CHALLENGE: To plan, develop and launch a display and mobile campaign to encourage event spectatorship and charitable donations within two weeks.

SOLUTION: Leverage the Flite Platform’s ability to dissociate several campaign development processes to run in parallel in order to meet the campaign’s aggressive deadline.

RESULTS: The campaign kicked off on time, contributing over $110,000 to disaster relief efforts. The ads enjoyed impressive interaction rates, time on unit, and clickthrough rates.


Consumer products leader, Procter & Gamble, had chosen to promote and underwrite the costs for a charitable event, Swim for Relief, benefiting victims of Hurricane Sandy. The multi-day event in New York City, featuring long-distance swimming legend Diana Nyad, sought to maximize its exposure and donations to AmeriCares, the humanitarian aid organization providing ongoing relief to those still suffering from the prior year’s disaster. The event team partnered with Starcom MediaVest Group’s local activation group to develop a multi-screen digital advertising campaign to run during the event and the run-up to it.

Starcom, P&G and Flite put together the desktop and mobile campaign—including creative development and approval, ad tag deployment and campaign integration with two ad network partners—in seven business days.

In a world where campaign development and execution timelines are typically measured in months, the Swim for Relief team turned their multi-screen campaign around in a breathtakingly short time. And although much of that agility can be attributed to a tightly-integrated, hard-working team, innovations in the Flite Platform made this campaign possible when a traditional ad development and trafficking approach would not have been able to.


Starcom approached Flite about the Swim for Relief campaign seven business days before the ads were scheduled to go live. With such aggressive timing, the original plan called for display (desktop) ads only. However, since Flite had just been certified to run on the mobile ad serving platform Medialets, the campaign scope was soon broadened to include mobile ads as well.

The campaign would serve over 20 million impressions across mobile and display placements geotargeted for the New York City metro area. Audience Science and Verve were selected as the display and mobile ad network partners, respectively; each had its own set of requirements that the ad creatives had to adhere to. The ads would encourage area residents to come cheer Diana on, to donate to AmeriCares as well as to buy from ShopRite, a regional supermarket chain, where a portion of proceeds would be donated to AmeriCares.


The extremely tight timing required the Starcom and Flite campaign teams to coordinate several processes concurrently. Fortunately, Flite technology enabled these to be managed in parallel instead of by the traditional serial approach.

First, as soon as the ad dimension and creative variants were locked down, the Flite ad operations team created tags to kick off the trafficking process. The Flite Platform does not require creatives to be finalized before tags are cut and distributed to trafficking partners.

Second, Flite’s creative services team developed flat comps and animation/transition representations for Starcom approval within one day of receiving the digital assets. This represented the first step in the creative development process which included three rounds of feedback to yield the final working ad units. Flite’s Design Studio HTML5 allowed rapid creative development, and an identical design process for both mobile and display units.

Third, the campaign team worked with Audience Science and Verve to ensure that the ads satisfied their specific requirements. For example, Verve had strict standards for mobile ads running in its network. With tweaks to the mobile creatives, ads that delivered on campaign goals but that also adhered to ad network partner specs were developed in short order.


The Swim for Relief campaign was a resounding success: Diana Nyad swam for 48 hours straight in front of throngs of supporters in Manhattan’s Herald Square, and over $110,000 was raised for AmeriCares’s ongoing Hurricane Sandy relief efforts. The digital campaign, having delivered over 20 million targeted impressions, was an instrumental part of that success.

The ad units performed remarkably well. The mobile ads enjoyed a 0.52% clickthrough rate. The display ads built to raise awareness about the event boasted an impressive 13.8% interaction rate, almost 10x that of benchmark figures*. And visitors to the display ads designed to encourage donations and purchases at ShopRite spent an average of 12 seconds interacting with the ads.

And beyond the performance of the ad units themselves was a fundamental reset of expectations: what can be delivered on a short timeframe depends entirely on platform choice. While traditional design and ad operations processes would need months to deliver such a campaign, Flite’s unique approach of decoupling these two processes and embracing an agile approach to creative assembly and approval allowed the ambitious campaign to go live in a matter of days.

* DoubleClick Display Benchmarks, US, Rich Media, same sizes, September 2013.

Event Promotion - Display and Mobile

Offer Promotion - Display and Mobile