Meeting potential travellers with more relevant ads
As one of Australia’s most popular airlines, Qantas is always looking for new ways to inform potential customers about its latest flight deals to locations around the world. The brand was already using its own first-party data to reach potential travellers with tailored display ads, but its Programmatic Guaranteed buys — one-to-one deals that allow marketers to reserve a fixed number of impressions at a fixed price — were limited to generic, one-size-fits-all creative.
Qantas didn’t want to serve the same ads to everyone, especially existing customers like its coveted frequent flyers. Looking to get more out of its Programmatic Guaranteed buys, the brand turned to Display & Video 360, part of Google Marketing Platform, to deliver more relevant creative to existing customers.
Serving dynamic ads using Programmatic Guaranteed buys
Working closely with its creative agency, SLIK, and Google’s platforms team, Qantas ran ads across three high-traffic websites: The Australian Financial Review, The Sydney Morning Herald, and news.com.au. Using Display & Video 360’s Audiences module, the team identified frequent flyers as “prosperous families,” “urban achievers,” “mature affluents,” “graduates,” and “young professionals.” From there, insights were used to create ads with messaging tailored to each audience. Website visitors who fell into one of these categories were served dynamic banner ads, while one-size-fits-all ads were served to new customers who weren’t previously known to Qantas.
For example, ads for flights to San Francisco were served to older, affluent audiences, while ads for flights to Los Angeles were served to “graduates” and “young professionals.” One-size-fits-all California creative was served to first-time visitors. All banners featured an end frame that displayed the departure airport closest to that user and the price of the flight.
“Pairing Programmatic Guaranteed buys with dynamic creative meant we could deliver a personalized message to audiences we recognized while still serving creative with broad appeal to everyone else,” said Gerrit Walters, head of marketing at Qantas.
Personalization drives to clicks and conversions
The results revealed a 0.5% click-through rate (CTR) for the personalized creative compared to a 0.1% CTR for the one-size-fits-all creative. Compared to previous Programmatic Guaranteed buys without personalized creative on the same websites, CTR improved by 57%, and the conversion rate increased by 170%. The campaign’s success inspired Qantas to continue to use data-driven creative for awareness campaigns moving forward.