Q&A with Jonathan Milne, General Manager, EMEA at Celtra

Jonathan MilneCeltra are an ad tech company with offices in the US, Europe and Japan. The company’s AdCreator platform enables agencies, media suppliers and brands to deliver cross-screen HTML5 advertising on smartphones, tablets and desktop. Here Jonathan Milne, General Manager, EMEA at Celtra, explains where Celtra sits in the industry, how they work with clients, and how HTML5 is enabling them to do things that weren’t possible before.

Are most of your clients creative agencies, or are media agencies and trading desks increasingly inclined to design the creatives themselves?

Our clients include media agencies, DSPs, publishers and ad networks, as well as creative agencies. As a technology company, Celtra is an enabler and our role is to make it easier to launch beautiful HTML5 ads that perform well. The simplicity of our platform means any of the companies involved in the digital display campaign value chain can build ads effectively.

The parties involved in digital advertising have a symbiotic relationship and we find there is a great deal of crossover, where an existing client will recommend our platform to another provider in the chain. We very much value these recommendations, and run free workshops, seminars and webinars to provide training on our products and share industry best practices at all levels of creative and technical ability.

Beyond the building of HTML5 ads in AdCreator, our clients also use the simple workflow in our platform to distribute ads to every media supplier on their plan. We work closely with those media suppliers to certify them, ensuring that ads both render and run correctly, and that analytics data is aligned with both the publisher’s systems and AdCreator. Our advanced analytics interface means that the effectiveness of a campaign is easily and reliably measured in real-time, enabling our clients to take full control throughout the process.

Overall, this powerful but easy-to-use system means almost anyone can create an engaging campaign, set it live and analyse its value, without the need to involve other agencies – saving both time and resource.

What about brands? Are you seeing brands take the creative work in-house?

Just as with media agencies, our platform enables brands to create complete and engaging campaigns, across multiple devices, if they have in-house creative resources wanting to take control. This model empowers the brand to create one set of centralised ads that they can distribute across multiple media suppliers and even multiple global markets. Ads can easily be copied, localised and shared with regional teams who can launch the campaign quickly and make sure it is “on-brand” – without excessive additional creative costs.

Where are we as an industry when it comes to having truly dynamic video creatives?

The increasing use of smart video ads, which bring together in-banner video technology with responsive ad design, sees us take a great step forward in the creation of high quality, interactive video content. We recently launched Smart Video Ad Formats, which enable brands to create effective, high-quality video content and consistently market them across all devices, and at a great scale.  These formats allow a brand’s powerful video assets to be distributed across their entire display media buy in a consistent manner.  We have seen a dramatic take-up of these formats and expect to see this continue as brands see strong performance.

Does Celtra get involved in the media side of the industry at all?

As a technology company, we see ourselves as an enabler and service provider to the digital advertising industry. Our platform enables advertisers to maximise the value of their media investments through delivering beautiful, engaging ads to their audiences. Celtra is not an agency or media buyer/seller.

Consumers have very high expectations when it comes to the quality of ads on mobile and tablet devices. We help brands ensure that they meet these consumer expectations in the mobile-first cross screen campaigns.

What is HTML5 allowing you to do that you weren’t able to do before?

HTML5 technology allows our clients to provide a more seamless experience for consumers by creating a single cross-screen campaign, launched on a single platform across multiple devices, including mobile, tablet and desktop. Previously, the use of Flash-based desktop platforms next to HTML5-based mobile platforms meant two set of tools, two sets of creatives and two sets of analytics. This led to a disjointed and fragmented consumer experience, a complex duplicate workflow and increased costs for the advertiser.

The strong growth of mobile and the recent maturity of HTML5 technology enables us now to use a single tool, a single HTML5 creative and a single set of analytics to run true cross-screen campaigns. The benefits of this are seen in reduced time and costs to launch campaigns, consistent creative experiences across all screens and a single, integrated set of reporting showing a clear overall picture of the value of the brand’s advertising spend and success on mobile, tablet and desktop.

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