In digital advertising in general and programmatic advertising in particular, both publishers and advertisers find themselves using a lot of automated platforms. These solutions do a lot of the heavy lifting and are a critically important part of publishers’ revenue strategies and advertisers’ campaigns.

But if you get set up with only automated programmatic advertising, you’re missing a critical part of your potential revenue and reach. You’re missing custom ad campaigns. Custom campaigns are a key piece of the puzzle for publishers who want to get premium cost per mille (CPM) rates and advertisers who want to get real attention on their ads — the kind of attention that translates to revenue.

It’s probably not too much of a leap to understand how customizing ad campaigns — the creative, the format, the targeted audience — could be beneficial. But for both publishers and advertisers, it may not be clear at this stage how, exactly, to get access to the benefits of custom campaigns. Playwire is one way, and we might be a little biased, but we think we’re the best way. In this post, we’ll tell you why we think that. Read on.

Playwire brings publishers and advertisers closer together so they can both benefit. Higher CPMs, better targeting and engagement and much more are waiting for you. Contact us.

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Programmatic Advertising: What Publishers and Advertisers Need to Know

Programmatic Advertising: What Publishers and Advertisers Need to Know

Why Custom Campaigns?

Before we discuss why you should work with Playwire for custom campaigns, we should make the case for custom campaigns in the first place. Custom campaigns are not your typical display and video units sold via yield pipes. While typical programmatic sales are a key part of any well-rounded strategy, they work best in conjunction with custom strategies.

On the advertiser side, custom campaigns allow you to target the exact audience you want to reach and actually reach them. They also enable you to deliver your ad creative in exactly the way you want it delivered, whether that’s via gamified video, skins or whole-site takeovers.

On the publisher side, custom campaigns help you sell your inventory as “premium” and at the higher prices that this descriptor calls for. That’s because you’re offering advertisers the perfect ad-buying experience: customized audience targeting based on first-party data, creative that drives key metrics like engagement and viewability and guaranteed brand-safe ads.

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How Playwire Makes Custom Campaigns Better

Now that we’ve got the basic benefits of custom campaigns out of the way, let’s dive into how Playwire takes those attributes and makes them even better for both advertisers and publishers. 

Customizable Scale

Leveraging our enormous network of publishers, Playwire has built a huge bank of first-party data. With that data, we help advertisers target exactly who they want to target with their custom campaigns.

In other words, we deploy high-impact creative solutions across broad audience sets and at scale. We call this customizable scale. 

Customizable scale allows us to develop high-impact solutions that create a premium experience for both publishers and advertisers. Publishers get highly engaging ads that pay more. Advertisers get a single contact and deploy a single set of creative assets to reach multiple partners with data and performance guarantees.


Because we provide our partners with all the tech solutions they need, and given our code on page, Playwire's in-house ops team will deploy these custom campaigns at scale and optimize to any buyer KPIs. This helps advertisers for obvious reasons, and it makes it so our publishers’ site performance hits goals without the publishers having to get involved. 

Beyond Just Viewability

Viewability is an incredibly important ad performance metric, but it isn’t everything. Just because a particular ad is viewable does not guarantee that someone actually sees it. 

Whether they know it yet or not, what brands really need is engagement and time spent with their ads. Performing well on those metrics will drive better results than a 100% viewable ad. According to a recent study from IPG Media Lab, 15-second video ads fostered much higher unassisted ad recall, ad message recall and purchase intent than five-second ads.

That’s why we prioritize engagement and time spent in our custom campaigns. How do we do that? By tailoring the campaign to the particular audience and various other circumstances. 

For example, if we are working with a brand that needs to reach the youth market, we have to take into consideration the fact that kids see more than 3,000 ads each day across all platforms. How do we compete? By creating something that generates engagement rather than passive viewing. For that, we reach back to our roots in gaming to create gamified units.

That’s precisely the type of out-of-the-box thinking that you can only find in custom campaigns.

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Increasing Programmatic Yield

For publishers, one of the key benefits of direct-sold custom campaigns with Playwire is actually somewhat indirect. In short, selling some of your inventory as custom can raise your programmatic CPMs.

Here’s how that works: When we directly sell a custom campaign, your available inventory decreases. By the laws of supply and demand, your inventory is now more scarce, which forces higher bids in the programmatic ecosystem.

Making Custom Possible for Publishers

Here’s another big benefit of Playwire’s custom campaigns for publishers: We make custom campaigns possible in the first place for many smaller and mid-sized publishers. Even though we enjoy them and have them down to a fine art, custom campaigns are hard. You go through round after round of approval, plenty of revisions, complex insertion orders and a great big technical lift. At the end of all that work, you have a single custom campaign.

For a publisher to support selling custom campaigns on their own without a partner like Playwire, they would have to have a direct sales team, a data team, developers, a creative team and an ad ops team. And very few publishers can actually pay for all that and stay profitable.

Playwire: The Best in Custom Campaigns

Custom ad campaigns are enormously helpful for both publishers and advertisers, but even here, there are degrees of benefit. If you go with a partner who doesn’t know what they’re doing, you may not reap the full rewards custom campaigns have to offer.

At Playwire, we know what we’re doing. We have built our systems from the ground up, we have assembled a team of ad tech’s foremost experts and we have driven real, tangible value for advertisers and publishers across industries who were looking for something better.

We’re ready to do that for you. Whether you’re a publisher or an advertiser, you can benefit from custom campaigns with Playwire. Simply contact us online to learn more.

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