John Snyder CEO, Grapeshot
Just as strict parents do children, brands have a tendency to hinder ads in fear of a dreadful outcome. Brands still want assurance that their messages are delivered and received by engaged consumers in a safe space. It’s 2016 and potential danger is always lurking around the corner, which has forced brand safety to acquire new layers of complexity and specificity.
How can advertising become truly welcome? The answers vary in degrees depending on the personality of a given brand. The range of brand personalities can vary drastically, there are conservative brands such as Johnson & Johnson, quirky brands like Chipotle, and even brands that tend to be a little more risqué as Trojan. Johnson and Johnson is a well-known family oriented brand, while Chipotle’s millennial cultivating message is mirrored across all branding. This is probably the only place on the internet where you will find these 3 brands in the same sentence, or even on the same page. They all have different target audiences and different sites that advertisers would deem “safe.” There are thousands, if not millions, of daily impressions these same three brands are all targeting that can potentially be missed because of certain brand safety parameters!
Blanket exclusions based on typical “poison” words often do the marketer a disservice by unnecessarily punishing a publisher’s content. Many brands, for example, would be fine appearing on Playboy’s more reputable pages. The only way to guarantee airline safety is to never fly, while total abstinence is the only foolproof form of safe sex. Similarly, the only way to ensure absolute brand safety is to never advertise, which of course, is completely impractical and detrimental for all brands. Some marketers make the mistake of casting too wide a net in protecting themselves whereby 30% of desirable pages are unnecessarily blocked.
In our time, scandals and catastrophic events occur daily, issues can arise seemingly out of nowhere at lightning speed and require immediate response. Programmatic is the dreamcatcher to all advertiser’s nightmares. Programmatic allows advertisers to react with breakneck speed without completely shutting down campaigns. Through programmatic a more nuanced and granular analysis of page content can ensure that brands are safe while not missing out on a great number of impressions on sites that would typically be blacklisted.
The technology is better than ever, it’s faster, easier to use, offers greater transparency and assurance and will only continue to improve.
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