CANNES — Brands are renewing their interest in contextual signals that indicate where consumers have seen an advertisement as tracking cookies and device IDs become less reliable for audience targeting. Artificial intelligence technology such as natural language processing can help reinforce these contextual cues.
“It’s not just about trying to associate your brand with specific keywords,” Washington Post chief revenue officer Joy Robins said in this interview with Beet Villa correspondent Tameka Kee during the Cannes International Festival of Creativity, “but really using context – really thinking about integrating AI and NLP to really understand the context in which words are spoken and how to align messages – that’s really what we we focus in this next reinvention of contextual advertising.
Weighing brand safety
While many marketers tend to avoid placing ads alongside news coverage of disasters or pandemic death content to avoid negative associations with their brands, journalism offers an engaged audience by other means.
“That’s why it’s so important to not just look at it through a keyword lens, because there’s a lot of suitability standards that we put in place,” Robins said, “but it’s “It’s by understanding certain words and how they’re spoken of in the context of the story. We’re able to take specific words, understand their context, and then appropriately target marks away or towards certain contextual situations.”
The Washington Post developed its Zeus Insights product to help advertisers get a better idea of contextual placement. The idea is to avoid blocklist flaws that prevent ads from appearing alongside content that may only mention a sensitive subject in passing.
“We see time and time again that brands use sophisticated quality, truthful journalism, perception and consideration increase every time,” Robins said. “The marriage of context plus this idea of a brand having a really relevant voice and position and something to say. We find that essentially serves the consumer in terms of value.”
You are watching “Contextual Advertising Emerging: Now Key in Driving Performance”, a Beet.TV Leadership Summit at Cannes Lions 2022, presented by Integral Ad Science. For more videos from this series, please visit this page. Beet.TV is an official partner of the Cannes Lions.