Dynamic Creative Optimization

18 December 2023
Reading: 6 min

Dynamic Creative Optimization (DCO) is almost a must-have addition for your campaigns. It saves time and provides an abundance of creatives. In this article, we’ll explain how it works, tell you how to integrate DCO into your campaigns, suggest which metrics to track, go through its integral technologies, and even have a look at some of the most prominent case studies. If you’ve been looking for an explanation of DCO from the marketing point of view — you’re at the right place! Scroll down for more applicable info.

DCO explained

Dynamic Creative Optimization (DCO) is a type of Programmatic Creative, which includes Creative Management Platform and Dynamic Creatives as well. Major advertisers, like Facebook, implement DCO to make your ads even more appealing.

Dynamic Creative Optimization

DCO technology allows the creation of multiple iterations of an ad quickly, using the same basic creative. These iterations can be tailored to meet the audience’s expectations better, which adds a touch of personalization to the creatives and works in favor of user experience. It’s a modular ad with its elements being constantly rotated, empowered by AI and machine learning — you set up a layout, provide ad elements, and the AI fills in the gaps with matching content.

Dynamic Creative Optimization

Traditionally, advertisers prepare a limited set of creatives for their campaigns. DCO helps to create hundreds of them almost in a blink of an eye.

Complementing campaigns with DCO

Dynamic Creative Optimization

Anything that can be optimized without any change to the formatting can be subject to DCO, e.g., CTA buttons, colors, pictures, texts, and videos. This can be a huge boon to split-testing: auto-optimization, testing more than two variables, and micro-segmentation with the help of machine learning and fast-processing AI. To run a successful DCO, you ought to think in advance about scenarios, triggers, and alternatives of creative elements.

  • Scenarios control how exactly creatives are to be generated and on what conditions. Your targeting criteria and triggers will dictate which kind of element combination your users will see. This is rule-based automation.
  • Triggers are the information from external sources, which is used as a condition for forming a creative, e.g., GEO, weather, language, temperature, browser history, and cookies. 

By default, all the possible targeting criteria and triggers are embedded in the script editor of a tech product. Also, you can rely on data from Google Analytics and other third-party software. In case of Facebook, you ought to provide an asset feed with up to 10 images, texts, headlines, descriptions plus a CTA button and website URL. Roughly speaking, it’s more than 10,000 combinations! Just make sure all the elements make sense and complement each other. Then, Facebook algorithms will mix’em up the best way to please a certain audience segment of yours.

At an average cost of $125 of making an ad variation traditionally, DCO enables saving millions of dollars in production costs. What’s even better, DCO is not limited to a specific vertical. In fact, it can be applied to Finances, Automotive sector, eCommerce, Travel & Tourism, and much more.

Tracking DCO-based campaigns

For the followers of Doubt everything philosophy, start off with split-testing DCO-based campaigns against the classical ones. Even if DCO proves its efficiency, sometimes your time and money investments might not be worth it. For example, your audience might be simply too small for additional segmentation, and you’re better off sticking to the traditional alternative.

DCO-based campaigns are no different from the traditional ones in terms of technicalities — it’s just the creatives are numerous and created somewhat automatically. So use your traditional tracking solutions, e.g., Binom, Voluum, Keitaro, or in-built tracking features in the ad managers.

When talking about the exact metrics to track, consider Click-Through Rates (CTR), Conversion Rates (CR), and Return On Ad Spend (ROAS). CTR will tell you how appealing your creatives are to a certain audience segment. CR is more about meeting the audience’s expectation all the way to the shopping cart. ROAS can help to see if you make profit at all — which is the ultimate point of any business.

DCO tools & technologies

How it actually works? The engine decides which elements to include, how many ads to display, and whether static or video creative will suit better. Then the engine decides how to arrange all the variables to create that unique and resonating feel. This is what machine learning and big data are responsible for.

When it comes to data gathering, DCO relies on Creative Management Fields (CMF), Demand Side Platforms (DSP), and Data Management Platforms (DMP) to feed in the info. This info will then be used to make the necessary optimizations in real time.

Besides data-driven and real-time optimization, a good DCO provider, e.g., Hunch, Smartly, Celtra, lets you work with multiple ad channels. This is good for uniformity, which improves brand consistency and customer trust. Furthermore, the integration into ad platforms is usually seamless, which is a great boon for UX. Finally, you can compare creative combinations against one another to figure out the top performers.

Case studies

  • Air Serbia — 1,400 images and 120 videos on spot for a single campaign to nail it. The company managed to automate its campaign system for 73 flights around 54 destinations.
    Dynamic Creative Optimization 


  • Urban Sports Club — a large sports provider, accounting 50+ sports across Germany, Spain, France, Portugal, and Belgium. As a result, 57 hours of work saved monthly, Cost Per Acquisition is lowered by 52%, Conversion Rate rises by 21%.Dynamic Creative Optimization


  • Budweiser — one of the biggest sponsor of the largest football leagues in the world, e.g., Premier League and LaLiga, goes big: 14+ million of unique impressions, 800+ dynamic ads, and 2 000+ unique league registrants.Dynamic Creative Optimization

Stay updated for the latest news

Should you feel the need for extra information, check out the websites below with the latest news on DCO:

  • Amazon Ads — pretty self-explanatory
  • Hunch — a DCO provider, encompassing different verticals, e.g., Retail, iGaming, Grocery
  • Market Reports World — different reports for the years to come, DCO included
  • Clinch — a DCO provider, specializing in video ads
  • Smartly.io — a DCO provider, with 9 out of 10 clients recommending them


As a rule, DCO is a great addition to your campaigns. It enables saving time, attention, and money, so you can dedicate these resources elsewhere. It’s not perfect, but A/B testing should tell you exactly if DCO is what you need. There are many DCO providers in the market, Facebook included. All you have to do is pick a template and provide a set of ad elements for the AI to generate the creatives automatically.

Check out the case studies if you still feel like disbelieving. Big brands like Mercedes, Hyundai, and Budweiser already implement DCO to drive their success. Why don’t you join the ranks of the industry professionals and start saving time like a boss?

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