Ad Size Creation: Use 1 Smart Template For All Versions

Until recently, the ideal of ‘design once and automate output everywhere’ was more of a fairy story than a tech possibility. But with Creative Automation, you really can create one time to generate multiple artwork variants for digital, print, and animation.

Multichannel Mad Men of Madison Avenue?

Multichannel advertising isn’t new. Think of those big tv commercials at the end of the last century that were accompanied by global billboards and glossy magazine adverts. Those huge campaigns were slow-moving, hyper-expensive juggernauts with massive teams doing a wide range of manual tasks.

But even if you could afford such campaigns today, that old approach wouldn’t be able to deliver the multichannel collateral needed for modern campaigns.

What do advertisers need today?

Fast-forward to 2023 and even a local campaign launch needs to be prepared for multiple devices, layout sizes, and channels.

So, the challenge today is to efficiently produce diverse content variants for multichannel output.

And, until the advent of Creative Automation, the only solution possible required designers and marketing operations teams slogging away for hours, manually creating and outputting a massive number of design variants for each campaign.

To understand this problem in context and why Creative Automation is so essential, let’s look at an oldie but goodie: point of sale advertising.

Example of the challenges faced in creating ad variants

When you’re prepping content for in-store display, you often have very large format print collateral (sometimes called “wide format”) like posters, hoardings, banners, etc. But you also have many small formats, right down to labels on the product shelves. All these require different layout variants and, frequently, different output options.

Beyond print, there's also digital signage, and again, you’ll usually need to produce this in multiple formats. You’ll also need a range of social media ads. And we haven’t even touched on traditional ad publishing, in-app ads, and a ton of other requirements, including animation – which has rapidly become a requirement.

Before Creative Automation, this workload had agencies forced to choose between breaking the back of their design and operations teams or breaking the bank. Neither was a good solution.

Meet CHILI GraFx… (and Jeroen)

This challenge is what gave birth to CHILI GraFx – the Creative Automation platform. Not only does it meet the needs of advertisers head on; it also brings new opportunities to marketing that vastly improve the reach and effectiveness of ad campaigns across digital, print, and animation.

One person who knows all about CHILI GraFx is Jeroen Cosyn, Product Owner at CHILI publish. Jeroen works to maximize the value of our platform daily, and so we sought Jeroen’s insights on today’s topic, and started by asking, In your own words, what are the challenges for advertisers in creating multichannel advertising variants?

Multichannel is about having content available for different channels such as print, digital, and even video from a single design source in an effective way. Creatives should be designing, not mass-producing variants. And Operations Managers should be delivering efficiencies, not prepping individual files. So, agencies need another way of preparing variants for the multichannel that isn’t such a resource drain.

Jeroen Cosyn

Product Owner

@ CHILI publish

When we asked Jeroen if there is a more “effective way” of creating for the multichannel than spending hours making variants and doing repetitive pre-production work, his eyes light up.

It’s simple: Creative Automation with CHILI GraFx. It vastly improves the entire workflow.

Jeroen Cosyn

Product Owner

@ CHILI publish

We also asked Jeroen to show us how it’s done, so he joined us for episode 5 of CHILIpulse, where he demos CHILI GraFx in action, preparing variants for the multichannel. You can find the link to the video at the end of this post.

CHILI GraFx’s boost to multichannel variant production

Streamlining your creative production ecosystem from design to output is the holy grail of Creative Automation – and it is also exactly what CHILI GraFx achieves by enabling teams to create any number of ad variants for different channels, quickly and efficiently. CHILI Smart Templates are at the heart of the platform. Here’s what you need to know about them.

Enter the Smartest Templates you ever saw

CHILI GraFx uses Smart Templates. They are so smart, in fact, that you can use a single Smart Template with a single design, then gather all your variants for your different channels within that single file. Yep, they handle everything in one location: sizes, layouts, different output destinations, etc. that is then adapted to produce any variant for any channel. You can finally say goodbye to creating hundreds of design files and keeping tabs open for each online production template in your browser.

Smart Templates also impose no creative constraints. They can comfortably handle your Adobe® InDesign® and Illustrator® design files precisely the way you create them. Compromised design is for amateurs, after all, and template constraints are for end users, not designers.

Smart Templates streamline production

As part of the CHILI GraFx creative production ecosystem, Smart Templates easily connect to data sources and marketing tech tools. This makes getting high-volume, personalized variant creation to output a cinch for Marketing Operations teams.

Next steps for one-stop ad variant creation

Seeing is believing, so are you ready to witness CHILI GraFx resizing and repurposing ad designs for the multichannel? In episode 5 of CHILIpulse, Jeroen demos the creation of ad variants in CHILI GraFx. Once you’ve seen it, we think you’ll agree that multichannel variant output from a single source is no longer a fairy story, but a welcome reality.

Watch Episode 5 of CHILIpulse.


Smart Templates

Jeroen Cosyn

Product Owner

Bram Verniest

Co-Founder and Chief Evangelist

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