AMSTERDAM: The application of artificial intelligence techniques as part of the media buying process has the potential to boost brand metrics and purchase intent while also addressing brand safety issues.

Advertisers tend to think in terms of which audience can reach via a media channel, but the development of “cognitive media targeting” offers a more efficient approach, according to Shane Skillen of Hotspex, who address this issue at the IIeX Europe conference.

“If you think about when you’re reaching them, i.e. what mood they’re in, ads work more efficiently,” he said. “The who plus the when equals better performance.”

Google’s AI technology is helping to deliver on the idea that, for example, aligning a funny ad with funny content is likely to be more acceptable to consumers who should then be less likely to skip the ad. (For more, read WARC’s report: Cognitive media targeting: using AI to place ads contextually.)

Hotspex uses Google tech to help identify the themes in a video ad, with the results fed into Google’s buying process “to actually figure out where those ads should show relative to the videos people are going to watch, in pre-roll or mid-roll”.

Following a pilot project involving seven brands from different categories and more than a billion impressions with Google, “the conclusion is it works”, said Skillen.

Follow-up questions to those exposed to these ads and A/B testing demonstrated that the skip rate went down 18% and the the click-through rate went up 33%.

Brand lift, meanwhile, jumped 65% and stated purchase intent was 71% higher when people saw the ad in the right context.

And the applications of cognitive media targeting are not limited to online video, Skillen added; it will work with linear television and even packaging, he claimed.

Sourced from WARC