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Automating campaigns and video creatives using Ad Automation


Video assets

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-3.300 h

Saved design effort

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597 Ads

Automated setup

Through the utilization of our automation technology, we were able to efficiently execute 19 campaigns for the Thomann Christmas campaign, each with 16 ad sets (with different targeting) across 50 countries, while saving significant human and time resources. This included automatic translation of texts in six different languages and processing a total of 608 creatives dynamically, taking the stock of each product into account.

Our client

Thomann is the largest music retailer in Europe and one of our oldest agency clients. Operating in over 23 countries, they boast a portfolio of over 90,000 products. This e-commerce heavyweight recently achieved an annual revenue exceeding one billion euros. The driving force behind it all? Their passion for music.

Initial situation

The annual, large-scale Christmas campaign by Thomann consistently poses challenges for all involved parties. Due to its early launch in October and substantial budgets, the planning and workload are notably greater compared to other campaigns. 

Especially for the responsible graphic designers, the Christmas campaign posed a hurdle. Choosing a "frame design" meant integrating numerous products or categories into it. Although seemingly straightforward, this task demanded countless hours of work, and the repetitive nature introduced a high potential for errors

Not only Thomann's graphic designers, but also the Sunlab team, had to dedicate numerous work hours, since the finished creatives had to be individually and manually integrated into the Facebook Business Manager. Managing two dozen categories, each containing ten products in eight languages, required substantial organizational effort. Additionally, maintenance and monitoring tasks aimed at optimizing performance through budget shifts further added to the workload.


Automated video creation 

In 2021, Sunlab managed to automate a significant portion of this manual workload using their in-house automation technology. This drastically reduced the workload for graphic designers. Instead of creating, exporting, and rendering a separate video for each product, a single template video sufficed. All components such as texts, objects, and animations were individually exported from this "template" and made available to the Sunlab team.

 In the ad automation tool, the Sunlab team developed a customized layout tailored to Thomann’s needs. Anticipating 19 categories to be featured, each needing to be displayed in eight different languages, Thomann selected around 20 products for each category. This approach ensured that fewer niche products and more best-selling products were featured in the ads.

Campaign updates

Finally, the tool developed by Sunlab automatically generated 19 campaigns for the Thomann Christmas campaign. Each campaign consisted of 16 ad sets with different targeting criteria and two ads with varying placements. This process handled a total of 608 creatives. But that's not all: importantly, to avoid displaying the same products throughout the two-and-a-half-month duration of the Christmas campaign, the campaigns were updated automatically on a weekly basis. This involved incorporating a new creative comprising other products from the same category.

Standardized budget shifts 

Budget shifts for the 2021 Xmas campaign were entirely organized through tables. These tables strictly defined and structured percentage-based budget shifts. As a result, budgets no longer needed to be manually changed in the Business Manager. Using these percentages, the Sunlab team could simultaneously redistribute the budget across numerous campaigns. This not only reduced complexity and the likelihood of errors but also greatly improved the clarity of budget distributions for all parties involved.

Results and achievements

Thomann experienced multiple achievements in this campaign due to the utilization of the automation tool:

Dynamic texts with translations

As an internationally operating company, Thomann heavily relies on translation services. Campaigns are not only presented in German but also translated into English, Dutch, French, Spanish, and Italian for distribution across more than 50 countries worldwide. The automation tool provides a straightforward way for collaboration among different translators through Google Sheets. All languages seamlessly transfer into ads and are targeted, without the need for an additional translation tool

Dynamic creatives with product data feed integration 

Together with dynamic texts, this showcases the flexibility and agility of the automation tool. It's crucial for Thomann to only promote available products. Otherwise, money would be spent on ads where users find their desired product to be out of stock after clicking. The challenge lies in Thomann's need to decide in advance which products to showcase and incorporate into creatives. If a product becomes unavailable, the entire ad must be paused until a creative featuring an available product is available for use. Alternatively, the ad continues running with the sold-out product. Neither option is optimal. In contrast, the automation tool provides a direct solution. From the start of the campaign, it was connected to Thomann's product data feed. This enabled the real-time stock data to be transmitted. Whenever a promoted product went out of stock, a new ad was automatically generated, replacing the sold-out item with an available one. 

Enhanced utilization of personnel and time resources

Particularly, major campaigns like the Christmas campaign put personnel capacities to the test. Instead of wasting valuable time on setup, replacing incorrect creatives, or other maintenance tasks, thanks to the automation tool, the Sunlab team could focus on their essential task: continuously optimizing performance. This led to a much more efficient use of resources: employees were deployed in areas where automation techniques couldn't replace them, and where years of experience and individual case analysis prevailed.

Next steps

The success of Thomann's 2021 Christmas campaign led to an increased use of our in-house developed automation technology. In addition to the 2022 Xmas campaign, the technology will be employed in other major campaigns. Furthermore, the technology will expand to platforms like TikTok, which can be easily managed in the future using the automation tool.

"With Sunlab, we have had a strong partner in the field of performance marketing for many years. Thanks to campaign automation, we have been able to operate much more efficiently over the years, particularly during the 2021 Christmas campaign, yielding excellent results."

Portrait von Simeon Esken

Simeon Esken

Head of Marketing Communication, Thomann

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