Contextual x Emotional: Creating Stronger Brand Connections

Jonah Cait
VP, Strategy & Product

In recent years digital advertisers have been focused on brand safety; the act of preventing ad delivery in unsuitable environments. When running programmatic campaigns, inventory filtering is highly recommended to ensure brand suitability, but let’s not kid ourselves – inventory that’s “not brand unsafe” doesn’t exactly mean it’s an optimal placement.

So what can we do differently? How can advertisers maximize the relevance and impact of their advertising? Here are a few tactics that advertisers are currently using:

Page Sentiment

Page sentiment is the classification of pages into one of three signals: positive, neutral, and negative. A recent study from IAS found that 80% of ad viewers were more receptive to ads near positive sentiment content, 93% were more favourable to ads near positive sentiment content, and 24% were more likely to remember ads near positive sentiment content. Similar to brand safety filters, page sentiment is a nice starting point but associating ads with “positive” content is generally broad and isn’t a massive improvement from “brand safe” placements.

Contextual Advertising

As we anticipate the deprecation of third party cookies, many advertisers are using contextual as a means of ensuring brand relevance, using page categories (e.g. sports content) or keywords (i.e. relevant terms or phrases found on a page) to help focus their investments. This can create a stronger connection between creative and media, making ads more relevant and memorable. Referencing the same IAS study, 74% of ad viewers wanted to see ads that match page content.

In short, contextual advertising is more focused, an unquestionable improvement on open-market delivery, but there hasn’t been much innovation in the last few years.

The Importance of Emotion

There are a few tenets in the advertising community that we know to be true:

  • Great advertising needs to evoke the right emotions;
  • Not all emotions are created equal;
  • Just making an emotional ad isn’t enough.

At Hotspex, we’re heavily invested in the science of emotion. In fact, we committed to a 5-year R&D project to determine how emotion influences consumer behaviour. We also know that emotional alignment (i.e. placing an ad containing a key emotion alongside a placement containing a congruent emotion) drives stronger brand connections.

Enter Reticle

Advertisers spend countless hours crafting the perfect brand strategies and producing ads, but when it comes to media, many of the same tactics are often recycled from one plan to the next.

Having years of experience managing programmatic campaigns, our team at Hotspex Media knows all too well about the benefits and limitations of programmatic media.

To innovate within the contextual space and help serve as the connective tissue between inter-agency teams, we created Reticle, a contextual buying solution that uses the science of emotion to help advertisers better activate existing brand communication strategies within programmatic media channels.

Reticle Categories

Our AI uses page-level analysis to classify 19+ emotional signals for any given ad placement, offering a level of unique comprehension and granularity that exceeds existing solutions.

Getting Started

Reticle can be activated within Display, Online Video (OLV), and Connected TV environments. Programmatic buying teams can leverage these categories on a self-serve basis and also overlay audience, device, and/or geo-based targeting to accompany their campaigns.

Interested in learning more? Contact Us!

Jonah Cait is the VP, Strategy & Product for Hotspex Media, a leading programmatic trading desk and one of the fastest-growing companies in Canada. Jonah has successfully led teams to design and deliver high-performing digital strategy, targeted digital advertising, contextual targeting products, and digital analytics initiatives for leading global B2B and B2C marketing organizations.

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