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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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 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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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 targeting will help marketers in effectively achieving their YouTube advertising goals.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
You can access the full report ‘Brand Response to COVID-19 in SEA’ for detailed insights from the survey.
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.
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.
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%.
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.
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. This also forms part of Chrome’s Privacy Sandbox initiative launched in August 2019, 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 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 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.
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.
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 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.
Sources and references
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.
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 –
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.
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.
Major companies like Google, Facebook, Amazon, IBM, and Apple are continuing to bet on Computer Vision for the future and have made considerable advances in the area. For instance, Facebook can now identify each person from a crowd using facial recognition, while Google can search and index thousands of images through its image search feature. Due to keen interest in the field and momentous advances in the field, computer vision has become increasingly accurate over time. Facebook can now identify people with 83% certainty, even when they are partially or completely blocked from view.
With these advances, OTT Computer vision has unlocked a whole new avenue for advertisers. With this, one can identify the brand of clothes someone is wearing, the fabric and color he/she prefers, and in what combination, just from a picture. This information can give deeper insights into consumer preferences. In this case, we examine whether luxury goods are a common part of the consumer’s lifestyle and act accordingly. In videos, identifying key aspects of what is being shown can help advertisers in leveraging associations and consumer preferences for brands.
MIRRORS is an AI advertising platform that uses computer vision applications for logo and object detection, along with facial recognition and emotion identification for classifying videos for placing the most relevant ads in the right context. Working with brands such as Oreo and KFC in the past, we have helped brands target consumers throughout the world for driving sales. For Oreo, we helped in using the brand’s association with Spider-man, to target consumers in South-East Asia and placing ads for Oreo in a wide range of Spider-man themed content from animated videos to videos showing DIY craft projects for kids. All of this was done in a completely brand-safe environment, with ads being served on videos that connected with the nature of the brand.
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 online advertising 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.
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
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
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
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
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’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 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.
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.