I’m glad that I live in a world with advertising. It funds almost all media I consume with the exception of music and movies. There is no way that we would be able to afford to consume such an array of content on the internet and television without the support of advertising. Further, advertising connects businesses with the public thereby making the economy go round.
However, advertising has a lot of enemies. People insult it all the time. “I hate this commercial,” “This pop up is so annoying,” and “This site looks so trashy with all of these belly fat and teeth whitening banners.” These are all valid concerns that advertising technology hopes to appease by delivering a higher degree of (1) ad relevancy and (2) ad/content integration.
Hulu.com has developed a great method of seeking greater relevancy:
By allowing the viewer to decide whether or not the ad is relevant is a surprisingly innovative way of accomplishing relevancy. A lot of ad tech tries to target ads to consumers by algorithmically predicting their interests and behaviors. But people are fickle and unpredictable, and maybe Hulu is onto something with this simple and elegant model. And it politely requests the viewer to think twice about the ad and interact with it which seems like a much more valuable ad space than an ad on television.
Further, new types of media like Twitter and Facebook open a lot of possibilities for superior ad relevancy. Never before have people been revealing so much information about themselves “publicly,” which–in theory at least–dramatically increases the odds of advertisers delivering consumers relevant advertising.
A pop up would be an example of an ad with terrible content integration. A few emerging advertising technologies which I believe accomplish a greater degree of ad/content integration include Vibrant and Image Space Media.
Vibrant (and a few other companies) serves in text advertising:
When you scroll over a word of interest, an ad will pop up relevant to that word. I agree that this can be a little annoying if you aren’t expecting it. But now that I am used to seeing these ads around the web, I only scroll over terms that interest me. Like Hulu’s model, I think this is a pretty elegant way of allowing the reader to choose the type of ads he or she would like to see.
Image Space Media has a similar technology that it applies to images:
When you scroll over an image of interest, you will see an ad relevant to the image. I think this is awesome technology because it doesn’t cover up any text and because images seem like they would draw greater interest than text. The only problem with this technology is that it seems to cause pages to load slower (most online display advertising does this to some degree).
Much of ad spend on traditional media goes to waste. Most commercials we see on TV are totally irrelevant to us. And oftentimes we change the channel when commercials come on because they have terrible integration with content. Greater degrees of relevancy and ad/content integration means a better experience for media consumers. What it means for the advertising industry is more valuable advertising space. With annual US ad spend of at least $100 Billion, we are talking about a huge opportunity for advertising technologists.