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Contextual Advertising Is More Cost-Efficient Than Behavioral Advertising

Digital advertising has become an indispensable tool for marketers to achieve their advertising goals. Broadly speaking, there are two main types of digital advertising – behavioral and contextual.

The debate on contextual advertising vs behavioral advertising has always troubled the marketers. Behavioral advertising targets ads on the basis of user data such as websites visited, products viewed, purchase history, etc. It makes use of third-party cookies to reach consumers, irrespective of contextual relevance. On the other hand, contextual advertising involves showing ads that are contextually relevant to the content a user is consuming.

Major web browsers like Safari and Firefox have already blocked third-party cookies, and Google’s Chrome browser has started phasing out these cookies. Besides third-party cookies’ blocking, privacy regulations like the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) have made it difficult for marketers to continue using behavioral advertising. As contextual advertising does not involve the use of consumers’ personal data, it appears to be the best alternative to behavioral advertising.

A recent research study has shown that contextual advertising is more cost-efficient than behavioral ad targeting. Four big companies took part in the study. Five campaigns were run in order to compare contextual advertising and behavioral advertising in terms of efficiency. The five campaigns included one behavioral advertising campaign and four contextual advertising campaigns. The four contextual advertising campaigns were run by four different contextual advertising companies.

All of the five campaigns were setup identically and used the same ad unit. The number of impressions was same for each of the campaigns. For comparing the cost efficiency of contextual advertising and behavioral advertising, three measures were considered, viz. – Cost per mille in-demo impressions or In-Demo eCPM (cost of reaching desired demographic), Cost per click or CPC, and Cost per mille viewable impressions or vCPM. For viewable impressions, Media Rating Council’s standard was followed, i.e., fifty percent of ad visible for at least one continuous second.

The study found that contextually targeted impressions were significantly less costly than behaviorally targeted impressions, contextual eCPM being thirty-six percent lesser than behavioral eCPM. The cost per click (CPC) for contextually targeted ads was found to be forty-eight percent lesser than the cost per click for behaviorally targeted ads. After considering CPMs for every ad line, the cost per mille viewable impressions (vCPM) for contextually targeted ads was found to be forty-one percent lower than behaviorally targeted ads.

The study concluded that for all of the three cost efficiency metrics, contextual ad targeting was significantly better than behavioral ad targeting.

It is clear that in the era of data privacy regulations and cookie-less browsers, contextual advertising not only offers an effective and safe way of targeting ads to consumers, but also provides more cost-efficiency than behavioral advertising.

Understanding the Effects of Cognitive Shortcuts on Consumers’ Perception of Ads

The human brain is the most sophisticated organ of the human body. Research shows that human brain takes shortcuts when it comes to interpreting enormous information.

Although these shortcuts or cognitive schemas help in organizing and interpreting information, they can make people leave out new apposite information in favor of the information they already have, operate on preconceived notions, or unknowingly form untrue associations.

How human brain responds to ads has emerged as a topic of great interest for marketing professionals, display advertisers, and YouTube advertising companies. Research shows that reaction of people to an ad is affected by ad’s environment, and cognitive schemas can influence the outcome of an advertising campaign. This article discusses how cognitive schemas affect people’s perception of ads.

An eye-tracking study for mapping eye movement patterns on a web page has revealed that availability bias affects people’s viewing of ads, i.e., people make an assumption about the location on a web page where an ad will be displayed on the basis of appearance of previous ads. Due to this cognitive schema, people tend to automatically not look at the ad hot spots, i.e.,   locations where ads usually appear.

Research shows that people give a look to an object on a web page that doesn’t interest them, then move their eyes from that area, and avoid focusing on that spot on that web page. Sometimes, they stop focusing on that area on other web pages of the same website, and may even do so on entirely different websites.

This means that if an ad of a display or video ad agency appears in a usual ad spot, for example on a sidebar, then it is important for that agency to have a great first impression of its ad, otherwise the ad may be overlooked.

Human mind considers objects on a web page that are close together, or are of the same color, size or shape, as related. Therefore, ads that are placed adjacent to unsavory content have a higher chance of being overlooked. Context plays a vital role in success or failure of an ad. By using contextual ad targeting, marketers can place their ads against contextually relevant and brand suitable content. Contextual advertising boosts the chances of user engagement.

In relation to advertising, a cognitive bias exists towards high-quality websites. High-quality websites are sites with low brand risk, whereas low-quality websites are those that have moderate brand risk. Research shows that an ad placed on a high-quality site generates a highly positive reaction, while the same ad when placed on a low-quality site, gets actively disliked. People show higher engagement on high-quality websites in comparison to low-quality sites, and this engagement also gets passed to the ads running on these websites.

While creating advertising strategies, marketers should keep in mind the above examples of cognitive schemas. In order to avoid availability bias, a brand and its partner display or YouTube video advertising company should use a tempting creative that casts a great first impression on audience. Besides attractive creatives, ads should contextually align with the surrounding content. The surrounding content should not only be safe or unharmful in order to ensure brand safety, but should also be brand suitable.

Understanding the Effects of Context and Sentiment on Consumers’ Perception of Ads and Brands

The digital advertising landscape is increasingly shifting towards contextual relevance. Brands are using contextual advertising approach for connecting with the right consumers with the right message and at the right time.

A recent survey study has shown that the quality of the environment in which a brand’s ads are placed influences consumers’ perception of the ads and the brand. The online survey, which involved more than a thousand participants, aimed to find out the kinds of ads that people prefer to see in different types of environments, and how context and sentiment of the content of a webpage affect people’s feelings towards the ads placed on that page and the associated brands.

The results of the survey are highly favorable to contextual targeting companies. Seventy percent of the survey participants stated that it is important, at least to some degree, that digital ads placed on a page are relevant to the page’s content. This means people value seeing ads that are in line with the content they are consuming.

Seventy-four percent of the survey participants, i.e., about three in four participants, stated that they like to see those ads on a web page that match with the content of the page. This finding reveals the preference of consumers for contextually relevant ads.

Seventy-two percent of the participants said that the content surrounding a digital ad impacts their perception of the ad. This finding reveals that people not only just give preference to the ads that are contextually relevant to the surrounding content, but also perceive them in a better way. The content of a web page influences the opinion of people about the ads on that page.

When participants were shown content from different content categories such as entertainment, finance, shopping, etc., their ad preference was found to be consistent, i.e. for each of the different content types, they always preferred to see ads contextually relevant to that content type. Thus, by leveraging the expertise of contextual advertising companies, brands can achieve unprecedented reach and engagement.

Fifty-six percent of the participants stated that they form a more favorable opinion towards a brand whose ads are contextually relevant. Sixty percent said that they are likely to remember ads that align well with the content of the page.

A piece of content can communicate a positive, neutral, or negative feeling to the people consuming it. Majority of the participants, i.e. seventy-two percent, said that the sentiment of the content they consume influences their feelings towards the brands whose ads are shown against that content.

The survey study found that, on average, participants were more receptive to content that conveyed positive or neutral feelings. Participants also showed increased favorability towards the brands whose ads appeared against content with positive or neutral sentiment. Moreover, participants showed increased memorability for ads placed against content with positive or neutral sentiment.

By understanding how context and sentiment affect consumers’ perception of ads and brands, marketers can boost consumers’ engagement with ads and brands.

Study Shows YouTube Advertising Drives More Reach Than TV Advertising

Over the years, the consumption of online videos has increased tremendously. More than two billion users across the globe log in on YouTube every month, watching more than one billion hours of videos per day.

People use a variety of devices to watch YouTube such as smartphones, tablets, desktops, and more recently, TV screens. People are now increasingly using TV screens for watching content on YouTube. The increase in YouTube viewing on TV screens suggests that more and more people are now watching YouTube with their families, in the same manner as they watch traditional TV. YouTube viewing on TV offers a great opportunity to brands and YouTube marketing companies to capitalize on YouTube content.

Even with the increasing use of TV screens for watching YouTube content, some marketers still believe that YouTube advertising cannot surpass traditional TV advertising in terms of reach. Many brands are still spending majority of their advertising budgets on linear TV, allocating only a small part to digital advertising. These brands usually cut out their digital video ads from their long duration TV commercials, thus not using video creatives specifically created for digital environment.

Brands and their partner video advertising companies that do not give the right weightage to digital video advertising miss the opportunity to reach a broader audience. In order to compare the reach of traditional TV advertising and YouTube advertising, Google Japan conducted a TV vs. YouTube comparison study.

The study involved running ad campaigns across traditional TV and YouTube. The campaigns were run four times, for a period of two weeks at a time. TV ads were run during the first week, while YouTube ads were run during the second week. Both the ad campaigns were run at comparable terms and with similar target rating points. As linear TV ads are unskippable, only non-skippable ads were run on YouTube.

The study found that YouTube ads reached more people in comparison to traditional TV ads, including those that do not watch linear TV. Combined reach achieved by linear television and YouTube advertising was sixty-six to seventy-eight percent against the target audience. The contribution of YouTube ads to the combined reach ranged between sixty-five percent and seventy-five percent, which was more than the contribution of traditional TV ads to the combined reach. The contribution of traditional TV ads to the combined reach ranged between twenty-five percent and thirty-five percent. The study also found that YouTube campaigns achieved reach faster than traditional TV ad campaigns.

The study also revealed that although YouTube ads of fifteen seconds duration were good in driving reach among younger people in the eighteen to thirty-four years old age group, a broader audience was effectively reached when a combination of fifteen- and six seconds ad formats was used. Thus, by using bumper ads in conjunction with fifteen seconds ads, a video ad agency can drive a huge reach.

By using the right mix of TV and YouTube advertising, marketers can drive greater reach and target diverse audiences.

Driving Engagement with YouTube Video Ads Through Personalization and Consumer Participation

People are increasingly watching online videos, over a billion hours of YouTube videos being watched everyday across the globe. This provides a tremendous opportunity to brands and YouTube advertising companies to reach viewers, but it also means that marketers must stand out in the vast ocean of content.

Marketers can effectively connect with people through video by using the approaches of personalization, meaningful messaging, and consumer participation. Creating a YouTube video advertising campaign by using the personalization approach does not mean creating a million ads that appeal to a million different persons. What is required is a little adjustment in order to better address the varied needs of different people.

For example, if a smartphone company wants to target three different audiences on YouTube, viz. – entrepreneurs, gamers and creators, then instead of using the one-size-fits-all approach for the video creative, it should go for a personalized approach. It involves finding the most-searched ‘how to’ videos for each of the audiences, and then using Google’s Director Mix tool to create unique personalized ads that are relevant to the content watched by each audience. Based on what a viewer is looking for, the tailored ad can show him or her how the advertised gadget can help. Instead of interrupting people’s viewing experience, customized ads complement it.

Another way that can help captivate audience and generate great results involves the use of tutorials. The statistics show that about eighty percent of beauty consumers perceive reviews and tutorials as a physical test of a beauty company’s products, and these reviews and tutorials help them in deciding which products to buy. To captivate audience and boost sales, a beauty products’ company can use YouTube Premieres to broadcast a live stream comprised of makeup tutorials, reviews, and exclusive deals.

Marketers can not only draw insights from the audience data, but can also directly involve consumers. For example, in order to launch a new food product, a food brand and its partner YouTube advertising agency can use TrueView discovery ads, bumper ads, etc. to create awareness and invite people to become a part of a taste-testing team. By involving consumers in a brand’s journey, marketers can generate a huge buzz and make people talking about the product. Such a YouTube ad campaign can help create massive awareness and consumer engagement, leading to huge sales.

Another example that can be cited here is of an automobile company that wants to launch a new car. By involving the consumers, the car brand can create an interactive experience. Instead of creating simple video ads that only tell features of the new car, marketers can create an atmosphere of excitement and activity through treasure hunt video ads. The ads will provide clues to the viewers about the location of the car, and the first one to find the car will keep it. This interactive campaign can provide highly impressive results to the car brand.

By leveraging approaches of personalization, meaningful messaging, and consumer participation, brands and their partner YouTube marketing companies can drive huge audience engagement and boost sales.

How Customized Creatives Help Brands Effectively Connect with Consumers

YouTube offers a mammoth library of diverse video content. Over one billion hours of video are watched daily on YouTube. Marketers always keep on exploring new and better ways to capitalize on the full potential that this huge video platform offers.

Research shows that integrated campaigns with tailored creatives can generate an increase of sixty-seven percent in return on investment over campaigns that do not use customized creatives for different channels.

By making use of personalized messaging and user-generated content, brands and their partner YouTube marketing companies can drive significant impact through their campaigns.

Marketers should create messages that align well with the interests of their targeted audiences. An example that can be cited here is of an Indonesian network provider. For driving awareness of its new products, the network provider decided to capitalize on three of the most popular YouTube genres – music, movies and gaming.

In order to effectively connect with YouTube viewers, the network brand required communicating relevant messages according to audiences’ interests. The network provider built two-hundred customized creatives through Google’s Director Mix tool. These creatives targeted more than seventy-five different kinds of audiences. The creatives delivered personalized messaging in accordance with the interests of the targeted audiences. For example, an ad copy delivered to music fans talked about streaming of favorite songs, while that delivered to gamers talked about easy buying of gaming quota.

By delivering ads most closely related to the interests of audiences, the network brand achieved eight percent hike in ad recall and more than thirteen percent increase in product interest among first-time ad viewers.

Brands and their partner YouTube advertising companies should take into account what is currently trending and should understand intentions of their targeted audiences. An example that can be cited here is of a powdered milk product brand. During the pandemic last year, most of the people stayed at home during the festival of Ramadan and spent more time in the kitchen. YouTube witnessed a significant increase in search terms such as cookies and cakes. Acknowledging that most of the people would prepare Ramadan meals in their homes amid the pandemic, the milk brand decided to create a YouTube ad campaign to make people know how they can use its powdered milk product to prepare desserts for the festive period.

In total, seventeen videos were created by the milk product brand. These one-minute videos featured easy-to-follow and scrumptious recipes comprising brand’s powdered milk product as one of the ingredients. The milk brand ensured that whenever people searched for terms such as cakes and cookies on YouTube, its recipe videos appeared. On average, people watched more than ninety percent of each video and brand drove impressive marketing results.

Brands should encourage content created by consumers for effectively connecting with them. Here, again an example of a milk brand that wanted to run a campaign for its milk can be given. Brand found that different types of consumers such as sports fans, elderly, travelers, etc. consumed the product for varied reasons, for example, as a fitness drink, for easing nausea, etc. Therefore, the brand found it difficult to create a single message that could cover all types of consumers.

It dropped the idea of creating a single message for all and worked with its partner YouTube advertising agency to create a campaign that invited consumers to share their experiences with the product through photographs. The brand created unique creative assets from the testimonials and photos for more than forty different audiences by using Director Mix tool offered by Google. The campaign delivered excellent results.

By creating customized creatives, marketers can build strong and long-lasting connections with the consumers, and boost brand awareness and sales.

Capitalizing on YouTube’s Unique Sports Content to Reach Massive Audience

YouTube is extremely popular among video seekers from around the world. In fact, sports fans consider YouTube as their most preferred platform, even more than the cable television. Brands and their partner YouTube marketing companies can capitalize on the vast and unique sports content available on YouTube to reach massive audience.

Last year, during the pandemic, when live sporting events were not happening, more and more sports-starved fans turned to YouTube for watching sports related video content. According to the Global Audiences Study 2020 by Google, seventy-nine percent of viewers agree that sports content available on YouTube cannot be found elsewhere. More than ninety percent of millennials who watch content related to sports, use YouTube to do so.

Although live sporting events have returned, fans are still consuming YouTube sports content on their laptops, smartphones and TV screens. YouTube Internal Data report reveals that the watch time of YouTube sports content on television screens, excluding live content, has increased over sixty-five percent year over year.

Sports content available on YouTube is unmatched by other platforms. Apart from regular sports content, YouTube provides behind the scenes sports content and content uploaded by sportspersons. Many sportspersons are posting videos that provide their fans a deeper look into their on- and off-field lives, giving a new meaning to sports content. This helps sportspersons form a deeper connection with their fans. By running a YouTube ad campaign against such an authentic and immersive content, brands can better connect with viewers and drive great results.

On- and off-field content on YouTube is also being created by some digital sports media companies. They are creating long-form storytelling content around sports such as basketball, football, video games, etc., and athletes. Fans are highly keen to watch videos featuring their favorite athletes, and therefore, these videos fetch millions of views and subscribers. Brands can drive huge consumer engagement by running contextual YouTube video ads against such a content.

In order to reach maximum people, a chocolate manufacturing company decided to leverage YouTube advertising for its Super Bowl game campaign. In order to deliver message across all screens where game’s fans were watching, the brand used different YouTube ad formats, which included home feed ads and YouTube video ads on connected TV. The digital video advertising campaign provided excellent results. The brand achieved twenty-four percent incremental reach among its primary audience and a high return on ad spend.

YouTube’s vast and unique sports content offers an excellent opportunity to brands to connect with consumers and achieve their marketing goals.

Should Marketers Go For AI-Powered Contextual Brand Safety Technology?

In the wake of vast amount of harmful content on the internet, brand safety has become a primary focus for marketers when it comes to digital advertising.

Brands should not only be careful about the content of their messages, but should also be heedful of the environment in which their ads are being placed. Context is extremely important for brands in the case of online advertising.

The brand safety tools that marketers are currently using aren’t providing optimal results

To prevent damage to brands’ image, marketers are implementing different types of brand safety solutions. But most of these solutions or tools date back to the advent of programmatic advertising and are not effective enough to ensure a satisfactory level of brand safety. Moreover, there is no ready-made tool that can suit the requirements of all brands. A brand has to customize the solution in order to meet its specific needs.

Most of the brand safety tools used by marketers today rely on blacklists and whitelists. A blacklist is made up of different keywords that a brand considers harmful or inappropriate for its business. The content that has the blacklisted keywords is blocked by the tool, and therefore, no ads get placed next to such content. The keyword-based tools are unable to comprehend nuances in context and often lead to blocking of safe content. This negatively impacts an advertising campaign’s performance, as reach is considerably reduced.

A whitelist is a list of websites or web pages that are considered safe by a brand for running its ads. As whitelist offers a closed environment, reach of an ad campaign is significantly reached. Moreover, a whitelist curator has to update the list from time to time so that newer safe content does not get missed.

Although private marketplaces provide a safe advertising environment, they have their own limitations

Many marketers consider private marketplaces as a solution to the brand safety problem. In a private marketplace, only exclusive parties take part in programmatic ad buying and selling. A private marketplace works only on an invite-only basis, unlike an open marketplace. Publishers invite only chosen advertisers for bidding on the select ad spots. Brands know the brand safety status of publishers from whom they purchase the ad spots in private marketplaces. This provides them confidence that their ads will not be placed in a harmful environment. The most important limitation of using a private marketplace is the decrease in campaign’s reach.

AI-powered contextual targeting offers the true solution to the brand safety menace

Brand safety technology that makes use of AI-powered contextual targeting is not only the latest but also the most advanced solution to the brand safety problem. AI-powered contextual brand safety technology accurately understands nuances in context, and therefore, does not lead to over blocking of content, unlike conventional solutions.

Apart from generic harmful contexts such as terrorism, obscenity, etc., AI can also detect brand-defined inappropriate contexts, thus providing brand suitability along with brand safety. AI-based brand safety solutions effectively detect unsafe and unsuitable contexts in online videos, thus offering a brand safe and suitable video advertising environment to marketers.

If marketers want a brand safety solution that is highly effective, does not block safe content and does not kill an advertising campaign’s reach, then they should go for AI-powered contextual brand safety technology.

How Brands Can Drive Success on YouTube with Unique Ads

Most of the marketers consider YouTube as the best platform for video advertising. But running an ordinary YouTube ad campaign may not offer excellent results.

To get impressive results, marketers need to push the boundaries of storytelling and create unique, unforgettable ads that resonate deeply with audiences. Brands that use fresh, creative ways for storytelling are able to engage huge audiences and generate significant business impact.

Below is discussed how brands can drive success from their YouTube advertising campaigns by making their ads stand out from others.

Create daring and disruptive stories

A brand can come into the spotlight by using daring and disruptive stories, especially when it has limited advertising budget.

In order to make its place in the Philippines’ beverage market already dominated by global brands, a soft drink company created a video ad depicting a weird story of a boy and his mother. During the latter part of the ad, mother removes her head and a soft drink bottle appears in place of her head. The story has shades of humor, sentiment and absurdity, all in one package.

This experimental and courageous move by the beverage company resulted in an increase of sixty-three percent in its sales.

Create episodic video ads

By creating multiple videos featuring episodic content, brands can keep their audiences coming back for more. Such YouTube video ads have a narrative structure resembling TV series. Each video incites curiosity to watch more.

During lockdowns, last year, due to the pandemic, a steep rise in delivery of food to doorstep was witnessed. But for those companies that didn’t have delivery infrastructure, revenue loss was inevitable. A Filipino pizza company suffered a loss of eighty percent in revenue because of no delivery infrastructure.

In order to make people go to its pizza stores, the company created a series of six-second bumper ads. The ads were delivered as pre-roll YouTube video ads. As non-skippable pre-roll ads are regarded as highly annoying, the pizza brand created a series of somewhat funny video ads that apologized to audiences for interruption, and then persuaded them to visit its stores if in case they were able to safely come out of their homes. This YouTube ad campaign was a great success, as the pizza chain was able to surpass its sales targets.

Collaborate with content creators

YouTube viewers build a connection with popular content creators. YouTube campaigns that make use of collaboration between brands and content creators drive impressive results. By including content creators in their YouTube video ads, brands are able to create authentic connections with consumers.

A noodle brand wanted to run an awareness campaign for relaunch of its original thin noodles. The brand created a YouTube ad campaign led by a funny vlogger with millions of subscribers. The vlogger called out viewers to try the thin noodles. The campaign achieved an eighteen percent higher view through rate in comparison to campaigns that did not leverage a content creator. The noodle brand saw significant lifts in brand favorability and consumers’ purchase intent.

Create video ads that have a purpose

Video ads that address a social cause are able to create a strong association between consumers and brands. Brands that support community despite their own challenges are able to cast a powerful impact on consumers.

A YouTube advertising campaign ran by a telecom brand to promote a new Star Wars film earned it a gold award. The video displayed the brand’s support for disabled people. It featured two boys creating a special in-home viewing experience of the new film for their hearing-impaired friend. The brand achieved eighty-four percent lift in message recall and reinforced its position in social advocacy.

By creating unique, unforgettable YouTube video ads, brands can cast a powerful impact on the minds of consumers, leading to lifts in brand awareness, brand favorability and purchase intent.

Busting Myths About Contextual Targeting

In the wake of phasing out of third-party cookies and rising brand safety issues, advertisers are increasingly adopting contextual targeting. But there are still prevailing certain myths that are making some marketers hesitant in implementing contextual targeting.

This article tries to bust these myths, so that marketers get a clear picture on contextual targeting.

Myth 1: Contextual targeting is a simple, keyword-based approach

It is true that previously contextual targeting was based entirely on keywords, but this is not the case now. Today, we have machine learning and AI-powered contextual targeting technology that delivers unparalleled results.

Conventional contextual advertising involves targeting desired keywords in web addresses, titles, meta descriptions, tags, page content, etc. for placement of relevant ads. Similarly, conventional brand safety techniques involve avoiding ad placement against content having blacklisted keywords.

Conventional keyword-based techniques can lead to decrease in a campaign’s reach by labeling brand safe content as unsafe. For example, if a food company wants to run its ads against food content and has put alcohol in the list of blocked keywords, then by using conventional contextual advertising approach, its ads will be blocked not only against drunk driving content but also against content featuring recipes that use alcohol just as one of the ingredients. This will cast a negative impact on the campaign’s reach.

Thus, traditional keyword-based approach fails to understand nuances in context. This limitation has been overcome by contextual targeting technology powered by artificial intelligence. This technology maximizes reach, while ensuring brand safety and brand suitability.

Myth 2: Contextual targeting is less effective than cookie-based approach

This is completely untrue. Research shows that contextual ad targeting offers significantly high neural engagement and ad recall, when compared to random ad placements. Moreover, it has been found that there is a considerable increase in consumers’ purchase intent when they are exposed to ads that are contextually relevant to the content they are consuming.

The results of a marketing survey, in which over one thousand people participated, show that for the majority of consumers, it is important that ads which they see on a web page are contextually relevant to the content on that page.

Majority of the survey’s respondents showed increased favorability towards brands showing contextually relevant ads. Memorability for contextually aligned ads was also found to be significantly greater than randomly placed ads. Moreover, survey found that consumers not only prefer contextually aligned ads, but also form a better perception and opinion of them.

Myth 3: It is less cost-efficient in comparison to cookie-based advertising

When it comes to cost efficiency, contextual advertising is far better than cookie-based behavioral advertising. The cost of contextual ad impressions is considerably less than behavioral ad impressions. Research shows that effective cost per thousand impressions (eCPM), cost per click (CPC) and cost per thousand viewable impressions (vCPM) for contextual ads are significantly less than cookie-based ads.

In a study conducted in partnership with Dentsu Aegis Network, eCPM for contextual ads was found to be thirty-six percent less than that for third-party cookie-based ads. CPC for ads that were contextually targeted came out to be forty-eight percent less than CPC for ads that involved cookie-based targeting, while contextual vCPM was less than behavioral vCPM by forty-one percent.

Myth 4: Contextual targeting offers same results, irrespective of the provider

Although marketers should always go for AI-powered contextual ad targeting over conventional keyword-based technique, no two AI tech offering contextual advertising companies are equal in driving results. Marketers should choose a company that has many years of expertise and experience in contextual ad placement. The chosen company should have well-trained, refined and powerful machine learning and AI algorithms in order to drive excellent results.

The above myth-busting discussion will help marketers in better understanding contextual targeting, so that they can confidently use it to effectively achieve their advertising and brand safety goals.

3 Ways to Maximize Brand Awareness and Reach on YouTube

Marketers are increasingly investing in YouTube advertising in order to achieve their video marketing goals. But achieving these goals is not an easy task, and involves use of an effective YouTube advertising strategy and proven approaches.

Below are discussed some proven YouTube advertising approaches to make it easier for marketers to maximize brand awareness, reach and cost efficiency.

Use Reach Planner for maximizing campaign’s effectiveness

In order to maximize effectiveness of their YouTube campaigns, marketers should use a tool provided by Google known as Reach Planner. This tool makes use of real-time data to show a YouTube campaign’s expected reach based on settings such as ad types, audience, campaign budget, etc. By making little changes to inputs, marketers can see how their video advertising campaign’s projected reach and frequency get affected.

For example, a children’s apparel brand leveraged Reach Planner for its YouTube campaign for getting insights into the reach and frequency for two different audience segments, viz. first-party and Google. Reach Planner helped it in finding out the right budget and strategy for driving maximum impact. The campaign was able to achieve a unique reach of more than fifty million at a significantly lower cost per view in comparison to brand’s average YouTube campaign.

Reach Planner also allows marketers to plan their YouTube advertising campaign alongside their television advertising campaign in order to understand the combined reach and efficiency of their overall ad campaign.

Use video reach campaigns

By using two or more cost per thousand impressions ad formats on YouTube such as six seconds bumper ads, skippable ads or non-skippable ads, marketers can achieve maximal brand awareness and ad recall. YouTube offers video reach campaigns to streamline budget allocation between different CPM ad formats.

Video reach campaigns offer a great advantage by automatically optimizing across different types of ad formats in order to reach as many YouTube viewers as possible for the least price. YouTube data shows that brands that leverage video reach campaigns can drive from twenty-nine percent to forty-four percent more reach at a sixteen percent lesser CPM in comparison to brands that run YouTube advertising campaigns using single ad format.

For example, a Portuguese cosmetics’ brand used video reach campaigns to promote its hair serum product and drove its maximum reach ever. The brand was able to reach thirty-two percent more viewers and witnessed a reduction of forty-one percent in the cost per reach point in comparison to campaigns optimized manually.

Use Brand Lift to adjust YouTube ad campaign in real time

Brand Lift helps marketers in measuring the effectiveness of a YouTube ad campaign and making required adjustments in real time. It allows measurement of campaign’s brand awareness impact and ad recall. It even helps marketers in gauging the impact of campaign in its crucial first days. By making use of the remeasurement feature, marketers can evaluate the impact of adjustments such as swapping of creatives and mid-flight changes.

By using above-mentioned tools and approaches marketers can boost effectiveness and cost efficiency of their YouTube campaigns, and achieve greater brand awareness and reach.

Using YouTube Advertising as A Powerful Performance Driver

Video is an essential tool for businesses to maximize their presence in the digital world and reach consumers across their purchase journey. But some marketers think that it serves only the purpose of brand building.

The fact is that apart from brand building, video is a highly effective performance driver. A study by Google shows that seventy percent of consumers buy from a brand after seeing it on YouTube.

YouTube video ads act as a powerful engine for achieving goals of both brand and performance marketers, which include creating and fulfilling demand.

Below are discussed some YouTube advertising strategies that can help marketers use video for both brand building and driving action.

Make strategic tweaks to creative according to consumer behavior

Marketers should make tweaks to video creative according to changes in consumer behavior. For example, online shopping is gaining prominence among people, so by making small changes to their YouTube campaigns, marketers can effectively adapt to changing consumer behavior and achieve their ecommerce goals.

During the lockdown, when a US-based cosmetics company had to close its physical stores, its marketing team reshaped its strategy to focus on bringing consumers to its ecommerce website. The cosmetics brand repurposed its existing video creative by including a call to action. It then ran a TrueView for action campaign by using the modified creative. The video ad prompted people to click on the attractive offer. This simple tweak to the video creative helped the brand to effectively achieve its conversion goals.

Create YouTube video ads that match consumers’ interests and intent

In order to form a meaningful and deeper connection with consumers, ad content should reflect their preferences, intent and interests. An American security solutions company achieved highly impressive results by customizing messages according to audiences. The company’s marketing research team identified certain audience segments that were more interested in security solutions in comparison to others. To target these audiences, the security brand used video ad sequencing and delivered action-oriented tailored messages. The brand witnessed significant lifts in favorability, consideration and conversion rate.

Serve ads that meet consumer demand

By considering the trending searches on Google and YouTube related to its products, a brand can create ads that meet consumer needs. An online education courses provider took note of the search queries trending on YouTube related to its course offerings. It served action-oriented YouTube video ads related to the searches, for example, to those searching for gardening tips, a gardening course ad with a call to action was served. This approach not only drove brand awareness, but also action. The education brand saw a significant increase in website traffic and course sign-ups.

By using the above approaches, marketers can boost the impact of their YouTube advertising campaigns and effectively achieve both brand building and performance goals.

How Marketers Can Adapt to Latest Video Watching Trends to Drive Results

Video consumption is undergoing dramatic shifts in terms of what people are watching and how they are watching. People are increasingly shifting from traditional TV to online video content provided by mammoth video hosting platforms such as YouTube. Although watching YouTube videos on smartphones is still very popular, more and more people are consuming YouTube on their TV screens.

Here are some ways that can help marketers in adapting to the latest video watching trends and achieve success.

Connect with people right where they are watching

YouTube viewership on connected TV is growing at a rapid rate. Brands and their YouTube marketing companies should focus on reaching the YouTube audiences on the big screen. For example, when car showrooms got closed due to the pandemic, a Korean multinational automobile manufacturer achieved the scale and impact it aimed for through YouTube on connected TV. The brand achieved an increase of sixteen percent in digital leads and fifteen percent in the market share.

Create e-commerce videos to facilitate sales

People all over the world are increasingly doing online shopping not only for low-budget products but also for high-end products. Before buying a product, consumers prefer to watch product and brand videos on YouTube. More than sixty percent of viewers on YouTube have admitted that they bought a product/service from a brand after seeing its ad on YouTube.

Google’s TrueView for action campaigns’ data shows that YouTube video ads having action formats are leading to about a billion conversions per year. During the lockdown last year, due to the pandemic, an American cosmetics brand decided to increase traffic to its ecommerce website. It effectively achieved its conversion goals by repurposing its existing video ad and running a TrueView for action campaign.

Create captivating YouTube-friendly video ads

As more and more people are now watching YouTube over traditional TV, create video ads specifically for YouTube; do not directly use ads created for TV on YouTube. A successful YouTube advertising campaign requires a captivating video ad created by following YouTube best practices. In order to drive impact through YouTube campaigns, marketers should make best use of their creativity along with high performing ad formats.

Use the right mix of TV and YouTube for video advertising campaigns

By leveraging Google Ads campaign planning tool, known as Reach Planner, marketers can find out the right mix of TV and YouTube. Reach Planner helps a video ad agency in maximizing video advertising campaigns’ reach while improving frequency. It makes use of YouTube forecasts along with historical TV campaign data obtained from the 3rd party data measurement providers in order to enable marketers to plan TV and YouTube together.

By using the above-mentioned tactics, marketers can effectively adapt to the latest video watching trends and achieve excellent results through their video marketing efforts.

How SMBs Can Create a Successful YouTube Marketing Strategy

Over two billion people from around the world watch video content on YouTube every month.  More than one billion hours of YouTube videos are watched every day. People are consuming YouTube from wherever they are and whenever they desire.

YouTube offers a great opportunity to businesses of any size including small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) to effectively reach consumers. Here are few recommendations that SMBs can incorporate into their video marketing strategy to achieve success on YouTube.

Start and brand a YouTube channel

It is very important for a small or medium-sized business to start a YouTube channel. In a YouTube impact study, seventy-three percent of small businesses having a YouTube channel said that it helped them increase their customer base. SMBs can either manage their YouTube channels themselves or partner with YouTube marketing companies.

By branding its YouTube channel, a small or medium-sized business can attract new YouTube viewers, and deliver a signal to its customers that the channel they are viewing is a part of bigger brand experience. Through the branding tab, one can add a profile picture, a video watermark and a banner image. Links to brands’ website and social accounts can be added through the basic info tab. A business can customize its YouTube channel by adding a featured video for returning subscribers and a channel trailer for people who have not subscribed.

Create videos that meet business goals

While there is no limit to the type of video content that can be created, it is best to have videos that are focused on the business goals. Majority of YouTube channels operated by small businesses use videos that feature their products or services. SMBs can also use how-to-videos which can attract new viewers and lead to sales through links to product pages, or behind-the-scenes videos that can help set up their expertise in the market.

Optimize channel and videos to build subscribers and customers

Majority of SMBs having a YouTube channel agree that it helps them in connecting with new customers from around the globe. To build subscribers and customers, channels and videos should be optimized. Videos and channel should have a clear CTA that either leads to subscription or to the product page on the business’ website. Keywords should be added in a video’s description field and tags in the tags box. A business should regularly post new captivating videos including trailers and teasers to keep subscribers engaged and for fetching new subscribers.

Run a YouTube ad campaign

Run a contextual advertising campaign on YouTube to reach a huge audience and drive massive engagement with the brand. Contextual targeting allows marketers to run YouTube ads that are contextually relevant to the video content the viewers are consuming at the moment. By leveraging YouTube contextual targeting, a high return on ad spend can be obtained.

By incorporating the above recommendations into their video marketing strategy, small and medium-sized businesses can make the best use of YouTube for growing their business.

Busting Myths About YouTube Advertising

YouTube, being the world’s largest video hosting website in the world, offers grand opportunities to brands for video advertising. When used with effective strategy, YouTube advertising almost always brings in success for the marketers.

But, over the time, some marketers have developed certain misconceptions about YouTube advertising. This article tries to bust these myths.

Myth 1: Getting success with YouTube ads is entirely a guesswork

Running successful YouTube campaigns is not a guesswork. There are certain basic principles that can help marketers create effective YouTube ads. For making a creative that casts great impact on audience, marketers should follow the ABCD principle.

A in the ABCD principle stands for Attract – creative should catch attention of the audience from the starting. B stands for Brand – creative should integrate the brand in a natural way. C in the ABCD principle denotes Connect – creative should make use of emotions and storytelling for connecting with the audience. D stands for Direct – creative should include a clear call to action.

A study by Google and Kantar that considered eleven thousand ads found that ads that follow the ABCD principle achieve thirty percent increase in short-term sales likelihood and seventeen percent increase in long-term brand contribution.

Myth 2: Successful ads on YouTube incorporate a certain defined look and style

There is no one-size-fits-all approach to creatives. The content of the ad and the impact that content has on people are more important than the factors such as look and style.

There are varied types of ads that have been successful on YouTube such as episodic series, product reviews, interviews, music videos, undercover investigations, animated ads, etc. So, there is not any single specific ad style that works, any ad can become successful if it is powered by captivating creativity. By using best of their imagination, marketers can create really effective YouTube video ads.

Myth 3: Lower-funnel YouTube ads are less creative in comparison to upper-funnel ads

There is a misconception that lower-funnel YouTube ads cheapen a brand’s story. Marketers can get highly creative with CTAs. Marketers should think about the lower-funnel ads as the beginning of the next action of consumers. A creative approach to lower-funnel ads can be applied by aligning the ad with the passion points of the consumers and giving them a more directed offer.

Myth 4: Experimenting with the creative is not worth the effort

An experimental approach to creating YouTube video ads offers long-term benefits such as deep learning to marketers, and it does not slow down a YouTube ad campaign or cost more. Each video experiment teaches new things to marketers and help them optimize their video advertising campaigns in order to draw more return on investment. Research shows that the successful use of video experiments provide sixty percent greater ad recall due to the better performing video creative.

Myth 5: TV ad works equally good on YouTube

This is not the case as experience shows. Actually, it is the other way round – attention-grabbing YouTube video ads work well on the TV. A professional network platform conducted a study to compare the performance of its TV ad running on YouTube with tailored-for-YouTube ads. It found that, on YouTube, the tailored-for-YouTube ads performed better than the TV ad. YouTube-tailored ads were better in the following metrics – consideration, ad recall, and cost efficiency.

The above myth-busting discussion will help marketers in leveraging YouTube advertising in a more effective and efficient way in order to better connect with consumers and increase conversion rate and sales.

How Creative Storytelling Helps Captivate Audiences on YouTube

For most brands, YouTube advertising campaigns form an essential part of their digital advertising strategy. But there exists a stiff competition on YouTube when it comes to standing out from others.

Brands that leverage creative storytelling are easily able to catch people’s attention in comparison to others that do not. Here, we will see how some brands achieved their advertising goals through compelling YouTube video ads.

Resonating with audience by means of humor and relevance

An Australian betting website created an interesting and humorous YouTube video ad that showed Aussies taking part in weird sporting feats such as grocery bag weight lifting, garbage bin racing, socks sliding, catching while jumping in the pool, etc. The ad related with the desire of every Australian to become a sports hero. Powered by fast and hilarious narrative along with bright colors, the ad proved to be a great success. The video has garnered about 2 million views and thousands of likes.

Teaming up with famous creators

A meal-kit company partnered with a famous Kiwi creator in order to launch its services in New Zealand. It created a cooking show spanning five videos on YouTube. The creator’s humorous, relatable and simplicity-focused parenting stories were well aligned with the simplicity that the meal-kit brand’s services bring to meal times. The videos got fully integrated into the creator’s YouTube channel and were not perceived as interruptive ads by the viewers. The creator’s audience liked the videos very much, as if they were unsponsored content.

Powering the video ad with hip-hop music

An online food and beverage ordering brand promoted its services among the Aussies with the help of an American rapper. The brand featured his face within the first five seconds of the video in order to captivate audience from the beginning. After that, the American rapper’s jingle kept viewers stuck to the video, which also included catchy rhymes to enchant them. The strategic execution of the video ad magnified its impact. This YouTube ad campaign also made use of masthead ad format and premium YouTube channels. The memorable video creative enabled the online food ordering brand to effectively reach its desired audience.

Through creative storytelling, brands can create highly captivating YouTube video ads that drive huge consumer engagement, boost ad recall, and provide high return on investment.

Upgrading The Ecommerce CX Journey with Video

Customers’ experience at an ecommerce store is not the same as it is at a brick-and-mortar store. In a physical store, customers can not only see a real product, but also can touch and feel it.

In order to match the experience offered by a real-world store, brands have been providing detailed features and specifications of products along with clear images on their ecommerce websites. For boosting customer experience and driving conversions, brands are now increasingly using video as a part of their ecommerce marketing strategy.

Why video is an important part of ecommerce marketing strategy?

Video boosts consumer engagement levels and helps build consumer trust in brand and its products. It provides a superb customer experience unmatched by product images and text. Video helps viewers in better knowing a product in terms of its form, features, and real-world applications. In a survey by Wyzowl, 84% participants said that they have been convinced to buy a product or service by watching a brand’s video.

Apart from product description and uses videos, testimonial videos are very important in boosting conversions and sales. In a survey, two out of three participants said that they would be more likely to buy a product or service after viewing a testimonial video showing how that product or service had benefitted someone else like them.

How brands can use video for a great ecommerce CX journey?

Brands can use videos on their own websites or on social media platforms such as YouTube and Facebook. These videos can carry a call to action that directly takes the viewer to the product buying page on the brand’s website.

Brand-story video

Brands can use videos to tell their story. When a visitor comes to a brand’s website for the first time, he is eager to learn more about it. Telling the story of the brand through a video exerts a more powerful impact on him than a piece of textual content with images.

Product video

Product videos are very important because they not only tell features of a product but also gives a demo of how it is used. They make viewers feel as if they are seeing the product in front of them in a physical store, thus significantly facilitating purchase. They can be used in YouTube campaigns or on other social media sites, but they must be present on the products’ pages of a brand’s ecommerce site.

Product review video

User-generated product review videos from social media added on the products’ pages of a brand’s website can heavily engage visitors and boost sales. Research shows that majority of Millennials say consumer opinions found on a company’s website have a greater impact on purchase decisions than recommendations from family and friends.

Unboxing video

Another way to enrich customers’ experience and increase engagement is to publish unboxing videos on sites like YouTube. People love seeing videos that show other people unboxing a new product that they have purchased. In fact, ‘unboxing’ is a popular search term on YouTube. Brands can contact influencers for doing unboxing videos for their products.

Video ads

Apart from the above-mentioned video types, brands can run video ads on these platforms – Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn. When done in the right way, it can generate massive user engagement and drive sales. As YouTube has over two billion logged-in monthly users and more than a billion hours of YouTube videos are watched every day, YouTube video ads offer an effective way to brands to achieve their ecommerce marketing goals.

By incorporating videos in the ecommerce customer experience journey, marketers can provide consumers a firsthand experience of a brand and its products. Through ecommerce videos, brands can form deeper and more meaningful connections with consumers, and achieve significant lifts in purchase intent.

Do Your Marketing Efforts Need the ASMR Push?

ASMR is one of the top searched terms on YouTube, the world’s second largest search engine after Google. Brands are increasingly deploying ASMR into their marketing campaigns to drive more consumer engagement.

What really is the ASMR?

ASMR stands for Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response. It is a tingling, relaxing sensation in response to an ASMR-inducing stimulus that begins in a person’s scalp and goes down through the back of his/her neck and spine to the limbs. Other terms for ASMR are brain orgasm and attention-induced euphoria. The term “ASMR” was coined by Jennifer Allen in the year 2010.

Some of the ASMR triggers are whispering, scratching, soft talking, physical touch, tapping, turning pages of an old book, etc.

Why ASMR is important for marketers?

ASMR offers marketers the opportunity to showcase their products to consumers from a sensory perspective by invoking a bodily response. It is not just a food item, electronic product, etc. that is being advertised, but something that elicits a physical feeling in people.

Marketers can use videos having ASMR triggers to provide a unique feeling to consumers. ASMR-inducing video ads are more memorable and delightful than normal ads.

The statistics show that ASMR content interests both males and females. Half of those interested in ASMR content lie in the 18 to 24 years age bracket. Thus, ASMR is a profitable investment in the millennial video market.

YouTube has a huge amount of ASMR content and a top ASMR video can fetch millions of views. Marketers can capitalize on these videos through YouTube advertising or can create their own ASMR-inducing YouTube video ads.

Let’s see how brands are using ASMR

Ikea, a furniture and home accessories brand, has created an advert using ASMR on YouTube. The goal of the video is to promote dorm-friendly products to the college students. The video makes use of certain sounds such as those of crinkling and scratching in order to arouse a tingling, relaxing feeling in the viewers. The twenty-five minutes long video has garnered over 3 million views.

Lush, a British cosmetics brand, collaborated with Taylor Darling, an ASMR artist, to create an ASMR-inducing YouTube video for promoting its luxurious lavender-infused products. The video provides viewers the experience of using the brand’s products through soothing sounds such as whispering voice of the ASMR artist, tapping of nails, fizzing sound of water, etc. The video has fetched more than 1.7 million views along with thousands of likes and comments.

By using the ASMR-inducing video advertising campaigns, brands can provide a pleasant, relaxing and memorable experience to viewers. This helps them connect more deeply with the consumers and significantly boost the conversion rate and sales.

How Contextual Intelligence Keeps Brands Out of Harm’s Way

For marketers, ensuring brand safety is a must considering the diverse nature of the content on the internet. Online world is filled with brand unsafe content, which can be classified into more than a dozen unsafe categories such as obscenity, illegal drugs, terrorism, etc. Ads of a brand appearing next to any type of brand unsafe content heavily tarnish the image of that brand.

The large majority of respondents (87%) in a survey by Trustworthy Accountability Group and Brand Safety Institute said it is very or somewhat important for advertisers to make sure their ads don’t appear near dangerous, offensive, or inappropriate content. An overwhelming majority said they would reduce their spending on a product they regularly buy if ad of that product appears near offensive, illegal, or dangerous content.

Keyword blocking has significant limitations

Keyword-based blacklisting is a common method used by marketers for ensuring brand safety. It involves avoiding placement of ads against content containing one or more blocked keywords. A blocked keyword may also be present in the title, description, metadata, or URL.

Keyword-based blacklisting approach is marred by over-blocking of content, and therefore, can kill reach. It can lead to blocking of completely innocuous content. This is because it fails to comprehend the nuances in context, i.e., it is unable to understand the true context in which a keyword is used. For example, if “alcohol” is the blocked keyword, then the blacklisting method will not only tag a video featuring someone drinking and driving as unsafe, but will also tag a video about a recipe in which alcohol has been used as one of the ingredients as unsafe.

Contextual intelligence is the key to ensure brand safety and suitability

Contextual intelligence is the next-generation technology that goes beyond brand safety to offer a full-fledged brand suitable environment to advertisers. It analyzes content beyond keywords and understands the nuances in context to interpret the complex relationship between the words.

Powered by artificial intelligence, it understands the true meaning of the content on a page. It effectively blocks placement of ads against content that falls into one of the generic unsafe categories or is not suitable for a specific brand in terms of the nature of its business. For example, contextual intelligence technology will allow ad of an insurance brand to get placed against a car accident news, but will prevent ad of a car manufacturer from appearing next to such a content.

AI-powered contextual intelligence technology can not only detect brand unsafe and unsuitable contexts in textual content, but also in images and videos. Thus, for marketers who use video advertising for brand promotion, this technology assures them that their ads always appear against the video content that is both brand safe and suitable.

Contextual intelligence not only ensures brand safety and brand suitability, but also enables brands to deliver highly contextually relevant ads at scale to consumers for driving massive engagement. AI-powered contextual ad targeting does not involve the use of consumers’ personal data and third-party cookies, and is therefore fully compliant with the data privacy regulations. Contextual intelligence not only benefits brands in terms of safety and suitability, but also in terms of compliance, scale and engagement.

Reshaping The Funnel with Contextual Targeting

A marketing funnel is the path that leads move on until they turn into customers. This funnel is very important for marketers as it provides them insights on various activities that are required to be undertaken to attract more and more customers.

Marketers always look out for ways to strengthen their marketing funnel so that more and more leads can be moved down the funnel. One of the most effective ways to do this is to reshape the marketing funnel by using different types of contextual targeting. This article discusses some of the best contextual targeting types, which include contextual email marketing, sponsored content and contextual ads.

Contextual email marketing offers a personalized experience to consumers     

Contextual email marketing involves sending emails that are personalized and relevant, i.e., delivering the right email to the right people at the right time. Contextual emails are based on customers’ past purchases, local weather, time zones, devices, etc.

For example, if it starts snowing, a contextual email based on local weather will give offers on extreme winter clothing instead of light winter clothing. Similarly, if a person usually purchases electronic items from a shopping website, then contextual emails delivered to him by the website will be mostly on electronic products and not on others.

Consumers get dozens of emails a day. It is obvious that they will not pay heed to every mail in their inbox. If a brand wants its email to stand out among other mails, so that consumers interact with the message and eventually buy the advertised product, it should provide them a personalized experience, which is best achieved through a contextually relevant message.

Sponsored content offers a powerful, non-interruptive way to promote products/services of a brand

Sponsored content on a website is a content that resembles the surrounding content on the web page, but is paid for by a sponsor. In real sense, sponsored content is an ad that mingles so much with the surrounding content that it seems to be a part of the original content. It is in full harmony with its surroundings unlike an invasive ad.

As sponsored content is contextually relevant to its surrounding content, there are high chances of it being consumed by a website’s visitors. Sponsored content includes different types of content such as articles, videos, podcasts, listicles, infographics, etc. An example of sponsored content is an article on a car brand in an online car magazine.

Sponsored content helps marketers reach potential customers at the top of the funnel. It can include more promotional content for those nearer to the interest stage, or more educational content to portray a brand as a reliable resource.

Contextual ads help marketers drive massive user engagement

Contextual ads are ads that are contextually well-aligned with the content that people are currently consuming. As these ads are relevant to what is in the mind of the people at the time when they see the ad, there are high chances of their engagement with the ads such as clicking on the ad or watching it till end if it is a video ad. For example, if a person is watching a tourism video, then he/she is highly likely to engage with an ad of a tour operating company.

Contextual advertising not only helps marketers in achieving top-of-funnel goals, but also in reaching people who are already aware of the brand and its products or are looking to buy a similar product from some other brand. Through contextual ad targeting, marketers can connect more meaningfully with consumers and drive them down the funnel.

For a successful funnel marketing strategy, marketers should use the right mix of the above-mentioned contextual targeting types. It will help them pull more and more leads from the top of the funnel to the bottom, converting them into customers.

How The Death of 3rd Party Cookie Matters to CTV Advertising

The evolution of media consumption worldwide turned a page when Connected TVs arrived on the scene. Though the technology had been lingering in the back alleys since early 2000, it only found serious takers in the last decade or so. The global pandemic coupled with the rise of OTT platforms nudged CTV’s popularity in the right direction. So much so that over 70 million American households now own a CTV streaming device on which they end up watching up to 10 hours of content daily.

Coupling this trend with the imminent death of third-party cookie tracking on browsers has given rise to a fresh marketing approach that has got advertisers excited. CTV advertising offers an opportunity to serve ads to an audience that is growing by the day, and the ability to do it in a brand safe environment that puts data privacy at the heart of its operations.

Is CTV advertising the silver lining to the cookie catastrophe? Let’s find out

Benefits of Linear TV, but only better

Brands are increasingly showing interest in CTV advertising because of the many benefits it provides. However, the one advantage that stands out is its ability to boost incremental reach. This metric has become the gold standard for CTV advertisers as ‘cord cutting’ or moving beyond linear TV to streaming platforms is becoming the norm worldwide.

With the surge in consumption of connected TV content, marketers can now leverage CTV advertising in conjunction with their linear TV campaigns and achieve improved incremental lift across audiences that might have been left out on the conventional TV medium. CTV in its origin is subscription based, meaning operators have exclusive access to first-party data like emails, IP addresses, and the like, which can be used to identify segments that can further bolster the targeting efforts.

Optimum Brand Safety

One niggling issue that all brands faced with third-party data was that of brand safety. Having your ads run against the backdrop of content that includes terrorism, gun culture, substance abuse, etc. is never a good thing. CTV advertising offers a respite for marketers in this aspect.

Connected TV as a platform makes use of first-party data points like device IDs and advertising IDs to ensure privacy laws are upheld and consumers get to choose the kind of ads they view. This gives marketers the ability to customize the video ad experience to add a layer of relevancy to ad delivery. While CTV has the ability to deliver relevant ads without using cookies, it also ensures high quality impressions. This is made possible by the private marketplace (PMP) model that allows bidding only by invitation thus attracting verified buyers.

Video Context is the new king

In its essence contextual ad targeting has been around for a long time. With text-based triggers marketers could serve ads that resonated with their target audience. But a step forward in this direction is video contextual targeting.

With the help of nuanced technologies like AI and machine learning, video and image based visual triggers can be identified to create even more relevant targeting opportunities that drive results. This technology also liberates advertisers from the grips of third-party data, since it analyses the content feed directly rather than URLs.

All the trends indicate that CTV advertising is slowly gaining momentum and it will only get stronger now that third-party cookies are out of the picture. Together with advanced contextual marketing is making its presence felt in filling the gap.

How Contextual Targeting Will Help You Stay Ahead Of The Curve

Modern Advertising and Contextual Targeting

The importance of delivering the right message at the right time is not lost on advertisers around the world, but owing to the recent changes in the way third party cookies are being phased out, digital advertising is set to change for good. 

So how can marketers gear up for the challenge? 

Enter Contextual Marketing!

What is Contextual Targeting?

Contextual targeting can be best described as advertising based around content rather than data. 

      Users are likely to remember a contextually relevant ad 2.2 times better

Consider this. You’re watching a YouTube video about cats and just when the cute cat turns to her food bowl, you’re served an in-video ad about pet food. You might not click on the ad, but since its moment of delivery was just right, it made an impression on your mind. That’s contextual targeting at work. 

      Contextually relevant ads generate 43% more neural engagement and 2.2 times             better ad recall

The numbers seem promising, but 

Why do you really need contextual targeting? 

The most popular browser in the world, Chrome has announced its intentions to stop tracking third party cookies. This means advertisers around the world are facing the dilemma of not being able to serve digital ads to the right audiences. 

      By the year 2022 Google Chrome will block all Third Party Cookies 

With cookies gone, marketers will no longer be able to sell services based on behavioral data.

     91% consumers will shop with a brand that offers relevant recommendations and offers        

How is Technology driving contextual targeting

Marketers are now looking towards Artificial Intelligence to help them place relevant ads for the right audience.

     71% of B2B marketers are interested in using AI for ad personalization.

With AI filling the void that cookies will leave behind, advertising firms can confidently step up to the challenge and give their marketing campaigns a razor sharp approach that will deliver on all fronts. 

 

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Why Google not tracking users can finally give rise to adoption of more effective alternatives

Almost a year after Google announced its plans to phase out 3rd party cookies in its Chrome browser, the search giant has recently announced it isn’t looking to build any alternatives to cookies that can track individual users browsing across the web – in any form.

Here is why this might be a much better news for marketers than expected.

Why a cookie-less digital world is inevitable

Cookies rely on immediate short-term performance, leveraging ever-decreasing pools of audiences. Google, the last major search browser to acknowledge this post Mozilla and Safari, has explicitly stated that any alternative tracking solutions will fall short on consumer expectations for privacy, and will most likely not stand up to rapidly evolving regulatory restrictions, and therefore aren’t sustainable.

How Marketers benefit from phasing out of 3rd party cookies

Lack of cookies doesn’t mean no targeting – marketers will now have to return to people-based marketing, recognizing their audience as people and not cookie pools. Marketers will be able to leverage quality, first-party data rather than paying for suspect third-party data of questionable origin and effectiveness. And context-based media buying will emerge to fill this gap, seeking out environments where the target audiences congregate.

Context relevance will have a much bigger share in the pie

Contextual advertising allows advertisers to place ads based on-page contextual triggers, rather than affinities and past browsing behaviour – making it no longer necessary to track individual consumers across the web.

This method displays only those ads that are relevant to the content, and hence, increases engagement by capitalizing on the user’s current state of mind. For example, if a brand wants to sell its kitchen mixer, then it can place ads across articles that are explicitly talking about kitchen appliances, recipes, food items that involves use of mixers and more.

In the post-cookie world, contextual ad targeting will be the most viable advertising strategy. Not only does it significantly increase user engagement, but also bypasses use of personal data and user privacy breach.

AI and computer vision is powering the next gen contextual targeting

Traditionally contextual advertising has been built around natural language processing (NLP), placing ads by detecting text-based contexts. However emerging AI and computer vision now enable in-image and in-video context detection which adds multiple contextual layers that further support NLP based targeting with much more nuanced insight. For example, in a streaming video, the tech can recognize a scene (i.e., someone holding a pair of Nike shoes, or a brand logo) and a relevant ad can appear alongside it.

contextual targeting

Contextual ad targeting completely transcends use of cookies and or any personal data and is future ready, even on platforms like Facebook and YouTube— as these platforms are most likely to move to privacy enabled advertising models in the future.

Leveraging Personal Meaning to Deeply Engage with Consumers

Across the globe, people are increasingly watching online videos. Research shows that viewers have a deeper personal connection with the video content they consume. Understanding this connection can help marketers in meaningfully communicating and engaging with consumers.

A survey study was conducted by Google in July 2020 and involved about twenty-eight hundred British YouTube viewers. In-depth interviews were carried out with a further thirty-two viewers. Viewers were asked about their feelings after watching YouTube videos. The findings of the study shed light on the deeply personal meaning behind the videos. To brands and YouTube ad targeting companies, this study provides actionable insights regarding the content viewers consume and why.

The study found that videos watched by the participants, to a greater or lesser extent, made them feel an emotion of some type. In order to better understand people’s engagement with the videos, the study went beyond the feelings of happiness, sadness, and indifference. The study considered a different dimension of personal meaning. It considered the connection that a participant had with a YouTube video due to his/her specific requirements, passions, or experiences.

The study found that a popular video of ducks eating peas evoked a feeling of happiness in all those participants who watched it, but when they were specifically asked why, different nuances surfaced. One of the respondents said that the video provided a hilarious way for entertaining a toddler. Another person said that the video reminded him of his grandparents and growing up on a farmland. One of the participants said that the video confirmed the rightness of his vegetarian diet for him. Thus, the personal meaning behind the feeling of happiness varied from participant to participant.

Brands and their partner video advertising companies can drive a deeper connection with consumers by leveraging personal meaning. A video is personally meaningful for someone when it resonates with him or her in any of these ways, viz. – by providing information; by reminding memories, beliefs or values, or evoking a feeling of connection to others; or by providing inspiration to grow and become better. The most personally meaningful videos resonate with viewers in multiple ways.

The survey found that fifty-two percent of the participants felt that the videos they watched recently offered information, made them learn something, or grew their view of the world. Thirty-four percent of the participants felt that the videos they watched recently reminded them of memories, beliefs or values, or evoked a feeling of connection to others. Thirteen percent felt that recently watched videos offered them inspiration to grow and become better. A brand and its partner online video advertising agency can effectively engage with consumers by using online videos that provide them information to close the voids in their understanding and education.

The survey provided an interesting finding that videos with low view counts do not imply low meaning. This also holds true quite often for the opposite. The survey showed that videos in the long tail having low view counts were more likely to be personally meaningful in comparison to the videos having high view counts. Also, YouTube videos with less views had a greater chance of being described by people as having multiple kinds of personal meaning.

The survey found that content on YouTube was ten times more likely to evoke the feeling of happiness in people in comparison to sadness. Music was one of the categories of YouTube content most likely to make people happy. It resonated with people by reminding them of memories, beliefs or values, or by evoking a feeling of connection to others. Music also secured topmost ranks for relaxation and nostalgia.

Due to the diverse and extensive range of content on YouTube, users are able to find personally meaningful content. For marketers, it is not important to find out the specific reason why a person watches a video. What is important is to comprehend the framework of personal meaning and put this understanding into action.

YouTube content in the long tail is highly personally meaningful and satisfies the needs of people in specific ways. Marketers should create campaigns around these specialized pieces of content having small-sized but highly engaged audiences.

Music is a highly valuable category of content. It provides happiness and relaxation to people, and informs them of their identity. Marketers who run their YouTube campaigns around these moments can draw great benefits from deeply personal responses. Marketers can make use of music lineups offered by YouTube Select to effectively engage with music fans.

Marketers can make use of tools such as Find My Audience in order to connect with YouTube users in personally meaningful moments. This tool helps marketers to go beyond demographics in order to discover audiences who matter most to them. It helps marketers in finding audiences on the basis of habits, what they are planning to buy, etc.

By leveraging personal meaning, brands and their partner YouTube marketing companies can deeply engage with audiences and deliver tangible results.

Top Digital Video Advertising Trends to Watch for in 2021

The year 2020 was an unusual year that turned both health and economy upside down. The pandemic has led more and more businesses, both small and big, to go online. This has resulted in an increase in the investment in digital marketing, including video advertising.

In 2020, 85% of businesses used video as a marketing tool and 83% of video marketers acknowledged that video helped them in generating leads. This article discusses top video marketing trends to watch for in 2021.

More and more marketers will move away from behavioral to contextual advertising

The rise in users’ awareness about their privacy on the internet and the coming into effect of data privacy regulations such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) have made it difficult for marketers to track consumers through the use of third-party cookies. Some major web browsers such as Mozilla Firefox and Apple Safari have already dropped third-party cookies, and Google is on the path of phasing out these cookies from its Chrome browser by the year 2022.

Marketers have already started moving to contextual ad targeting that offers a cookie-less way of ad targeting, which is both effective and compliant with the data privacy laws. This trend will increase sharply in 2021 as more and more brands will adopt contextual advertising.

Connected TV advertising will grow at a fast rate

The pandemic has accelerated the connected TV viewership across the globe. According to eMarketer February 2020 prediction, there will be more than 208 million connected TV users in 2021 in the United States only, i.e., about 84% of digital video viewers.

According to the eMarketer forecast released in October 2020, connected TV ad spending will increase to $11.36 billion in 2021 against $8.11 billion in 2020, and it will reach $18.29 billion by 2024, i.e., double the amount spent on connected TV advertising in 2020.

For the US connected TV advertising, YouTube is currently the biggest source of supply. According to the eMarketer forecast, YouTube’s gross US CTV ad revenue will reach $4.30 billion in 2021, and by 2022, it will increase to $5.45 billion, accounting for 38.7% of total US CTV ad spending. In 2021, more and more brands and their partner YouTube marketing companies will run YouTube campaigns on connected TV.

Micro and shoppable videos will rise

Video marketing experts predict that short-duration and shoppable videos will become more common in 2021. Micro-videos are short-length videos that deliver the brand’s message within five to six seconds. If long-duration videos like videos of events such as online workshop or questions and answers sessions are required, micro-videos can be utilized to promote these video events.

A shoppable video ad takes customers directly to the advertised product’s web page, and thus, facilitates buying. YouTube offers a direct response shoppable ad format that makes a video ad shoppable by adding browsable images of products below the ad. A viewer can directly reach the product page after clicking on the product image.

Use of 360-degree video ads will increase

360-degree videos are redefining the consumer viewing experience. Brands are expected to increase the use of these videos for advertising their products. These videos provide an immersive experience along with greater control over product view. Data shows that 360-degree videos have a greater video completion rate than regular videos.

Brand suitability will gain momentum

A study published by GroupM in 2020, which involved a survey of about fourteen-thousand consumers in different countries, concluded that majority of consumers form a negative opinion of a brand when its ads appear next to inappropriate content. This and other similar studies make it highly important for marketers to make sure that their ads are not being placed against harmful or inappropriate content.

In 2021, marketers will increase their focus not only on brand safety but also on brand suitability. Marketers will not only put more efforts in ensuring that their ads are not placed against content that comes under generic unsafe categories, but also in making sure that an ad’s environment is suitable for that ad. A brand can determine the suitability of surrounding content for its ads by considering the nature of its business. For instance, it is suitable for an insurance brand to place its ads against a car accident news, but it is highly unsuitable and brand-damaging for a car manufacturer to do that.

Marketers should take into consideration the above-mentioned trends while creating their digital video advertising strategy for the year 2021. This will help them create highly successful video advertising campaigns and maximize return on investment.

Tips for Creating Successful Video Ads

More and more marketers are using video advertising to achieve their advertising goals. Statistics show that about ninety percent of businesses are currently using video as a marketing tool.

But there are some marketers that are reluctant to invest in video advertising. This is mainly because of their past failures to get desirable results from their video advertising investments. Creating non-engaging, ineffective video ads is one of the top reasons for the failure. Below are given some tips that video advertising companies can use to create effective and successful video ads –

Define the specific advertising goal

Marketers should first of all clearly define the purpose the ad is going to serve and then create the ad accordingly. A video ad can be created to build awareness about a brand, promote a newly launched product or service, increase sales of a specific product, convey a special offer, etc. Each ad that a video ad agency wants to show to viewers should have a clear and well-defined purpose behind it.

Consider the targeted audience

Online video hosting platforms such as YouTube offer a large number of targeting options to marketers. These targeting options enable marketers to run successful YouTube campaigns. Marketers can target audiences according to age, gender, income, parental status, interests, intent, life events, etc. Therefore, a video ad should be created keeping in mind the audience to be targeted. This helps in providing a personalized ad experience to viewers.

Select the right tone for the video ad

Choosing the correct tone for the video ad is also very important. The tone chosen should fit with the brand or the message that the ad wants to convey. Otherwise the ad may fail to serve the purpose. Some of the effective tones from which marketers can choose to create their video ads are instructional, inspirational, comedic, dramatic, etc.

Select best ad format for the video ad

YouTube provides many types of video ad formats to choose from such as skippable in-stream ads, unskippable in-stream ads, bumper ads, masthead ads, video discovery ads, etc. A specific ad format may serve an advertising goal better than others. For instance, YouTube marketing companies consider skippable in-stream ad format good for developing leads.

Capture viewers’ attention early

Capturing viewers’ attention in the first few seconds is very important to ensure their engagement with the ad. As the attention span of viewers has reduced and they have abundant content choices available, grabbing their attention as early as possible is very important for marketers running a YouTube video campaign. If a video fails to interest viewers immediately, they skip it. To grab viewers’ attention early, approaches such as storytelling, celebrities, etc. can be used.

Include a call to action

A call to action (CTA) is a very important part of a video ad. A clickable CTA takes a viewer directly to the landing page of the product advertised. For YouTube campaigns, a call to action overlay can be easily added as an interactive element over an ad. A CTA can also be included within a video ad.

By utilizing the above tips, a video advertising company can create engaging video ads to better achieve brands’ advertising goals.

Contextual Ad Targeting Allays Consumer Privacy Concerns

Digital advertisers have been using third-party cookies for years in order to serve effective ads to consumers. Third-party cookies enable marketers to collect user data, which in turn allows them to target consumers in a much better way.

But with data privacy regulations such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) coming into effect, and Google’s decision to gradually phase out third-party cookies in its Chrome browser, marketers are looking out for safe and innovative ways to target consumers. Marketers are now increasingly choosing contextual ad targeting to reach consumers.

Research on consumers’ perceptions about online data collection privacy, data privacy laws and contextual targeting, reveals that about ninety percent of consumers consider online privacy important when surfing the internet. The same percentage of consumers know that the different types of websites they visit and the apps they use, collect and utilize their data for the purpose of digital advertising.

Research also shows that although consumers are concerned about their online privacy, majority of them are generally ignorant of data privacy laws including the General Data Protection Regulation and the more recent California Consumer Privacy Act.

Not only the data privacy laws have made it difficult for marketers to collect consumer data, but the majority of consumers themselves are also taking measures to remove their digital footprints. In order to limit data collection when they are online, consumers are taking the following measures – deleting their browsing history, clearing web browser’s cookies, configuring privacy settings and permissions, making use of incognito mode for browsing the web, and using an ad-blocker software or add-on for disabling ads.

Consumers don’t want to be targeted by marketers on every website or app they use. Statistics show that consumers prefer to see targeted ads when they are already likely to make a purchase, or when they have already shared their data on platforms such as shopping or social media websites. Thus, consumers are more willing to have a personalized ad experience on Amazon, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, etc. YouTube campaigns are increasingly being used by marketers as video ads are quicker than other ad types in grabbing attention of consumers.

While browsing the internet, research shows that consumers are more willing to see contextually targeted ads over other types of targeted ads. The following gives the ad targeting receptivity in descending order – contextual targeting, behavioral targeting, audience targeting, geo targeting, and social targeting.

Amid privacy regulations, rising data security concerns among consumers, and consumers’ receptivity for contextually targeted ads, contextual ad targeting provides the best option for marketers to reach consumers. Contextual targeting involves showing relevant ads to users on the basis of the content they are engaging with and does not involve collecting user data.

Marketers commonly make use of keyword contextual targeting for showing contextually relevant ads. But, with the advent of AI advertising, innovative contextual targeting solutions have become available that deliver much higher degree of context relevance. Through contextual targeting, marketers can not only allay consumer privacy concerns but also drive great success to their advertising campaigns.

Best Practices for Effective YouTube Targeting

YouTube is the most popular video hosting website in the world with most extensive catalog of online videos. The number of monthly logged-in users on YouTube is about 2 billion. YouTube offers tremendous opportunities to advertisers.

YouTube provides a wide range of ad formats and varied targeting options to marketers, enabling them to effectively and easily reach their target audience. It is important for marketers to use the right YouTube targeting options in order to drive success to their YouTube advertising campaigns. Using basic keyword and topic targeting at the start may not result in success. Below are discussed some handpicked ways that you as a marketer can use for effective targeting on YouTube –

Custom Intent Audiences

This targeting option helps marketers in reaching new customers on YouTube on the basis of the keywords used by the users to search for products and services on Google.com. It is not necessary that these audiences have any previous interaction with your brand. These are built from users who have recently searched the keywords that were used by you for to creating your audience.

Some of the great custom intent audiences that you can test out for your video advertising campaigns on YouTube are –

· Converting search queries — You can use your list of converting queries from your search campaigns to display video ads to users who have searched for these queries.

· Converting keywords — These keywords are not the same as converting search queries. You can create a different audience based on these.

· Competitor terms — These allow you to show your video ads to users that are actively searching for your competitors.

· Best-selling products — You can create an audience from your best-selling products. You can easily find these products from the sales report of your e-commerce platform.

Life Events

Life Events can prove to be a great targeting option. It allows you to show ads to customers during life milestones such as starting a business, graduating from college, changing or starting a job, getting married, purchasing a house, retiring from job, etc.

These life events provide a great opportunity to brands, which offer products or services needed in these moments, to emotionally connect with consumers. For effective targeting via life events, your video creative should clearly show consumers how your brand can help them go through these milestones smoothly.

Customer Match

Customer match allows marketers to target audiences by making use of the first-party online and offline data, i.e. the information shared by the customers. It enables marketers to target ads to their customers and to new audiences similar to them.

Ad Pods

YouTube’s ad pod delivery method shows two ads back to back, i.e. one ad right after the other. Combining two ads in an ad pod, instead of showing them separately, provides an ad experience similar to the TV ads. Ad pods result in fewer ad break interruptions, which in turn increases the rates of both content and ad viewing.

TrueView Discovery Ads

TrueView discovery ads appear on the search results and watch pages on YouTube. YouTube is a huge search engine, next only to Google.com. It allows users to conduct search for specific videos that they are interested in. TrueView discovery ads campaign is unique as a video advertising campaign as it is the only one in Google Ads that allows marketers to target just the YouTube’s search results page.

Combining keyword targeting with TrueView discovery campaigns offers a great way to capitalize on user intent. By running TrueView discovery ad campaigns, marketers can take over the top spot of the search results page on YouTube.

Video Ad Sequencing

Video ad sequencing enables marketers to use a series of video ads in a customized order to state their product or brand story to consumers. This YouTube marketing tool helps in building consumers’ interest in the brand and its products or services.

Custom Affinity Audiences

This targeting method allows marketers to build audiences that are specifically interested in the products their brands make rather than the broad product categories. For example, if your brand makes running shoes, then you can specifically reach runners instead of those generally interested in sports.

In-Market Audiences

By using this targeting option, marketers can target audiences that are actively researching, comparing, and considering purchasing products or services that their brands offer.

Director Mix

Director Mix is a great video advertising tool offered by Google that allows easy creation of multiple versions of a video at scale. Thus, marketers can easily customize video ads for different audiences, languages and locations. This tool allows easy swapping out of elements such as sound, images and text in order to deliver video ads tailored to specific audiences. Even the creative can be fully changed without any loss of quality.

Real-Time Triggers

By using real-time triggers, marketers can time their YouTube ads to align with significant moments associated with specific events such as a goal in a football match. This feature allows marketers to capitalize on consumers’ cross-screen behavior.

Similar Audiences

This YouTube targeting feature helps marketers by automatically finding new audiences similar to those already existing in their remarketing lists. In order to find the like-minded audiences, Google makes use of a machine learning algorithm.

The above-mentioned handpicked ways for YouTube targetinhttps://www.silverpush.co/mirrors-for-youtube/g will help marketers in effectively achieving their YouTube advertising goals.

What’s New in YouTube Advertising for Marketers?

Marketers are well aware of the advantages afforded by YouTube advertising. YouTube ads help in generating and spreading brand awareness, and in increasing sales.

From time to time, YouTube updates its platform by adding new features. Adopting these new features into video advertising campaigns on YouTube can help marketers in connecting with users more meaningfully and effectively, and in boosting performance of their campaigns.

Below are discussed some of the new features incorporated into the YouTube advertising platform

Direct Response Shoppable Ad Format

In June 2020, YouTube announced a new ad format known as the direct response ad format. This new format will help brands by making video ads on YouTube video more shoppable. This new format adds browsable images of products beneath the video ad. This helps in driving traffic directly to the product pages. This new format comes at a time when people are increasingly shopping through e-commerce platforms to avoid chances of getting infected by shopping through physical stores.

Video Action Campaigns

YouTube also announced video action campaigns in June 2020. This feature offers a cost-effective and easy way to marketers to increase the number of conversions. It works by showing video ads that drive action automatically to the following – home feed, watch pages, and Google video partners. All of this happens within one single campaign. Any future inventory that becomes available will be included by YouTube. This new feature will help marketers in saving their precious time for focusing on important tasks such as building the right creative.

Video Reach Campaigns

Video reach campaigns provide an easy and efficient way to marketers for achieving their video advertising goals on YouTube. With this feature, marketers are able to upload multiple video creatives into just a single advertising campaign. It saves them from managing separate campaigns for different types of ads such as bumper ads and skippable / non-skippable in-stream ads. A machine learning (ML) algorithm, developed by Google, automatically displays the most efficient combo of the video ad formats in order to help marketers reach their audiences at scale.

YouTube Masthead

YouTube Masthead allows marketers to showcase brands, or their products or services, in the YouTube Home feed. The ad gets displayed across all devices. YouTube Masthead offers a highly effective solution for driving massive reach and allows marketers to plan their buys in advance without depending on auction. As this ad is placed on the YouTube’s home page, it provides an extreme opportunity to marketers to show off their brands.

Instant Review / Instant Reserve

YouTube’s Instant Review tool allows marketers to reserve ad space for up to one hundred and twenty days in advance. This happens through an automated process and does not require any minimum spend. By using this tool, marketers can book campaigns in advance with a defined budget. Using this tool to reserve ad campaigns in advance is similar to scheduling ads on TV, enabling marketers to secure spots beforehand for future important events.

Augmented Reality (AR) Try-On Ads

Augmented Reality (AR) involves superimposing digital content such as sound, images and text onto the world we see. YouTube’s AR Try-On ads are shown to users in a split-screen format. Video plays on the top part of the split-screen while camera view appears at the bottom. A user can then see what he or she looks like after trying the make-up featured in the video.

By using these new YouTube advertising features, marketers can run more effective campaigns and gain a competitive edge.

Beyond Black and White: The True Color of Brand Safety

Over the past few years, a lot of brand safety issues have surfaced that have led marketers to review their brand safety measures. The current coronavirus crisis has intensified the brand safety woes of marketers, as most of the brands don’t want ad adjacency to the content dealing with morbidity and mortality.

Common brand safety methods used by marketers include blacklisting and whitelisting. Blacklisting involves avoiding placement of ads against content containing one or more blocked keywords. In case of video content, a blocked keyword is searched in topic, title, description and metadata.

Keyword-based blacklisting method is in reality not that effective as it seems to be. It is marred by under- and over-blocking of content. Research shows that because of the use of keyword blacklists, more than half of the safe stories published on the major news platforms are being incorrectly tagged as brand unsafe.

Keyword-based blacklisting method can lead to blocking of completely innocuous content. This is because it fails to comprehend the nuances in context, i.e. it is unable to understand the true context in which a keyword is used. For example, if “alcohol” is the blocked keyword, then the blacklisting method will not only tag a video featuring drunk and driving as unsafe, but will also tag a video featuring a recipe in which alcohol has been used as one of the ingredients, as unsafe.

Another problem with blacklisting is that universal blacklists cannot be created. They have to be regularly updated and modified according to the brands’ requirements, current happenings and events, latest news, countries, languages and culture. There is also a requirement to tweak blacklists regularly on the basis of current safe content consumption patterns of consumers, so that increased reach for the advertising campaigns can be achieved. Overall, keyword-based blacklisting method is quite cumbersome to implement as it needs a lot of fine-tuning. With this method, content under- and over-blocking is a common problem, and this hinders marketers in getting optimal results from their advertising campaigns.

A whitelist enlists content that has been labeled as safe for ads to be placed against it. A whitelist provides a safe and trusted environment to brands to advertise within. Curating a whitelist for advertising on a video platform involves tagging unsafe content at the keyword, topic, video and channel levels. Video-level tagging helps brands to filter out unsafe videos from an otherwise safe channel; brands do not have to blacklist the entire channel just because of one or few unsafe videos.

Again, like keyword blacklists, whitelists need to be regularly updated, otherwise the campaigns will not witness an increase in reach, and brands will miss newer safe and engaging content for their ads; ads will keep displaying against the same video content enlisted in the static whitelist.

Creation of whitelists is not an easy process; it requires a lot of curation by marketers, and is time-consuming and expensive. As the whitelisting method limits the number of videos against which ads can be placed, marketers are unable to take the full advantage of the true potential of huge video hosting platforms like YouTube. The campaign’s reach gets reduced and the right audience does not get fully targeted.

The above-mentioned brand safety methods provide only suboptimal brand safety and have significant limitations. A highly effective way of ensuring brand suitability and safety is provided by contextual brand safety method that makes use of AI and computer vision. AI-powered brand safety platforms that deploy computer vision technology, provide high degree of context relevance unmatched by keyword-based methods.

Computer vision can accurately detect contexts in videos such as faces, objects, logos, on-screen text, emotions, scenes and activities. Thus, it can effectively detect unsafe or harmful contexts in videos without the risk of under- and over-blocking of content.

Amid the coronavirus pandemic, computer vision-powered brand safety platforms enable brands to selectively block ads against mortality-related coronavirus content, while allowing ad placement against positive coronavirus content. Thus, brands can safely capitalize on the news content; this is not possible with keyword-blacklists that fail to understand the true context in which the keyword “coronavirus” is being used.

By using AI-based contextual brand safety method, marketers can not only effectively block ad placement against recognized unsafe categories, but can also custom define unsuitable contexts that are unique to a brand. This helps them provide a fully suitable environment to brands for advertising.

Computer vision enables marketers to go beyond blacklists and whitelists in order to achieve brand safety in its true color.

Our Research Shows That 90% Marketers Consider Brand Safety A Serious Problem

Brand marketers and Agency Heads across Southeast Asia believe ad placements across harmful content damage brand perception and result in revenue loss.

The brand safety crisis, that first caught the attention of advertisers in a major way back in 2017, is even more real today. With millions of pieces of user generated visual content added to video sharing platforms daily, brand safety has taken centre stage in the video advertising world.

Like every crisis, this has also resulted in practical and workable solutions that have provided a semblance of control to advertisers in varying degrees. However, some of the most widely used brand safety measures including blocklists, whitelisted channels/pages, third-party measurement and brand safety specialists, bring along their own set of efficiencies and pitfalls. A debate that gained more weight recently as Coronavirus topped keyword blocklists, squeezing ad revenues and killing brand reach.

In In an attempt to understand how leading marketers and brands perceive and mitigate brand safety risks, we surveyed 160+ agency heads, business leads in media and brand marketers in Southeast Asia.

This survey report highlights some of the brands’ biggest challenges with available brand safety measures and a pulse on the growing importance of and readiness for brand suitability. Key highlights from the report include:

  • Video platforms offer more brand safety controls, but continue to remain brand unsafe, with Tik Tok leading followed by Facebook and YouTube. This was further solidified with another research when earlier this year Silverpush analysed ~15 million videos across video sharing and hosting platforms in SEA, and found nearly 8–9% of all content as brand unsafe: featuring violence, smoking, adult, and extremist content. Which means that 1 in every 10 video ad placements can potentially be across harmful and damaging content.
  • ~90% industry professionals believe unsafe exposure impacts brand perception negatively, and 62% believe the extent of this damage is highly negative.
  • ~60% respondents believe brand safety risks can result into revenue loss ranging from reduced buying to complete boycott of the brand.
  • Blocklists and whitelists remain top brand safety measures. Contextual targeting-based techniques involving NLP based technologies and in-video context detection are emerging.
  • However, 60% said that using current brand safety measures result in inability to reach specific audience.
  • ~63% industry professionals stated lack of customized exclusion filters that can meet unique brand needs as the most pressing brand safety challenge, highlighting the importance of brand suitability.

The report further talks about how challenges of the current brand safety measures resulted in killing reach and monetization during COVID-19. And further highlights the growing importance of brand suitability, solutions brand and agencies seek, and the emergence of AI powered context detection technology.

Access the full report here.

Moving from Video Interruption to Integration Through Contextual Advertising

Video advertising has become a highly effective tool for brands and marketers to communicate their messages to online audiences. In the year 2018, $10.228bn were spent in digital video advertising in the United States alone.

Since its inception, video advertising has faced the criticism of being inherently interruptive in nature. Online users tend to skip or ignore ads that appear to them as annoying or interruptive. This non-engagement of users with the ads is a serious headache for marketers, and they are struggling to find the way out.

Research shows that brands are now increasingly concerned about the interruptive user experience when running their video advertising campaigns. For brands, user experience has become a significant factor to consider while devising their video advertising strategy. Brands are trying to make in-video ads more engaging and less annoying for users. In order to draw effective user engagement, ads should be able to capture the user attention in the first few seconds.

Video ad formats also play an important role in driving better user experience and engagement. By deploying better formats, marketers can make their advertising strategy more effective. According to eMarketer, sixty percent of video ads fall in the in-stream category. Majority of the marketers are currently deploying interruptive in-stream ad formats that can be easily skipped or ignored. Pre-roll and post-roll are used more often over other formats such as overlay video and mid-roll. Overlay ad format, which places an ad over the video content, offers an advantage over other in-stream formats of not overtly interrupting the underlying video content being watched by the user. Thus, overlay ads are less annoying and tend to provide better user experience.

Mid-roll format is least favored by the marketers, especially for short video content, because it is highly interruptive. Therefore, marketers are currently mainly utilizing pre- and post-roll in-stream ad formats for achieving their advertising goals and the whole video content itself is being left uncapitalized. Here, the overlay format comes to rescue. It allows marketers to capitalize on the unutilized video content without being interruptive to users.

Brands have identified certain obstacles in the path of video ad innovation. These include inadequate budget, lack of in-house expertise, misaligned in-house teams, lack of agency relationship, and lack of strong external technology partnership. To achieve their video advertising goals, brands and marketers should focus on innovative, non-interrupting ad formats. But only using the right in-video ad format will not work, marketers should make use of robust, efficient and effective advertising technology such as AI advertising, and give utter importance to context. They should serve contextually relevant in-video ads that are well-aligned with the content the user is consuming.

According to the industry experts, video advertising strategy in the future will be impacted by factors such as demand for non-interruptive ads, growth of over-the-top and connected TV ad formats, growth of social networking and video sharing advertising formats, and demand for contextual advertising.

Users’ demand for non-interruptive ads on connected TV has grown over the years in sync with the growth in its viewership. Currently, in-stream video advertising on this platform is largely interruptive in nature. Contextual video advertising offers an effective solution to marketers to mitigate this interruption on connected TV and enhance user experience.

By using the right mix of in-video ad formats and contextually aligned ads, advertisers can turn upside down the user experience from being interruptive to engaging. To display contextually aligned video ads, a highly effective solution is afforded by AI powered in-video context detection technology.

However, AI-advertising solutions that are dependent on machine learning, NLP and semantic analysis, miss the mark when it comes to understanding the sub-text, nuanced contexts and complex relationships words have in written or spoken language.

Computer vision powered contextual advertising technology provides very high degree of context relevance. This technology works by accurately detecting contexts in video such as faces, emotions, logos, objects, scenes and activities in order to display in-video ads that are in line with what the user is actively engaging with. Highly contextually relevant ads appear non-interruptive and appealing to users, and boost the chances of users watching or clicking them.

With AI-powered contextual video advertising, marketers can seamlessly integrate ads with the video content the user is watching, thereby providing a non-interruptive, highly engaging user experience.

How are brands responding to COVID-19? A brand marketer survey across SEA market

Brands have been profoundly affected by the coronavirus pandemic. Brands’ response to the coronavirus pandemic not only impacts consumers’ trust today, but it will also significantly impact future purchasing decisions. Moreover, brands could face irreparable damage to their reputation due to brand safety risks associated with COVID-19 related content.

To gain insight into how brands are responding to COVID-19 pandemic, Silverpush conducted a survey of 150+ agency heads, business leads in media, and brand marketers in the SEA region in April 2020.

The survey aimed to understand how brands are adapting their marketing strategies to the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak and how they are mitigating the very real brand safety risks the rapidly growing coronavirus related content consumption poses.

How are brands re-imaging and engaging consumers in light of the pandemic?

The survey found that in the light of the pandemic, brands are reimaging by adapting their marketing tone and initiatives to consumer expectations. Only 5% respondents reported no change in brand positioning pre and post COVID-19, whereas 95% reported a distinct shift that resonates with government policies, and responds to the new consumer expectation.

Ad spending poised to decline

The industries heavily impacted by coronavirus outbreak such as travel, hospitality, physical retail and more have and will continue to paused marketing initiatives. Only 16% respondents said these industries will protect marketing budgets for a stronger comeback later.

Moreover, the survey indicates that it is unlikely that the industries such as health and FMCG that are currently experiencing higher demand will increase marketing spend to capture the demand more aggressively. Even though past recessions have shown that aggressive cuts in ad spends can lead to longer recovery cycles.

Ad Spends are shifting to digital channels

Even with significantly increased TV viewership across SEA, boosted due to government-imposed lockdowns across the region, and various studies indicating curtailed TV ad spends can adversely affect brand health measures – only 2% respondents said brands are spending more on TV and mainstream media, and a large percentage indicated rapid shift to various digital channels.

Brand safety is a key concern, and is driving ad spend cuts

Industries, except few such as health, hygiene, pharma, etc., are stringently avoiding advertising across COVID-19 related content. Publisher news sites and news channels on platforms like YouTube are facing advertisers’ block-lists due to coronavirus-related coverage.

A measure of advertisers’ confidence on brand safety tools is depicted by how despite using third party tools to ensure safe ad placements, brands are reducing marketing budgets and pausing advertising specifically to avoid association with Coronavirus related content.

71% respondents reported brands are reducing marketing budgets ranging from complete halt of marketing spends leading to up-to 80% budget cuts, in order to avoid running ads across coronavirus related content

Can context relevance be the answer?  

Emerging AI powered solutions are increasingly focusing on providing context relevance, and are fast becoming an answer to brand safety woes. AI enables processing of large volumes of data at speed, with better context, at higher scale and improved targeting efficiencies.

However, most of these contextual targeting solutions still depend on the use of NLP and semantic analysis, not truly understanding the sub-text, nuanced contexts, and complex relationship words have in written or spoken language.

AI and computer vision-powered video advertising solutions can detect in-video contexts, offering a higher degree of context relevance that surpasses limitations of traditional keyword targeting and NLP based technologies. They offer unparalleled insight for advertisers to place context-relevant in-video ads and exclude unsafe content in a highly structured manner, and at the scale programmatic has traditionally offered.

computer vision

You can access the full report ‘Brand Response to COVID-19 in SEA for detailed insights from the survey.

Understanding the Post Covid-19 Contactless Workplaces

The coronavirus pandemic has changed many aspects of human lives. Many people are now working from home. The post Covid-19 workplaces will not be the same conventional workplaces that people have been familiar with for years. Workplace safety will take priority over other matters.

The workplaces will undergo a radical shift from touch-based to touchless. Things like fingerprint-based biometric devices, touch-based screens for booking conference and meeting rooms, kiosks for guest check-in, handle-operated doors, etc. will have to be replaced with viable alternatives to prevent the spread of infectious diseases and ensure employee safety.

The contactless workplaces will make use of automation and touchless technology. Normal doors will be replaced by automatic doors, elevators will be voice-controlled, lighting system will adjust brightness automatically according to the time of the day, temperature control system will be adjusted by gestures or voice, and water dispensers will automatically pour water on keeping a bottle or glass below the tap.

The washrooms will have touchless automatic faucets, hand-free soap dispensers, and automatic flush powered by infrared technology. These products will not only reduce spread of germs, but also save water and soap. Along with touchless hand dryer, touchless paper towel dispenser will also be provided.

The contactless workplaces will make use of contactless attendance system powered by facial recognition technology in place of fingerprint-based biometric attendance system. A computer vision powered face-recognition-based attendance system can easily recognize the faces of employees for the purpose of attendance. Computer vision is an advanced field of artificial intelligence that enables computers to see like human beings and easily identify visual content in images and videos.

Besides powering the face recognition biometric systems, computer vision powered solutions can help employers ensure wearing of face masks by employees and enforce workplace social distancing and sanitization compliance. This technology can also bring into notice if an employee coughs or sneezes.

As an employee health and safety measure, workplaces will have to make use of touchless temperature recording technology. This technology will work by using thermal sensors for recording temperature of both employees and visitors. If any anomaly is detected, it will be instantly reported to the concerned department.

Post Covid-19 workplaces will not allow sharing of accessories such as headphones and each employee will be provided individual accessories along with laptops or desktops. Professional cleaning and sanitization protocols will be regularly implemented for workstations, devices, conference and meeting rooms, reception area, cafes, etc. Easy access to hand sanitizers will be provided throughout the workplace for both employees and visitors. The sensor-based touchless garbage bins will provide a safe way to dispose of garbage.

Workplaces will incorporate antimicrobial materials into interior design elements such as wall paints, door sheets, window shades, etc. Such materials will resist the growth of microbes, thus providing a cleaner surface. To ensure workplace social distancing, workplaces will follow a de-clustering approach by keeping individual employee desks wide apart from each other. This can be achieved by using a larger office area or by creating branch offices. Encasing individual desks will provide added protection from transmission through respiratory droplets. Post Covid-19 workplaces will require advanced air filtration technology in order to effectively filter out disease causing microorganisms.

The post Covid-19 contactless workplaces, by making use of advanced technologies, will help employers to carry out their business, while ensuring employee health and safety.

Silverpush Creates Award-Winning Campaigns with Top Brands at MENA

Wins 4 MMA MENA Smarties awards across 3 key categories – innovation, cross-device and programmatic.

The outstanding campaigns created by Silverpush performed brilliantly at the MMA MENA Smarties Awards ceremony held on February 10th at Five Palm Jumeirah, Dubai, by winning one Gold, two Silvers and one Bronze.

Signal and Magna Global & Silverpush won a Gold award under the cross media category for the Signal – UNICEF campaign. Again, for the cross media category, Nissan Middle East and OMD UAE & Silverpush won a Silver for the Nissan Middle East – Cricket World Cup Live Sports SYNC campaign. Telfast (Sanofi) and Mindshare & Silverpush won a Silver and Bronze for the Telfast Weather Sync *Achoo* campaign under the programmatic and innovation categories respectively.

Silverpush Creates Award-Winning Campaigns with Top Brands In MENA

All of the campaigns were powered by Silverpush’s real-time moment marketing platform – Parallels. Parallels enables effective real-time TV ad sync and real-time live moments sync.

Signal partnered with Magna Global and Silverpush to launch a CSR UNICEF campaign to promote oral health in Egypt. Silverpush created a real-time ad sync between Signal toothpaste commercial on local Egyptian TV and Signal’s ad on high-reach social media platforms – Facebook and Instagram. Thus, those viewers that shifted their focus to their smartphones during ad-breaks were effectively targeted. The TV commercial promoted dental hygiene to kids while the ad on social media platforms delivered message about the product benefits. Apart from self-sync, Silverpush also created a competition-sync to show Signal’s ad on Facebook and Instagram when a competitor’s toothpaste ad aired on the TV.

The campaign turned out to be highly effective. The campaign achieved a video view rate of 28%, which was 4 times higher than obtained with non-sync campaign. Post-engagement rate of 28.5% was achieved which significantly surpassed the earlier rate of 0.07%. The completed view rate that started with 49% reached a whopping 72% by the end of the campaign. What is worth noting and interesting is that out of the total video views delivered, 73% were watched with sound on. The campaign achieved an impressive estimated ad recall lift rate of 7.3%.

Silverpush Creates Award-Winning Campaigns with Top Brands In MENA 1

For Nissan’s campaign, Silverpush leveraged its real-time live sports sync technology. For four years, Nissan has been the sponsor of the International Cricket Council. To strengthen the association of Nissan with cricket, Silverpush ran a campaign during the World Cup on Facebook.

Silverpush found that only 15 decisive minutes of the game get debated again and again. These are the best moments for connecting a brand with the consumers. Silverpush capitalized on these moments by syncing them with the relevant content on the Facebook. Being related to the key game moments, this content was found more engaging by the fans and made Nissan a part of this engaging experience. Nissans’s brand relevance rose by 21%, purchase intent increased by 5% and brand image improved by 10%.

For Sanofi’s anti-allergic Telfast tablets, Silverpush ran a moment marketing campaign, powered by weather sync technology, in the Middle East. In the Middle East, weather changes frequently, even during the same day. Due to this, people there are affected by allergic rhinitis all year long, unlike those in other parts of the world.

Silverpush identified specific weather conditions that lead to a surge in allergic rhinitis. Depending upon the weather conditions and other triggers such as dust, mold, mites, etc., the most relevant ad messages were communicated to consumers in real time. The results of the campaign were highly impressive. Over double-digit growth in sales occurred during the campaign duration. The view rates touched the sky and the ads that ran only during the weather triggers performed 85 times better than others. Trigger targeting increased the click-through rate by 111%.

Silverpush’s prime focus has always been to deliver highly effective campaigns through its innovative technology to provide unprecedented reach and user engagement to brands and impactful brand experience to users. Silverpush’s award-winning campaigns serve as a testimony to this fact.

Why Demise of Third-Party Cookies Can Make Marketing Great Again

As privacy becomes a high priority for world’s biggest advertising platforms, it’s time next gen AI powered contextual targeting solutions pave the way.

Google is finally blocking third-party cookies in its Chrome web browser. Though this will be a gradual phase out, the process has already begun — Google Chrome is to limit cross-site tracking by default starting February 2020, planned with the release of Chrome 80.

This move is not a complete surprise, given the privacy controls and the new anti-fingerprinting technology Google announced for Chrome in May 2019[1]. This also forms part of Chrome’s Privacy Sandbox initiative launched in August 2019[2], where it invited the industry to co-create new open web standards that advance privacy while continuing to support the free internet.

Some could call this a response to competitive pressure, or more importantly a step to meet user demand for higher privacy. Others debate that this is a calculated move that gives Google a great privacy story line, and at the same time further strengthens its hold in the digital ads industry with the access to all first-party data. Third-party advertisers will now need to get on Google’s ad network to receive the data that will help them target the right users.

But the fact remains that demise of third-party cookies is now real with a defined timeline. And it’s not necessarily bad.

What wasn’t great about third party cookies to begin with

1. Cookie matching, used for syncing cookies to identify a unique user, isn’t perfect. When a cookie from one site is not passed to an advertising platform (which happens in 40 to 60% cases), a part of the puzzle to create an appropriate match is missed.

2. Cookies only enable limited ‘matching’ capabilities, and doesn’t unify the massive amount of data that needs to be synced across the advertising ecosystem for earnest personalized experiences.

3. Cookies are device-based, so when someone goes from desktop to mobile or switches browsers, the consumer journey remains incomplete. A 2018 study[1] found that when multiple device identifiers are connected to a single person, unique reach is 50% less than measured by only cookie-based or device-based identifiers. Meaning, only 50% of the unique audience assumed to be reached is real.

4. Because there are far fewer people seeing your ads, people who were getting the ads are actually seeing far more of them. Meaning, your target audience is getting about 2x the number of intended ads.

5. Also, a majority of tracking cookies are already rejected by browsers anyway. Over 66% of mobile devices don’t accept cookies[3] leading to marketers already missing out on a very important audience segment, mobile users. Leading advertisers to wasteful ad spend by targeting unnecessary impressions.

6. Moreover, cookies place over-reliance on the bottom funnel, with ad placements that cannot effectively convey the brand’s message in cluttered environments.

How Marketers can benefit from a cookie-less digital world

Cookies rely on immediate short-term performance, leveraging ever-decreasing pools of audiences. Marketers will now have to return to people-based marketing, recognizing their audience as people and not cookie pools.

Context-based media buying will emerge to fill this gap, seeking out environments where the target audiences congregate. Marketers will be able to leverage quality, first-party data rather than paying for suspect third-party data of questionable origin and effectiveness.

However, there is a generation of marketers that will still be habitually looking for last-click performance. Google is still giving out hope to this segment. Google’s outlined Privacy Sandbox could still offer users tracking models, with greater privacy of course. And, then there will be alternative solutions as other stakeholders in the ecosystem join forces to find a way to deliver targeted ad experiences across sites in a cookie-less environment. There is every reason to believe that targeting and attribution will still be possible, but the mechanisms will need to radically change.

What are the options as of now?

A cookie less future is not as bleak as it sounds. Marketers already have options available, some of these include panel-based attribution, universal IDs and contextual advertising.

Panel-based attribution

It gives a picture of online behavior of users over long periods of time. It allows advertisers to effectively map demographics and segments, understand user behavior and find users with similarities to customers. The panel-based attribution faces some fundamental challenges such as difficulty in working at a viable level, difficulty in extrapolating large and dispersed audiences, and problems with data efficacy.

Universal ID

This involves identification of users based on deterministic matching. This is in contrast to probabilistic matching approach used by cookies. But this will require collaboration between the vendors along with the development of standards.

Contextual Targeting

Contextual advertising allows advertisers to place ads based on-page contextual triggers, rather than affinities and past browsing behavior. This method displays only those ads that are relevant to the content, and hence, increases engagement by capitalizing on the user’s current state of mind. For example, if a brand wants to sell its kitchen mixer, then it can have its ads placed on websites that have content about kitchen mixers, kitchen appliances, recipes, food items that involves use of mixers etc.

In the post-cookie world, contextual advertising will be the most viable advertising strategy. Not only does it significantly increase user engagement, but also bypasses use of personal data and user privacy breach.

AI and computer vision is powering the next gen contextual targeting

Traditionally contextual advertising has been built around natural language processing (NLP), placing ads by detecting text-based contexts. This is how Google banner ads also work. But NLP is not a perfect science, considering complex nature of human language, where words can convey different meanings and intentions — difficult for a machine to understand.

Emerging AI and computer vision powered tech now offers immense contextual possibilities, which are much more relevant. Contextual in-image and in-video advertising involves displaying ads for a page or video in-line with the content the user is actively engaging with. For example, in a streaming video, the tech can recognize a scene (i.e. someone holding a pair of Nike shoes, or a brand logo) and a relevant ad can appear alongside it.

Computer vision powered context detection completely transcends use of cookies and or any personal data. Making contextual targeting future ready, even on platforms like Facebook and YouTube— as these platforms come as much in the purview of data infringement as the third-party cookies today do. And will most likely move to privacy enabled advertising models in the future.

Sources and references

[1] Source: https://techcrunch.com/2019/08/22/google-proposes-new-privacy-and-anti-fingerprinting-controls-for-the-web/

[2] Source: https://www.blog.google/products/chrome/building-a-more-private-web/

[3] Source: https://www.martechadvisor.com/articles/ads/new-study-uncovers-cookie-and-devicebased-measurement-flaws/

[4] Source: https://www.campaignlive.co.uk/article/marketers-predict-death-cookie-based-advertising-2018/1422973

We Are Excited to Announce Our New Brand Identity

We are delighted to announce our new brand identity as part of the ongoing evolution of our brand. Our business has grown, our technology has evolved, we are digging into new areas and have launched new products, and so we thought that it’s time for a change. We have refreshed our logo and website to reflect who we are today and to symbolize our future.

Our new brand identity resonates with our focus on AI-powered in-video contextual advertising. The new brand identity perfectly aligns our company with our successful foray into offering cutting edge AI-powered solutions that are redefining limits of in-video contextual targeting.

With blue and green colors in our new website, we have centered our new identity around AI and technology, keeping it modern and focused on trust. The yellow color imbibes the fresh and playful characteristics of the brand – offering flexibility for future innovation. These branding elements have also translated into a new logo, which projects motion and pace.

We started our journey in 2012 as the first Demand Side Platform in India. Since then, we have brought many innovative products to the market, including the first of its kind Cross Device Ad Targeting solution launched in 2014, and the Real-time Moment Marketing Platform, Parallels, in 2018.

We launched Mirrors, the first computer-vision-powered in-video contextual advertising platform, in 2019. Mirrors is able to effectively detect contexts like faces, objects, activities, emotions, scenes and logos in a streaming video for placement of context relevant ads. Through Mirrors, we have helped some of the largest brands in world in achieving unprecedented reach and user engagement.

Our new brand identity helps us in effectively bringing into light our three inherent characteristics – creator, explorer and jester.

As a creator, we love to focus on innovation and quality. We always want to contribute to society by bringing something new into being, i.e. by realizing a vision. We draw deep satisfaction from our efforts of creating something new that did not previously exist but has the potential to revolutionize the industry. Our in-video contextual advertising platform based on artificial intelligence (AI) and computer vision is a product of our creator mind and is ushering a new era in ad tech industry.

Our explorer characteristic is exhibited in our desire and efforts to do groundbreaking and pioneering work. We want to have an explorer’s attitude towards the work we do and the way we do it. We don’t want to take the conventional, pre-defined path, but want to pave our own path and discover our own way of doing things, so that we can bring ingenious products in the market. We want to be free from constraints, feel the freedom to explore the technology in our own way, and enjoy our discoveries and innovations. Our explorer trait makes us utilize our capacities to the fullest, thereby allowing us to push the boundaries.

Our fun-loving, light-hearted and playful approach is a reflection of our jester trait. We think outside the box to develop innovative products that make people feel good. We combine fun with creativity and intelligence to offer ingenious solutions to ad tech industry. Being quick-witted, highly adaptable and resourceful, we reframe concepts, present new perspectives and stir up changes. Our jester trait helps us to easily navigate through difficult times and emerge as a real winner.

With this new company branding, we have now moved beyond our legacy. We have always been a first mover in problems we have solved before, be it disrupting cross device tracking or effective push notifications. We are now completely focused on transforming how advertisers reach their customers contextually with our unique offerings, and our new brand identity reflects this. Our tryst with AI and emerging technologies will continue and we will be launching new line of innovative products for the advertising industry in the future.

TV Sync Technology Offers Invaluable Opportunity to Advertisers

It is now a common thing that a person watching his favorite TV show is having his smartphone in his hand, especially during ad breaks, so that he can remain updated on news, messages, emails and social media.

In a study conducted by Facebook, 94% of the participants held a smartphone in their hands while viewing TV just like holding a TV remote control. Only 53% of the time, participants focused on their television screens. One of the main reasons of shifting their focus was to look into their smartphones.

Other research also shows that majority of the smartphone and tablet users remain active on these gadgets while they are watching TV. The use of second screen has now almost become an integral part of the TV viewing experience.

Thus, chances are great that those using second screen while watching television do not pay attention to TV ads, but rather gaze into their smartphones during ad-breaks. TV ad tracking shows that use of smartphones while watching TV negatively impacts the performance of TV ads. TV sync technology enables brands to reach these viewers through their second screens.

TV ad sync works by activating an online ad campaign on a viewer’s smartphone or tablet that is same or related to the ad appearing on his TV. This real-time syncing increases the chances of a viewer’s engagement with the ad being displayed on the mobile device. Not only TV ads, this technology can sync other content on TV such as sporting events, concerts and high-impact TV series, and even things like weather and pollution conditions with small screens.

For advertisers, TV sync advertising is an invaluable technology as it offers great benefits. Some of these are given here below –

Greater impact

If the same ad is shown on the smartphone as is appearing on the TV, then the impact on the viewer’s mind is much greater than the ad appearing only on a single screen.

Syncing compensates for unviewed TV ads

During ad-breaks, TV viewers often shift their attention to their smartphones. This way the ad presented on the TV gets wasted as it does not generate any engagement. But, when the same ad appears on a viewer’s smartphone, advertisers get a second chance for their ad getting viewed.

Increased chances for ads getting viewed over competition

If a brand shows its ads on the mobile devices when on TV the ads of its competitor are appearing, then that brand has higher chances of its ads being viewed as TV viewers are increasingly using their smartphones during TV ad breaks.

Facilitates user interaction

When ads on smartphones coincides with ads on TV, it becomes easy for viewers to interact with them, as on smart phones viewers have to just click on the ads and they are taken to the product’s landing page. For ads appearing on TV, this one-click option is not available, rather viewers have to search for the advertised products on a search engine through their laptops or mobile phones.

Unified brand experience

Syncing across multiple screens allows brands to convey a connected message to consumers, which promotes unified brand experience and allows for greater conversion.

TV ad sync technology along with AI advertising is transforming the way advertising is done. Leveraging these advertising technologies, helps brands to increase user engagement, get more ROI and boost their brand value.

Computer Vision Set To Transform Video Contextual Advertising

Over the years, contextual video advertising has taken the center-stage in the online advertising space. Video advertising has become the preferred advertising method for many major brands and publishers. In fact, 2017 was known as the year of “Video Gold Rush” for video contextual advertising. This is with good reason; as when the video is served in the right context, it is far more engaging and effective for creating an impression in the minds of consumers and helping advertisers hit KPIs.

In a survey by databox, 59.3% of advertisers told videos drove more clicks on Facebook for their ads compared to 29.6% for images. In addition, videos are becoming more accessible throughout the world with increasing data coverage and dropping rates for data. This has led to platforms such as Facebook bringing advertiser-friendly features for videos, and YouTube rising massively in popularity with both viewers and advertisers. The rise of apps such as TikTok and Snapchat, in both developing and developed countries, which are crafted as being video-first speaks about the tremendous popularity of videos.

Contextual Video Advertising Makes Strides

As the inventory for video-based creatives has increased, it has become imperative for advertisers to operate in safe environments as with increased reach, there is increased risk of ads being misplaced. Misplaced ads run the risk of not resonating with users, but if such ads are placed on objectionable, violent or polarizing content, they can do irreparable damage to a brand’s reputation. Therefore, as in-video advertising becomes ubiquitous, technologies such as machine-learning and AI-based context detection have been developed. These technologies help in serving ads on the relevant type of content, by filtering through all eligible content and classifying the content according to the suitability based on geography, brand and the consumers’ frame of mind among other factors.

The algorithms work by detecting patterns in the relevant types of data and then classifying newer data based on those patterns. Traditionally, this approach was used for keyword and affinity-based classification for ads. The suitability of videos for ad placement was gauged using Natural Language Processing (NLP) techniques. While this approach was somewhat effective in identifying the broader category of videos, it is not fool-proof and has led to many leakages in the past. There is a limitation to which such algorithms can filter content as the content being shown in videos may not always relate to the associated keywords, search terms or descriptions.

Computer Vision is the key

With the evolution of OTT Computer vision techniques and their combination with AI and machine learning, a powerful tool is now available to advertisers. Using computer vision and AI, it is possible to identify the actual objects, logos, emotions and context of the video with unprecedented accuracy. These can enable the identification of what is actually being shown in the video directly without relying on associations with keywords and affinity of videos, thus overcoming the limitation of previously used algorithms, and ensuring a top-notch brand-safe environment for brands.

How In-Video Contextual Advertising Works

Few things break the flow of a narrative as much a non-context insert. The same holds good in respect to advertising.

Various case studies show that even the best of advertisements, which have a feel-good factor about them, do not do well if they are not fitted into the context. A report from the University of Oxford supports this wherein it was observed that cheerful ads when inserted in between a gloomy part of the video do not create much impact.

In many cases, in-video ads which are not relevant to the video being watched, tend to put off the viewer and might not create the desired impact. Whereas, contextual advertising can help to better connect with the viewer and communicate the message more effectively.

In contextual advertising, ads related to the content being seen or read are placed to ensure better connections with the audience. Video ads can have more impact through in-video contextual advertising where in-video ads are placed relevant to the content being played out in the video.

This ensures that the viewer finds the advertisement to be closely related to what is being seen, and therefore, would be more interested in knowing about the product.

Experts cite that ‘Contextual Fluency” is a key component to process information. For example, an insurance advertisement would work well when a video about an accident is being streamed. Video coupled with the context becomes a potent tool to create an impression.

Implementing Contextual advertising

There are various tools available that help in implementing contextual advertising. Google AdWords is one of the most used marketing -technology platform where precise ads can be placed in relation to the context of a video or website.

Advertisers can place their ads which are triggered when specific keywords related to their product are being used, this is keyword contextual targeting. Whether an online user is reading a website/blog or watching a video, ads which are relating to the content are triggered that would better connect with the audience.

Marketing technology now also enables video advertising to be more precise. The advertisers can place specific adverts depending on what is happening within the video. Video platforms like YouTube have created a wide range of combinations of genre-content which can be used by the advertisers to stream an ad that is relevant to that particular moment in a specific video.

Artificial Intelligence is a key driver in enabling contextual video advertising. Recognizing scenes, a streaming video to identify the location within the video, understanding the facial expressions to comprehend the emotions, etc. and other computer vision applications like recognizing faces, logos, etc. are few of the AI-enabled technologies which are used for making contextual in-video ads.

Maximum utility through context

Content and message are the key to creating a successful advertisement. The ad would not be able to connect with the audience unless the message being conveyed is clear. However, apart from the content, there are two more elements that complete the trifecta of a perfect ad. These are the right time and the right audience. Contextual targeting makes use of these three elements to ensure the maximum utility is obtained through an ad.

Using this form of advertising, an advert with the right content is created which is placed into the video at the right time to ensure that there is more possibility of the viewer connecting with the ad. Targeting them to a specific audience who can connect with the ad further enhances the success of an advertisement.

Industry Gold Standards Silverpush Has Won in 2019

2019 has been an amazing year at Silverpush. Awards, recognitions, and accolades have come our way while we continued to serve our clients. Our technology continued to make a difference in the world of digital campaigns and online media for some of the largest brands globally. Join us as we look back at the ride that 2019 has been for us.

MMA Smarties India: Silver in Innovation and Product and Services Launch

mma smarties india

Mobile Marketing Association (MMA), a global mobile trade association, in fact, the only one of its kind is a hub for marketers, sellers and technological innovators in the media industry. MMA Smarties acknowledges the best brands, agencies, and tech enablers that exceed expectations by driving business growth via mobile campaigns.

Silver in Innovation

Thums Up, a leader in the soft beverages industry in India was targeting millennials for its new 2019 variant- Thums Up Charged in Summer. Their concerns of brand safety and engagement optimization were resolved with SilverPush’s Mirrors Platform. The AI powered contextual video advertising platform helped the brand reach their most relevant audience.

Silver in Product and Services launch

As a part of the Amazing Moment Marketing Campaign, SilverPush was the technological enabler of Madison Media working on Asian Paints’ Clean the Air campaign. With the rising concerns around AQI, the campaign revolved around creating hyper localized messaging synced with real-time AQI levels. With quality insights delivered at the right time, SilverPush informed with and showcased 1000+ region-specific informative communications.

WARC Media Awards: Bronze for Effective Use of Tech

warc media awards

Every year, WARC recognises brands that excel in communication planning, driving positive business results via online channels globally through WARC Media Awards. At 2019 WARC Media Awards, SilverPush was awarded bronze for a campaign for Unilever’s Breeze in the category — Effective Use of Tech.

With Breeze, SilverPush leveraged TV sync for Unilever Philippines. With a customer base of housewives aged between 22 to 44 years, SilverPush identified that the buyers were becoming increasingly social media savvy and therefore are prone to multi-screening. The audience was targeted and retargeted with paid advertisements through creating a tv ad sync between the brand’s TV commercials and digital video ads across social platforms.

Festival of Media Awards (FOMA) Asia Pacific Awards: Bronze for Best in Technology

FOM APAC awards

 

Festival of Media Awards is a celebration of brilliant media thinking across Asia Pacific region. The jury comprises of a vast network of creative thinkers and innovators in the industry. At FOMA APAC 2019, Breeze earned a bronze for the category — Best in Technology.

Moreover, collaborating with Mindshare was a unique learning experience that has added immense value to our technology.

Other Campaigns That Have Won Accolades and Recognition

  • Unilever Wall’s and Mindshare Indonesia won the gold in the Cross Media category for their Wall’s Gold Spirit campaign celebrating national sports heroes, powered by SilverPush’s tv ad sync — Parallels.
  • Shortlisted at The Wires APAC Awards for the multi-screen sync platform as the Best Marketing Technology solution
  • Nomination at Drum Digital Awards APAC for Best Cross-Platform Campaign on behalf of Rexona
  • Shortlisted for MMA Smarties Vietnam in the mobile Mobile Video and Innovation categories
  • Shortlisted at Effie MENA awards in the Data-Driven and Healthcare-OTC categories for Sanofi’s Telfast

More About Our Winning Campaigns

Breeze

While TV advertising remain a key channel for information distribution in South Asia, women displayed indifference and lack of interest during TV commercial breaks, displaying a cross screen behaviour — paying more attention to social channels. The campaign overcame the clutter and increased brand engagement within the target audience through real-time, TV ad sync advertising.

KFC

KFC’s launch of a new popcorn chicken flavor created the right buzz with AI-powered contextual ad targeting platform — Mirrors. Thirty contextual triggers were identified through Mirrors’ unique capability of detecting faces, logos, objects, scenes, actions and emotions in a streaming video. Coupled with customized creatives, KFC was able to target the right audience, as they engaged with their interests on YouTube. The campaign achieved a VTR of 35 percent; a direct increase of 10 percent against agency benchmark of 25 percent.

Thums Up

Thums Up leveraged contextual ads placements to target millennial buyers engaged in adventure and thrill seeking activities. For the campaign, SilverPush contextually targeted users consuming video content around extreme adventure sports, through AI powered object and emotion detection capabilities. This maximized brand engagement exactly at the moment consumers were engaging with their interests, and not based on past viewing habits.

By seamless brand integration through Mirrors, the campaign gained a VTR of 35 percent with a decrease in CPV of 48 percent.

Oreo

SilverPush partnered with Oreo for their special edition Spider-Man themed pack for Contextual ad targeting. Spiderman themed content was identified with Mirrors technology enabling the brand to unlock the audience engaged in such content at that right moment. Spanning across four weeks, the campaign directly contributed to sales, leading to a 38 percent higher sales for Oreo.

In 2019, we have made a huge difference in the advertising industry. And in 2020, we intend to further expand our product portfolio and help brands understand and reach their customer, like never before.

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