Ultimate Guide To Dynamic Creative Optimization (DCO) In 2024

Dynamic Creative Optimization also know as Dynamic Creative relates to Display Ads, in today’s scenario most Digital Marketers are facing challenges to improve the performance of their display ad campaigns as most of them go with a static display marketing approach. Marketers try different creatives, ad copies, headlines, templates to improve the performance of their display campaigns, but still they are struggling with the performance of their campaigns. As we all know that display is a push marketing concept wherein we are trying to first grab the attention of the user, then communicate the product, then engage with the audience and then convert them into a sale/lead.

So how does one improve the performance of their campaign, communicate the product/service to the targeted audience effectively and engage them at every level of communication in the product journey?

Let’s understand in detail!

So What is Dynamic Creative Optimization (DCO) in Digital Marketing?

Dynamic Creative Optimization or Dynamic Creative refers to serving display ads through programmatic advertising with the help of real-time technology that ads scale, personalisation, automation and a storytelling approach. The dynamic creatives change automatically based on information about the user related to his behaviour, engagement, interest, location or context.

The Process of Dynamic Creative Optimization (DCO)

Implementing DCO is a multi-layered process, each step integral to ensuring the ads are as effective and relevant as possible.

a) Creating a Variety of Creative Assets

Understanding Diverse Creative Elements:

This step involves the creation of multiple variants of each part of an ad. This includes images, headlines, body text, calls-to-action (CTAs), and other interactive elements. The goal is to have a rich library of creative components that can be dynamically combined based on the target audience.

Designing for Flexibility:

Each asset is designed with flexibility in mind. It’s crucial that these elements can be seamlessly integrated into different ad formats and platforms without losing their impact or coherence.

Ensuring Brand Consistency:

While variety is key, maintaining a consistent brand voice and visual identity across all assets is essential. This helps in keeping the brand recognizable and trustworthy, irrespective of the ad variations.

b) Integrating DCO with Marketing Tools and Platforms

Choosing the Right Technology:

Selecting a DCO platform that integrates well with existing marketing tools is crucial. This platform should be capable of handling real-time data processing and be compatible with the ad networks and channels you use.

Seamless Integration:

Integration involves setting up connections between the DCO system, your digital asset management (DAM) system, and other marketing tools like CRM (Customer Relationship Management) and CDP (Customer Data Platform). This ensures that the DCO system has access to all necessary data points.

Testing and Optimization:

Before full deployment, it’s important to test the DCO system for functionality, data accuracy, and creative rendering across different devices and platforms. This phase may involve A/B testing to determine the most effective ad variants.

c) Collecting and Analyzing Data to Inform Creative Variations

Data Collection:

This step involves gathering data from various sources like website interactions, customer purchase history, social media engagement, and third-party data providers. The more comprehensive the data, the more precise the targeting can be.

Data Analysis and Insights:

Using machine learning algorithms, the DCO platform analyzes this data to identify patterns and insights. For instance, it might find that users in a certain age group respond better to a specific type of CTA or that a particular headline resonates more with users from a specific geographic location.

Dynamic Ad Assembly and Personalization:

Based on these insights, the DCO system dynamically assembles ads in real-time, choosing the most relevant creative elements for each individual user or user segment. This ensures that each user is presented with an ad that is likely to be the most engaging and effective for them.

Dynamic Creative Variables

Below are few Dynamic Creative Optimization / Dynamic Creative variables which can be used dynamically for your display campaigns in real time, helping you to achieve higher ROI:

  1. Real Time or Live Streaming Data
  2. Sequential Messaging
  3. Weather API
  4. Timer DCO
  5. Remarketing Info
  6. Feed Based Customization

So let’s understand each variable with few cases we executed for path breaking campaigns with HockeyCurve’s cutting edge technology of DCO

Understanding Variables with DCO Case Studies / Dynamic Creative Case Studies

1. Real Time or Live Streaming Data

Real Time or Live Streaming Data variable, is a variable about what’s happening live in a match, on a TV show, on an awards function, technology event or any event which is live. Data or content pieces of that event can be automatically pulled on the display banners in realtime and served through programmatic advertising.

We executed DCO with Real Time variable for one of the biggest cricket event of the country, Indian Premier League (IPL 2017 & IPL 2018) for HotStar. This was the first time where in Live Streaming Data was used for one of the biggest event in the history on Digital Media. So let’s understand how did we approach, what we did and how we did!

The Challenge:

To acquire users on Hotstar during the live IPL matches!

What we did?

Basis our research team data, we got to know that lot of users during live match, they visit different websites like Sports Keeda, Cricinfo, Cricbuzz and other sport websites,  to check live score as they want to be updated at every level of the match. So, we then understood, what are the key events of interest which users look in a match. Key events include Who won the toss, Sixes, wickets, century, half century, bowler stats and match events. We then defined these key events as the cornerstone of the strategy for DCO by pulling realtime data while the match is live, for all the key aspects and then triggering these key aspects through DCO ads in realtime.  Below are few real time DCO events of the campaign:


Getting users on the platform to watch the match as the toss has just happened, the ad set is triggered within seconds in realtime as soon as the toss is doneDynamic Creative Optimisation IPL Toss

Player on Crease:

In realtime whenever the player get’s on the crease, the player name and image is pulled in realtime on the ad set, this also engage’s fan’s of players

Dynamic Creative Optimization (DCO), IPL DCO Case Study

Team with Run Rate:

The team which is batting, in real time the team name and the run rate is pulled on the banners to encourage excitement about the match.  

Dynamic Creative Optimisation (DCO) - IPL DCO

IPL 6’s Counter:

To build more engagement of different events in the match, the 6 counter no’s are pulled in realtime on the banners automatically

Dynamic Creative Optimisation (DCO) - IPL Six Counter

Player Score Stats:

Displaying score’s of players in realtime to build curiosity for half century and century of players

Dynamic Creative Optimisation (DCO) - IPL Player Statistics

Bowler Stats:

Bowler achievements including current stats, hat tricks, 3+ Wickets, Quick wickets and other events are pulled in realtime on the ad sets with the name of the player.

Dynamic Creative Optimisation - IPL Player Stats

Team Loyalty:

Engaging fan’s of teams basis the match by highlighting the team name and asking questions to them

Dynamic Creative Optimisation (IPL) - Team Loyalty

Engaging Regional Users:

Communicating different events in realtime, in regional language to engage with the match moments. 

Dynamic Creatives Optimisation (DCO) - IPL Regional Users

2. Sequential Messaging in DCO

What is Sequential Messaging in DCO?

Sequential Messaging is a variable through which you can build a story of a show, event, character, product or your brand. Through sequential messaging you can communicate to your audience with different communication pieces, this basically helps to communicate key events throughout the journey of communication, it helps to build engagement, keep the audience hooked at every level, build loyalty towards the brand and drive sales (in ecommerce). Here is a DCO example of how we used Sequential Messaging for an OTT brand, VOOT for new user acquisition and keeping the audience engaged with the shows on VOOT.

Big Boss Sequential Messaging DCO Campaign for VOOT

In television the key elements which drive the shows and make it popular are the characters of the show. So we decided to define a story of each character in Big Boss and keep the audience hooked with their favourite character by communicating the key elements of the show, so that they are excited to know more. Here is an example of a Big Boss campaign sequential messaging for a character called Priyank who was one of the contestants in Big Boss 11.

Dynamic Creative Optimisation for Big Boss

First Ad Set probs the audience, which build curiosity to watch the episode

Dynamic Creative Optimisation Big Boss Priyank

Second Ad Set highlights, where the contestant has gone beyond the rules

Sequential Messaging DCO - Bigg Boss
Third Ad Set talks about how Priyank is spending his time with other contestants

DCO - Sequential Messaging Big Boss

The next ad set encourages audience to vote for Priyank

Big Boss Sequential DCO, DCO Example
Lastly, adding unseen part of the episode including uncut footage, celebrity interactions and much more!

Flipkart Sequential Messaging DCO Campaign

Sequential Messaging can be done effectively for Ecommerce as the entire journey of the product can be captured and communicated to the audience effectively. The idea is to boost their decision making and reduce the time to purchase from the day of the site visit. Here is an example of a campaign we did for Flipkart for their product Samsung J7, targeting users who visited the Samsung J7 page

Flipkart DCO

First ad set talks about the camera

Flipkart DCO Campaign

Second ad set talks about the performance of the product

DCO for Flipkart Sequential Messaging

Third ad set talks about the speed, screen and reviews about the phone

Flipkart DCO Samsung J7
The next ad set talks about the delivery of the phone so that users know how long they need to wait to get their hand on the phone

DCO Flipkart - Samsung J7 Pro

Lastly, the ad set offers a special discount only to the user who was in the sequential messaging journey.

Sequential Messaging is a powerful variable which can increase your click through rates, resulting in increasing sales for your business. The key to make the variable successful is the storyline of your communication which you are communicating to your audience.  

To know more about sequential messaging, refer article – Sequential Messaging: Storytelling on Digital Marketing

Flipkart DCO Case Study of Abandoned Cart Users 

3. Weather API

With Weather API Integration variable you can feed live weather details on the banners in real time. This can help you to engage with your consumers and divert them to your brand communication messages. Here is an example of Weather API through DCO, wherein the weather details are automatically pulled in basis the city and the ad sets are served to the target audience on the online space. Weather API variable can be used to promote E-commerce products like sweaters, jackets, heaters, air conditioners and other relevant products.

Weather API DCO for Parle

4. Timer

Timer variable is a variable of DCO wherein you can integrate the time remaining in real time to start a particular event/match/festival/show. This kind of variable can be effectively used for TV Shows, New Year Events, Award Shows or any event, to build excited about the event/show with the target group. Here are few examples of Timer variable

Timer DCO for Big Boss | DCO Example(Big Boss 11 Voting Timer from our Big Boss 11 Campaign)

Timer DCO for IPL

(Match Timer from our IPL 2017 Campaign)

Timer DCO for FIFA

(Extra Time Timer  from our FIFA 2018 Campaign)

Timer DCO for Sunburn Zee5

(Sunburn Festival Timer from our Zee5 Campaign)

5. Remarketing Info

Remarketing info variable allows to create a remarking journey to an individual journey basis user’s behaviour on the website, basis user’s interaction on the ad unit.

Below is an example of one of our campaign for DID Lil Masters launch campaign, where we personalised the remarketing journey basis users behaviour on ad sets

DID DCO LiL Masters

(First Ad Set talks about the show is back)

DCO DID Lil Master's Launch

(Second Ad set talks about the group performance)

DCO DID Lil Masters Launch

(Third ad set talks about the judges)

DCO DID Lil Masters Mithun

(Fourth ad set talks about the next judge)

DCO DiD Lil Masters Salman Khan | DCO Case Study

(Fifth ad set talks about celebrity guest coming on show)

Remarketing info variable is an effective technique to personalise and continue the marketing journey where the user left. Remarketing info has high CTR’s and returning visitors leading to high engagement on the site and high ROI (for ecommerce site)

6. Feed Based Customization in DCO

Feed based customisations are valid for advertisers who use data feeds for their advertising campaigns. Through this variable you can shows customise offers to users, shows similar products, shows viewed products, cross selling of products or similar brand products.

Below is an example of our Flipkart campaign where we used feed based customisations to trigger different offers in remarketing for abandoned cart users.

Flipkart - Feed Based DCO

Another feed based customisation example of our Tanishq campaign, where products were triggered basis users behaviour on the site.

Tanishq DCO

Feed based customisation can help you increase conversion rates by effectively remarketing products to users basis their behaviour, purchase intent and cart history.

What are the benefits of Dynamic Creative Optimization (DCO) / Dynamic Creatives?

Dynamic Creatives have lot of benefits over traditional display advertising and are considered to be very powerful in Digital Communication Strategy. Below are the benefits of Dynamic Creative Optimization over traditional display marketing.

  • Story Telling  
  • Higher Engagement
  • Display Automation
  • Customised Remarketing
  • Higher ROI

So let’s understand each of them in detail:

Story Telling

With the help of DCO,  brands can define a story narrative for their messaging, which can be communicated effectively with the help of DCO. As we know, advertising is about storytelling, so in order to make your story effective and engaging, DCO helps you to not only put your story across to your audience, but make it impactful, relevant and engaging.

Higher Engagement

DCO campaigns with effective strategy will always have higher engagement because through DCO you are communicating with your audience in a personalised way and not directly selling your products but talking more about what’s there in the product/service to offer. This encourages users to consider your products/services during their decision making process.

Display Automation

One of the best benefits of DCO is, it offers Display Automation. When you are running campaigns which large size of inventory, it’s difficult to define a storyline for each and every product, but through DCO, you can actually automate your storyline across multiple products within same product line. This helps to save time, save cost and increase efficiency of your display campaigns.

Customised Remarketing

Through DCO, you can define customized remarketing basis the way users have interacted with your website. In this process, you actually understand the users behaviour on your site, with what elements they have interacted on your site, searched on the site, selected on your site. Customised Remarketing in other words is personalised remarketing to each user.

Higher ROI

DCO leads to higher ROI as it’s allows you to tell a story about your product, builds engagement within your target audience and automates the entire process of display channel. DCO can influence users to buy the product compared to static display approach. Effective strategy has to be deployed at every level of the funnel to increase higher ROI.

So what all things you need, to start with Dynamic Creative Optimization (DCO)?

  • Programmatic Advertising
  • Communication Strategy
  • Creative Management Platform
  • Data Intelligence  Platform
  • Advanced Analytics

Programmatic Advertising

To start with DCO, you need programmatic advertising solution in order to target your audience basis their behaviour and buy media across different publishers. Through programmatic advertising, you have a huge pool of inventory options, through which you can buy media effectively with lower costs and integrate DCO elements throughout your marketing journey.

DCO Communication Strategy

DCO communication strategy is very important for your campaign to perform. DCO communication strategy is the key messaging which you would be communicating with your audience basis the products/services you would be marketing. The communication strategy has to be effectively defined which will help to communicate with your audience effectively and encourage them to consider your brand.

Creative Management Platform

It is one of the important aspects of the DCO process, Creative Management Platform (CMP) is a platform which helps you to produce creatives at a large scale with different variables integrated including real time data, hyper local targeting, time, weather, sequential messaging and customized remarketing storyline. Creative Management Platform controls the aesthetics of your creatives served with different variables making it appealing and engaging to the users.

Data Intelligence Platform

In the DCO process, data intelligence platform helps you to analyze your data and then serve the communication to the uses in real time. Through data intelligence platform, you actually study the data and then communicate with your audience in real time understanding their behaviour, interest and various user touch points, making it relevant and customised for them. To achieve higher performance from your DCO campaigns, you need to segment your audience with different buckets, which you can then use to communicate basis the segment they fall under.

Advanced Analytics

Once the campaign is executed, in order to study the impact of the campaign, you need to have an advanced analytics platform wherein you can measure the performance basis different segments which you had created to target users. This will help to optimize your current strategy and also take further decisions in scaling up your DCO campaign.


DCO is an effective medium in Digital Marketing to improve ROI as it has customisations at every levels of your communication strategy. Selecting the right variable and right communication strategy is very important for your DCO campaign to work because every business will have a different DCO strategy. DCO will help you to automate, personalize and define an effective storyline to your brand campaigns. DCO is the future of Digital Marketing!

We at R Interactives, offer whole range of Dynamic Creative Optimization / Dynamic Creative services across industry verticals through our in house Ad Tech platform. If you are looking for dynamic creative solutions for your Digital Marketing efforts, just ring us!

We are a Dynamic Creative Optimization (DCO) Agency with cutting edge technology! 

Related articles:

Dynamic Creative (DCO) Examples for Different Industries 

Master Guide to Facebook Dynamic Creative

Webinar on Dynamic Creative Optimization by Rahul Gadekar