Creative Services is an operational team at Criteo of experienced Creative Consultant that use their design and market expertise to deliver beautiful, exciting and interactive client ad campaigns Yara is just one of the dedicated and passionate designers that manage top client creative accounts for Northern Europe.
We sat down with her recently to find out what she likes the most about design and working at Criteo.
1. Let’s start from the beginning, tell us about your background?
I was born in Beirut, Lebanon and grew up in a loving family with my 2 elder brothers.
My dad was an English teacher that used to draw cartoons and animate them. He would create handmade puppets, write scripts and let my brothers and I act with them for his short film stories. Growing up watching my dad getting creative every day and following his passion nurtured my curiosity in discovering the multimedia field and defined the career to which I am devoted today. After graduating from the school of arts (ALBA), I worked for 5 years in Lebanon in a digital agency where I was exposed to various digital projects from websites, e-books, mobile apps and digital installations. My focus was on UX and UI as my main goal was to deliver seamless experiences to the clients from different sectors.
2. What are your interests outside of work?
Firstly, travelling the world has been my wish ever since I was a kid. I wanted a job that allowed me to travel a lot and here I am at Criteo and in Europe! It can’t get better!
The most special, adventurous and yet romantic trip I had was to Iceland on my honeymoon. We went down 120m into a volcano, sailed between icebergs, hiked on lava fields, bathed in the blue lagoon, had the best sushi in my life and felt the most powerful wind (almost gone with the wind).
Secondly, I would say friend time. There is nothing better than laughing and having great fun with our loved ones. It teaches us to appreciate every single moment.
These two things make me the happiest person on this planet.
3. What do you like most about Criteo?
Criteo gives us space and resources we need to get creative and innovate. I worked on so many projects at Criteo which were not part of the official roadmap. Projects that I believed in and I had full autonomy to test and learn. This is the beauty of a company that wants to evolve and empower its employees. Our motto is “no fear” and it drives us to success.
I also like the internal opportunities to move from a position to another and relocate globally! It keeps our job exciting and interesting at the same time. I was lucky enough to relocate from the Paris office to the Amsterdam office, the same position as a designer but handling different markets!
4. What has been your favorite project at Criteo?
This year’s focus on moving from one product to a full funnel platform is the most exciting business objective for me. We’re offering a complete solution for our clients and it’s super exciting to pitch it, launch it and witness amazing results!
We have always been keen on delivering a super powerful solution in retargeting and now, on top of that, we will be able to deliver a consistent yet creative journey – from awareness and consideration to conversion.
Diversity in Creatives and in product recommendation based on AI makes the users even more interested to engage and buy what they really need. It will allow us to tell a story and service real needs.
5. What are the competitive advantages for brands with dynamic advertising campaigns?
Creative personalization – brands usually tend to go with static advertising to maintain a brand image and offer the same experience to all their customers. However, in the era of personalization, having static banners for all audiences isn’t as effective as it once was.
Dynamic advertising, using Dynamic Creative Optimization+ (DCO+) allows the brands to deliver a tailored ad unique for each user based on his/her taste and behavior. For example, Alex likes to see ads with a single product, reacts better to a CTA that says “View now” instead of “Buy now” and a enjoys a very clear and light look & feel.
Our A.I. will take into account Alex’s likes and dislikes when mixing and matching creative options to serve him. The A.I. won’t do the same for Mary, who may enjoy seeing multiple products in darker colors and without any CTA.
All of this is possible and can be delivered easily within brand guidelines if we receive a brand’s assets.
With Criteo’s DCO+, we make sure there is less user fatigue because our engine will keep on testing and showing new combinations for the customer to keep on learning and improving the creative recommendations.
Personalized messaging helps, too. The banner messaging should speak to each customer, be relevant to each stage of the journey and to what the customer saw on the brand’s website.
Dynamic banners provide this flexibility to generate personalized messages per user. Isn’t that great?
Inventory is important in this mix- having dynamic banners which adapt to any banner size automatically respecting the brand look & feel opens up a world of potential. You get unlimited reach on publisher websites which will lead to more performance and visibility. This is essential to be able to reach users on different devices and be able to tell a seamless story whenever and wherever the consumer is.
6. What do you think will be the top 3 trends for creative in the digital space?
- Emotionally humanized creatives. User experience designer Aarron Walter defines emotions as the “lingua franca of humanity,” the native tongue that every human is born with in his book, ‘Designing for Emotion’. This is precisely why we need personalized creatives that generate emotions. We need to make the end-user feel like a person and not a machine processing information.
- Visual Search. Pinterest is a great example of “visual search.” As customers, we need to get exactly what we see and that means really thinking about how to have search capabilities that are based on pictures, not keywords.
- Video. Video offers many flexible options, including VR, AR, 360 and interactive videos. In a study of 5,500 consumers by video marketing company BrightCove, 74% of viewers made a connection between watching a video and making a purchase. Video allows us to humanize the product by putting it in a real situation and then leave a call to action for purchase.
Want to learn more about Criteo culture? Check out the Criteo Culture Hub.