.

Target 6 cities and 6 audiences across the UK and Germany using 7-15 dynamic creatives per audience.

Use DV360 bidding to maximize efficiency and optimize audience and site performance


+300% CTR - significantly higher than the average benchmark in Germany

+400% CTR – significantly higher than the average benchmark in the UK

People booked +34% longer stays compared to the regular destination communication

People spent +35% more on hotel stays compares to the regular destination communication

The Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi (DCT) is the tourism board in charge of promoting Abu Dhabi as a destination and attracting visitors.

In an aim to attract visitors from the UK and Germany, DCT ran a dynamic pilot campaign that used tailored messages. Spark Foundry, the official media agency of DCT, partnered with Google to collaborate on the campaign.

By using defined audience segments with specific interests, the team tailored the messages and personalized communication through dynamic audience targeting to DCT’s core audiences. To increase the relevance even further, the distance to sunny Abu Dhabi was customized for each location in the UK and Germany. A Weather API was integrated to show the real time weather in both Abu Dhabi and the targeted city: “Rain and 12°C in London? Brr. Your sunny 25°C holiday destination is only 6 hours away!”

By leveraging the technology of Display & Video 360 in Bidding, Audiences and Optimization strategies, Spark Foundry ensured optimal delivery:

After multiple bidding algorithms were tested, Spark Foundry opted for automated bidding which led to impressive results.

Compared to the forecasted results, the ad clickthrough rate was remarkable, beating expectations with +300% on CTR in Germany and +400% on CTR in the UK, compared to previous campaigns. The dynamic campaign was successful in driving awareness and engagement through targeted messaging.

abu dhabi

The second challenge was to attract visitors to Abu Dhabi through the use of technology and identifying the key audiences who are in-market (people actively searching for Abu Dhabi as a destination). The campaign ran for 4 weeks which generated an incremental of 7,000 hotel searches and 6,600 flight searches. More importantly, there was a significant increase in quality of the bookings with a +34% longer visit duration and +35% on spending during their stay.

Following the success of the campaign, the Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi integrated the creative and technological learnings from the pilot campaign in their marketing strategy, making this novel dynamic approach part of their Always On activity and looking to scale it to other channels such as video.

"This pilot has been a great success in both media and business results which will set the precedent to transform Abu Dhabi's destination marketing into the dynamic one-to-one relationship we aspire to have with our potential visitors". – Saeed Al Saeed, Director of Destination Marketing, Department of Culture and Tourism Abu Dhabi

Therese Lundin

Platforms Sales Manager