Follow the Data

A data driven blog

Archive for the tag “advertising”

Computational advertising course

I’ve written about one company that exemplifies how advertising is becoming more data-driven, and now I find there is a Stanford university course about computational advertising. One of the lecture note PDFs defines computational advertising as “A principled way to find the ‘best match’ between a user in a context and a suitable ad“. Although I agree with this O’Reilly Radar blog post in thinking that it’s a stretch to call computational advertising a “scientific discipline”, the lecture notes are nevertheless fun and interesting to read. The instructors are from Yahoo! Research and probably a lot of the material that they cover is actually being used by Yahoo! in some way.

Data driven advertising

Enough with the algorithms! It’s time to give data some artistic treatment.” That’s the battle cry for Meme Machine, an interesting platform for creating reactive ads by the Swedish company Burt, who develop software for the advertising industry. According to Burt,

Reactive advertising is a technology for dynamic customization how display ads look and behave in real-time based on what we know about each viewer and the surrounding factors for each exposure. So instead of one campaign having three different ads, we can run three million different ads, where each is unique for the person watching it.

The Meme Machine mashes up data from different sources to create a dynamic ad for each individual viewer in real time. It seems advertising is becoming heavily data driven as well (my italics):

reactive ads are about so much more than just improving relevance, it’s about using data and variables to enhance ads in a creative way… copywriters use data creatively to bring home a point, just like art directors use graphics and as an asset to drive attention and impact. […]

Reactive ads is about leveraging the pool of data that we’re already collecting using behavioral cookies, demographic information, user location etc. Alot [sic] of the data we collect is never put to good use.

Burt says that they collect very little data themselves. Instead,they partner up with sites, business intelligence companies, goverment agencies and so on. Customers can also plug in data sources of their own. Burt offers a “reaction library” that offers data about each viewer’s gender, age group, ISP, propensity to click through ads, the weather where the viewer is located, employer, completed education, favorite music, and much more. Frankly, it sounds a bit scary, but fortunately the information is anonymized, or so they say.

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