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How Not To Mess Up A Running Ad Campaign

Increasingly, we hear complaints from users that they are shown irrelevant ads. For some reason, less attention has been paid

Increasingly, we hear complaints from users that they are shown irrelevant ads. For some reason, less attention has been paid to this before. But today we hear “why am I shown ads for pads?”, “why is my child shown ads for cars?” or “why alcohol is placed in children’s content?” Users are likely to get used to personalized content and get frustrated when it doesn’t work.

Media Consumption Features

Content consumption by the user has changed a lot, and with it, the perception of advertising has changed. If we take commercials that are intriguing at first and show a product at the climax, this is quite a typical situation for TV, since according to statistics, 85-100% of users watch ads.

The situation on the Internet is quite the opposite. Video ads are shown to the user – before watching the video, during or after. Often, the user has the opportunity to skip ads at the 5th, 10th, 15th second. This radically changes his behavior and perception of advertising. It’s not worth counting on 85-100% of users to watch your 30-second video to the end, no matter how cool or interesting your ad is.

Perhaps those who are interested in it will watch it to the end, but the lion’s share of users will miss it as soon as there is such an opportunity. Accordingly, most of the contacts will simply not be effective. This must be taken into account when creating a video – it is important that the user sees what is being advertised before the “skip” button appears. For the most popular video format on Youtube, it’s only 5 seconds. It’s not easy, but it’s possible!

And here is an example of how the same video can be adapted for digital placement:

And for TV ads:

If we return to the issue of relevant advertising in content, then the expectations of users are quite understandable. They understand, and have a choice, whether to consume free content and be ad-ready, or pay for content. Many sites have this option. At the same time, when consuming free content, I would like the advertiser to offer those products that may be of interest, and not to demonstrate to men the advantages of some pads over others.

At the same time, we, as specialists, understand that with the current ad management systems, we can quite satisfy the user and show him suitable advertisements, thereby not annoying him and, most importantly, increase advertising effectiveness.

What Digital Solutions Do Advertising Providers Have?

Here we will compare different methods and approaches to restricting ad impressions under different client restrictions (Brand safety).

Let’s start with package placements, where you are given a list of sites and you exclude those that you consider unsuitable for you. This is called blacklist targeting – specific sites, sections, and channels are excluded from the package at a specific url. For example, being placed in the SLM package (StarLightMedia), you want to exclude news sites. All in all, this is a solution and it serves your purpose. But later we will discuss why it is not universal, however, it is better than placing it without restrictions.

Let’s take a look at the content restriction options offered by YouTube, Google Ads, and others. These systems have the ability to disable content in the campaign settings according to the principle:

  • by keywords, for example, content in the description of which may contain the word “war”, “murder”, “blood”, etc.
  • by content segments, for example, cartoons or news.

Read more: “Brand Safety in DV360 and Campaign Manager”

Disadvantages Of Such Approaches

We exclude everything that is needed and everything that is not needed. For example, an entertaining video may not fit the BrandSafety theme or be in a foreign language. Cartoons can be for adults. And by the word music, you can remove popular channels about show business. News can also be about movies, or neutral.

At the same time, the above options, in addition to failing, do not limit all options in which the commercial may appear in inappropriate content. Let’s be frank, it is extremely difficult to achieve 100% of such a guarantee!

By the way, we had an interesting example. 5 years ago, with the help of the advertising placement system, we limited the maximum that we could at that time: we manually selected only entertainment content, which also includes sports topics. It so happened that the editors added an article about the funeral of one of the athletes to the sports section, it was there that the client saw an advertisement for his brand, which, of course, he did not like very much.

What Are The More General Options?

The fundamental approach is the use of Whitelist when placing – determining sites, segments, targeting, sections, keywords. This approach allows you to select only the content that suits your brand. The logic is that you should check out the content that suits you. Yes, it’s more difficult, yes, it limits inventory, yes, it’s a lot of manual work, but for some brands it’s critical. This greatly affects the effectiveness of advertising for the better, and most importantly, brand positioning! And it gives more guarantees that tomorrow a new resource with unwanted content will not appear in the package of sites or channels.

Taught by the exacting requests of our clients – OLX, BMW, Citrus, Allo, Moyo (who place Samsung, Sony, etc. vendor campaigns), which were only ready to be placed under strict control over placements and its content. Our team has learned to control the content in which the client’s ads will be displayed. We manually collected lists of Youtube channels by category (more than 20 thousand) and constantly updating them.

Content by age and gender classification:

  • children’s,
  • teenage,
  • adult,
  • “female”,
  • “male” etc,

Content by topic:

  • music channels,
  • news/political content,
  • entertainment content,
  • cartoons,
  • movies and series,
  • content about games,
  • automotive theme,
  • sports theme,
  • animal content,
  • gadget reviews and tech channels.

At the same time, we have a Whitelist for other batch placements of Google Ads, Admixer, GetIntent, and others. As a result, more than 40 thousand sites were checked. We control which Whitelist to use for each client. This cost us a huge amount of resources: to create such lists, we connected both an internal team and an external one. We try to update whitelists at least once a quarter, first checking sites and channels that have more traffic.

We understand that this cannot exclude 100% of inappropriate content, but this approach improves the effectiveness of campaigns in qualitative terms by at least 30% (according to the agency, based on a Comprehensive Analysis). Also, this approach allows you to limit fraud traffic, especially if we are talking about in-stream video, since webmasters substitute other formats with this format, such as in-page video and content-roll. We manually select sites in which we are sure and of high-quality formats.

To summarize, we recommend setting up advertising campaigns in such a way that the creative is shown to a potentially interested user and controlling Whitelist content placements. This improves efficiency, does not irritate the user, and allows you to control brand positioning in “positive” content.

Our team also practices checklists that help reduce the number of errors and control the implementation of the campaign at the time of placement, and not after it ends. We are happy to share our work with our readers. Follow the link for the full checklist with which we check campaigns, choose what is relevant to you.

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