Let’s Not Get Carried Away With All the Tweaking and Testing

Digital media is trackable and malleable. These two facts are creating new opportunities in marketing services and a degree of tension in Old Adlandia.
According to The New York Times, “a new breed of companies” is emerging to tweak the hell out of online creative. They create hundreds of versions of clients’ online ads, changing elements like color, type font, message, and image to see what combination draws clicks on a particular site or from a specific audience.
These companies assume there is no perfect version of an ad—blasphemy for a traditional creative. “Of course, there’s a perfect version of the ad,” a traditionalist would argue. “And it’s our job to discover it and recreate it for any and all media.”

About David Burn

Co-founder and editor of AdPulp. I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. I worked for seven agencies in five states before launching my own practice in 2009. Today, I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.


  1. Digital and direct marketing have many similarities, and this enterprise appears to take advantage of it. It sounds like the direct marketing wonks that test ten different envelope designs to see which pulls best. For me, the focus should be on creating a compelling concept. Whether the background color is green, blue or whatever seems like splitting hairs for the sake of doing so. But these people undoubtedly woo client by showing how such things affect responses – so you can’t fault their hustle.