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  • Writer's pictureAdvanced Contextual

It doesn’t matter if the ban on surveillance advertising gets passed or not. The simple proposition facing our industry is what comes after this type of targeting, not if it will go away or not. It will.

It’s time to forge a new path before one is foisted upon us, and that can happen from a few perspectives. Our 20 year love affair with the cookie and easy 3P data is coming to an end one way or another. We need to assume that both pure play and cohort-informed contextual has to be part of the go-forward solution to provide scale, performance and a safe harbor.

One of today’s realities is that the programmatic bid stream has a 50% attach rate of IDs to impressions, down from 100% three years ago. So let’s go all the way there: for purposes of discussion, all individual targeting is disallowed, but cohorts can be analyzed to gain some insight into how to target them using context alone.

How exactly do we execute this change, and what can we expect from the dominant walled gardens? That’s the question we focus on here with our customers and partners. We find our brand, publishing and data customers and partners are innovative and practical when it comes to fostering change. Let’s look at what each is doing with us today as a guide for what else could be coming.

What does brand suitability mean for your brand? Recently, we noticed an explosion of really great travel keywords available in our ecosystem. When we dug into our programmatic analytics, we found that all of the instances of increased consumption of these keywords occurred within articles about the Afghanistan evacuation. This was a perfect example of having exactly the right keywords in precisely the wrong place. Learn how Advanced Contextual can solve for brand suitability here.


Brands adapt in this new world using some of the same tools they’ve developed since CCPA and cookie deletion have come into focus. Brands have extensive 1P data on their customers as they should. In a world where they cannot leverage it directly, and at the individual level, it still has great value. Brands can and will look at aggregated performance and find those content areas they should target based on the analytic view the law allows. The logic follows that if a brand has a set of topics and related semantic attributes (KWs, entities, mindsets, sentiment, etc.) which produce performance, they should know that and be able to target that content.


Publishers in this world find themselves working to understand the value of their inventory to a brand. During the reign of the cookie the ID informed the impression bid price. The inventory didn’t matter all that much. But in our assumed world the publisher and brands are fairly aligned in what they want from content, which is understanding what topics are in high demand and why, and which ones aren’t. This requires consistency of categorization which we provide today in a flexible way. Then publishers need the open web, via the RTB spec, to clear the way for context in the open exchange.


Data companies are in the trickiest spot going forward. It remains to be seen which specific types of data are allowed and which are prohibited. If a data company has data it can use, it will have to use it at some aggregate level as opposed to the individual level. In this world the data company can use its signal as a beacon of performance assuming the data makes sense and converts. We think this begins to cull the herd of data companies pretty quickly. With context the data company gains categorization that brands can act on as they did with syndicated cookie segments earlier. Do that at programmatic speed and scale, and data companies are no longer reliant on the cookie for distribution.


What about the walled gardens? We say let the walled gardens try to protect the targeting all of society has antipathy for. They’ll all be happy to make changes as long as those changes include more obfuscation and less transparency. We’ll likely see higher cost and lower KPIs as a result of their moves.


We, our customers and partners have opted to walk away from what’s crumbling around us and create new, transparent, scale and performant ad products which respect people and frankly our own intelligence. Let the walled gardens hang onto the past. We’re moving on.

Contact Advanced Contextual here:

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  • Writer's pictureAdvanced Contextual

Advanced Contextual creates custom segments using seed URLs that represent what a brand's ideal audience would be reading/watching. Then Advanced Contextual analyzes the page, identifies the topics within the content & finds additional relevant content to reach ideal audiences. Applying this to a brand looking to align with Valentine's Day content, see the pages available for targeting on various topics in the chart below:

The most popular content that people are reading about include: thoughtful gift ideas, romantic getaways, date ideas, & Valentine’s Day cards. Within these Valentine’s Day segments, the advanced contextual platform has identified over 9 million people reading/watching various topics relevant to the holiday. Advanced Contextual’s results of estimated pages & anonymous user ID counts provide scaled estimates to expect during a campaign.

Advanced Contextual can reach your target audience across the open web & social platforms once they’ve read content about Valentine’s Day. Don’t miss an opportunity to connect with people looking for gifts, getaways, or things to do around February 14th. Contact us below to learn more.

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Major insurance company wanted to increase brand lift among auto owners and generate quotes for their auto insurance offering.


  1. Created custom Content Targets around: Auto Trends, Vehicle Owners, B2B Finance, Business Travelers, Entertainment, Weather, Travel, Family Planning, Homeowners/Renters, and Personal Finance.

  2. Discovered content around Auto Trends and Vehicle Owners resonated best with auto owners and generated the strongest performance.

  3. Optimized towards top-performing Content Targets and media types to drive brand lift and efficient cost per quote, which were the client’s KPIs.

  4. Provided the client valuable insights around how spikes in content consumption correlated with efficient results, particularly around how auto shows & holidays trended throughout the campaign.


We delivered an efficient campaign with an overall $17 cost per quote (CPQ). Due to an effective optimization strategy, the CPQ saw consistent improvements yielding a campaign low of $7 on the final day of the flight. Our CPQ and ability to drive brand lift has resulted in repeat business with an always-on strategy for this satisfied client.

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