A solid brief from 4Creative which required a suitably robust solution. With Channel 4’s 4oD catch-up service offering a plethora of rich on-demand content, the task set by 4Creative’s Digital Creative Director, Matt Jukes, seemed straight forward enough: “We want to be able to advertise up to 20 4oD shows at any one point. What we don’t want is to have to create 20 sets of files each time we do this”.
The answer came in the form of a bespoke use of DoubleClick’s RMDA product. RMDA (Rich Media Dynamic Ads) is an XML solution used to content-manage ads on the fly. Unfortunately, in its basic form each Flash file needs to have a hard coded RMDA profile ID so that we can point it to a set of values, copy, variables or image references – this would have meant having to create 20 sets of FLAs so that we could point them at 20 different profile IDs – the very thing we were trying to avoid.
Our approach combined RMDA and DFA. After creating the profiles, we supplied Channel 4’s media agency, OMD, with the profile IDs. From here they simply copy and paste the profile IDs into the DFA flight. Our smart code searches for ‘enabler.getParameter(“profileId”)’ – if found to be null, we gracefully fall back to a default profile. If not then it looks for the unique profile ID we supplied to the media agency.
Not only did we streamline the way we could get creative out into the live environment, some super smart ActionScript allows all text and image formatting to be handled seamlessly. As a result, each profile was used to populate a complete suite of ad unit formats – MPU, Leaderboard, Banner, Skyscraper, Wide Skyscraper – meaning that one single text variable and image could populate five different ad units in one hit. You won’t have seen this approach used before …we just invented it. Hooray!