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NetSeer Imbues Retargeting With Concept-Based Contextual Targeting

Written on
Oct 19, 2011 
Author
Gavin Dunaway  |

ADOTAS – Judging by what I hear at conferences, it’s becoming evident that a lot (NetSeer CEO John Mracek says the majority) of audience-targeted ad-buying on exchanges is going toward retargeting. And while companies such as AdSafe and DoubleVerify have introduced pre-bid verification technology for DSPs, ad networks and exchanges, chances are still high that a brand reaching out to a cookied consumer may have an ad show up in an unsavory environment, or an embarrassing spot for the brand (e.g., the old airline ad next to news story of a plane crash).

But there’s another issue, which is might actually be more important — most of the time retargeted ads have little to do with the content surrounding them. This makes them more susceptible to banner blindness or, far worse, makes consumers feel like they’re being stalked. Can you say negative brand connotation?

As WebMD CEO Wayne Gattinella commented at PubMatic’s Ad Revenue 4 event last week, “Targeting out of context is like telemarketing. I’m in the middle of something else right now.”

So enter NetSeer, imbuing some of its concept-based contextual targeting into its new brand-safe retargeting service. In effect, the company has built a gateway to balancing out cookie- or audience targeting with contextual targeting.

The company analyzes 1.5 billion impressions daily through its Content Mapper technology, which sketches relationships between various concepts (not keywords). Sites with pornography and other adult content as well as drugs, hate speech and other nasty stuff are automatically blacklisted for retargeting efforts.

NetSeer’s burgeoning display business is built on contextual targeting on the exchanges, scanning for content that matches an advertiser’s concept list. When a prospective impression pops up, it is run through ContentMapper to determine appropriateness and general concepts; if it passes, the URL is cached and will have a thumbs up for placement next time it appears.

So for retargeting campaigns, advertisers need to simply submit exclusion lists to NetSeer full of concepts they don’t want to be associated with. NetSeer serves the ad when the targeted consumer appears on an approved site with content with conceptually relevant material related to the advertiser’s offering.

“With its ability to find contextually relevant inventory beyond the usual premium sites without compromising brand integrity, NetSeer allows me to assure my clients that they will receive near-perfect brand safety at scale and reach a relevant audience — all at exchange-level pricing,” explained Ralph Thomson, president of digital marketing firm eBrains. “We work with major destination brands in the travel and tourism industry and the majority of them now have NetSeer as a smart strategic part of their digital solution. In fact, the reach, relevancy and brand safety provided by NetSeer eliminates the need to consider other display resources and saves our clients time and money.”





Gavin Dunaway is Editor, U.S. at AdMonsters, a leading trade publication, event producer and service provider for the online advertising industry. Previously, he had been Senior Editor of Adotas, where he arrived after years of ping-ponging around various industry publications. This Washington, D.C. native and George Mason University graduate also enjoys playing electric guitar so loud that the walls shake.

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