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The Secret to Ad Creative Optimization: Q & A With CrossInstall’s Creative Director

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We sat down with Alex Luko, our Creative Director, otherwise known as the brain power behind many of our interactive ads, to get his take on how the industry is evolving and how his diverse background enables him to create award-winning content.

Aside from animation and visual storytelling, his experience includes concept illustration, motion graphics, character and environment design, and storyboarding. He uses his many talents to build CrossInstall’s marketing materials and creative ads. Meet Alex!

Q: What’s the coolest tv commercial you worked on?

A: One project that was fun was a holiday greetings video for American Airlines. In the video, a child was doodling on a frosted window at an airport, and then his drawing comes to life and moves across the windows. I animated all the window drawings.

Q: What’s so unique about playable ads?

A: Playable ads are a bit like a Costco sample of an app. They allow a user to play before they download and get a feel for what the actual app is like rather than just watching a video or being presented with a static image.

Q: As ad tech is a very data-driven industry, as a creative, how do you remain cognizant of being numbers-driven while still having creative flexibility?

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A: Creativity requires room to breathe. It’s helpful to strategize and keep a data-driven goal in mind, but when we’re building a playable, we’re building a playable.

Q: What’s your top tip for a creative optimization process that drives the most conversions? (i.e. dynamic parameter process)

A: My general philosophy is that people are over-saturated with ads in just about every form of media you can think of. Most people view ads as anywhere from a mild annoyance to a downright obnoxious intrusion. My aim in this world of constant ad bombardment is to make something enjoyable for the player. If they have an enjoyable experience within an ad, they will be more likely to continue that enjoyment and download the app.

Q: What makes a good creative-sales relationship?

A: Open communication helps everyone involved in the creative process be on the same page to ensure we are creating an ad that makes the client happy while working within our technical limitations.

Q: What makes a good ad now? How do you anticipate this changing in the future?

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A: A good playable ad should be interesting to play, representative of what it advertises, visually engaging, and simple enough to learn to play in a few seconds.

Q: What makes advertising ‘fun’ to you?

A: My team. Teamwork makes the dream work!

Q: Do you have any brands that stand out to you as the best at engaging and storytelling through their ads?

A: I liked those old Quiznos subs commercials with the singing rat monkeys.

Q: What’s the most pressing challenge, through a creative lense, for today’s ad industry?

A: One of the biggest challenges that comes to mind is how to engage and show someone how to play one of our playables in only a few seconds. The whole playable experience is only 10-30 seconds long, and we want to make ads that are intuitive or require very little instruction to dive in and play.

To capture a user’s attention and make them interested enough to interact with an ad, we must strike a balance between eye-catching visuals, simple and fun gameplay, and accurate depiction of what is being advertised.


Stay tuned on the blog to meet more members of our team! Tweet us any pressing questions about programmatic or interactive ads.