D is for Digital Identity

For the next installment of our A-Z of adtech series we’re looking at digital identity.

Digital identity has underpinned programmatic and digital advertising for the last ten years. However it now feels like everybody is discussing it more than ever. Articles and stories dedicated to digital identity management seem to be appearing in the press on a weekly basis.

At Unruly’s latest Trust Talks event in London we asked a number of leading industry experts why digital identity has become popular again, where it’s headed, and what the terms means to them.

Nigel Gilbert, Chief Market Strategist at AppNexus EMEA A Xandr Company

Nigel Gilbert

It’s all about the timing. Programmatic has been around for ten years or so. We also understand from a targeting and performance perspective that digital identity is probably the easiest and most straightforward way to target. Therefore it’s what everybody jumped on.

Retargeting returns the best performance out of any other form of targeting that you can use programmatic for. So for that reason everybody wants to scale it and find an automated solution that can work for their business. For it to be automated it has to have scale otherwise it doesn’t compute. I think there’s possibly too much of a race towards automating identity at scale than there probably should be. I don’t believe there can be a global solution, and I don’t believe people should be looking for one.    

Morwenna Beales, VP at ID5

Morwenna Beales

Programmatic was initially always about scale and the open marketplace. We’ve seen that change with the emergence of new channels like video and mobile. But what underpins programmatic now is data, and what underpins data is digital identity. I think people are starting to realise that having a grip on digital identity is a real competitive advantage against walled gardens and the marketplace. I think that’s probably why we keep talking about it.

Matt Simpson, Joint CEO Investment at Omnicom

Matt Simpson

I think digital identity is all about the identification of the individual. I know identity has not always been that; it’s been about identifying devices or cookies and so forth. But we now talk to clients about knowing as much as we can about perspective customers and about existing customers.

The reason brands are so interested in digital identity is because they’ve spent so much money on it. They’ve bought the dream of digital identity before it’s really here. With the introduction of things like GDPR, they now have this huge known audience which is their customers. They also have this unknown audience which is mainly the cookies that people use in advertising. They’re desperate to tie those two things together to get the outcomes that have been promised to them for a number of years. So for us, it’s really about knowing their consumers and their perspective consumers, and being able to inform on not just digital activity but on everything they do.

Shane Shevlin, SVP Strategic Development at IPONWEB

Shane Shevlin

Digital identity is not the same as legal identity and that creates an issue. It’s a simple question of the walled garden advantage right now. As large publishers, tech companies, and ad networks create scaled audiences with deterministic data, that leaves a lot less for smaller companies and independent publishers. That’s a problem we need to solve both for agencies and for brands today.

I think increasingly the question of regulation and ownership of your digital identity, in addition to things like cross device tracking and attribution, are still problems that need to be solved for the ecosystem. That’s where we see ourselves at IPONWEB sitting, right at the core of those very complex engineering tasks that need to be solved.  

Paul Gubbins, Programmatic Lead at Unruly     

Paul Gubbins

I believe digital Identity will become the new battle ground, and those that own it will display little sympathy for those that don’t, as it increasingly becomes a USP to lock in media budgets. Device graphs will be trendy once again next year and the must have accessories as consumer time fragments even further from desktop, mobile web, app, OTT & increasingly the devices powered by the growing IoT’s infrastructure.

ID coalitions and joint ventures will come and go. Some will focus on building a more efficient cookie to increase match rates for buyers and sellers. Others will build a common probabilistic and screen agnostic ID that will help brands and agencies manage holistic reach, frequency and attribution across their myriad of programmatic media buys in the face of walled gardens and browsers restricting 3rd party cookies (Think ITP & beyond!).

There will be cries, asks and demands from both the buy and sell side for a common framework when it comes to digital identity. Who should own this will continue to be a moot point and one debated at great length on many panels in 2019. Should digital identity be a commodity or USP? Only time will tell!

Check out other posts in our A-Z of adtech series.

Our Futurist Elena Corchero has her eyes firmly set on the future. She is always on the lookout for new technology that will impact the way we play, work, travel and experience life. Check her top 5 stories that stood out this month.

MIT invested $1 billion in AI!

MIT recently announced  that they’re investing a huge $1 billion into the future of AI. This means that they will cover the costs of anyone heading to the establishment to study AI. It also puts the US firmly in the lead in the race to develop and grow AI in the direction they want to take it. At the moment AI could go in any direction however MIT is focussing on keeping the human in mind and prioritising ethics to ensure this tech is taken in the right direction. This focus on AI is a step away from how it’s been explored so far which has mainly been for profitability.

studying at MIT

Gillette started 3D printing razors!

The US razor giant Gillette has started 3D printing custom razor handles that customers can personalise via their website. 3D printing has been around for a good few years now. With a global brand trialing it, it marks another step forward for the new technology. Earlier this year Chanel also started 3D printing brushes to be used as part of a new mascara set. It won’t be long before you’ll be able to print everything you’ll ever need from the comfort of your home. Meaning more time for Netflix and less time fighting the weekend shoppers! 

Walmart prepped for Black Friday with VR!

Walmart are one of the first big retail brands to heavily invest in VR training for their staff. The US retail giant has purchased 17,000 Oculus Gos to help navigate staff through difficult situations within a virtual environment. They created a special Black Friday training program to help staff prepare for the retailer’s busiest day of the year. The simulation dropped staff into a busy shop with customers running around with packed trolleys and baskets. As Walmart continue to invest and see the benefits of VR training many more brands will begin to adopt the new technology over the coming years. So don’t be surprised if you’re handed a headset next time you have a staff training session. 

shopping bags

The first AI scripted ad was created!

Yes you read that right, AI is now scripting ads, all of you who thought you were safe from being replaced by a machine because you have a creative job best watch out! ‘Driven By Intuition’ was written by an AI and shot by an Oscar-winning director, Kevin Macdonald, for the new Lexus ES. The AI, built with Visual Recognition support from IBM Watson, was ‘trained’ with 15 years’ worth of Cannes-Lions-winning car and luxury advertisements. The AI was primed with emotional intelligence data from Unruly to teach it which moments of those adverts connected most strongly with viewers. 

New technology: Lexus advert

China’s social credit system heads for Beijing!

Finally, have you ever seen that Black Mirror episode where the world is run on a system where you’re rewarded or punished based on your social behaviour? Well it’s now a reality in China. It was first piloted in eastern China and the government has decided to start the process of rolling it out in Beijing to help closely monitor the reputations of the cities 22 million inhabitants. The new technology uses AI and image recognition through CCTV to track citizens and monitor their behaviour. However there have been a few issues with the tech, including the AI thinking that photos of individuals on bus adverts were real people and serving them tickets…so if you’re a model make sure you check the small print on your next contract!

That’s it for now. Check back each month for more new technology stories! Interested in meeting Elena and taking a tour of our Home of the future? Find out more by clicking here.

Unruly is excited to announce the appointment of Mikael Englund in the role of Nordics Commercial Director.

Englund will report to Jason Trout, EMEA MD and be responsible for heading up sales teams and build relationships with agency partners across the Nordics.

Commenting on his new role, Englund said: “I’m so excited to join Unruly. It has such a great story for advertisers, from its unique emotional testing and targeting capabilities, to its exclusive relationships with premium publishers. My mission is clear: we’re aiming to become the leading video marketplace for advertisers and agencies by delivering awesome campaign results, superb service and an easy to buy solution.”

Englund joins Unruly from mobile advertising specialists, Widespace, where he was Chief Growth Officer. During his time at Widespace he held several roles, including Sales Director for Finland and Commercial Director for Northern Europe. Englund was one of the early birds and partners at Widespace. Prior to this he was at Schibstedt.

Englund’s appointment comes at a busy time for Unruly’s Nordics operations, as the team expands its footprint across the region. The Swedish office also recently created a local presence for UnrulyEQ, Unruly’s emotional testing and targeting products.  With the appointment of Isabelle Soderhielm as Insights Manager.

Speaking to Englund’s appointment, Jason Trout commented: “Our sales teams in the Nordics have made incredible progress over the past few years to establish Unruly’s presence in the market. Mikael has the perfect mix of leadership skills and adtech experience that will take us to the next level.”

Englund is already in post, based in Unruly’s Stockholm Office.

Interested in working for Unruly? We’re hiring! Check out our vacancies here. 

In 2018, Unruly launched a pro bono charity ad campaign in Sweden to help The Red Cross, the global charity dedicated to supporting communities around the world when crisis strikes.

The ad campaign was designed to generate awareness among donors, increase support of humanitarian causes and compassionate values. The charity also wanted the campaign to generate new leads to grow future donations. 

Harnessing the power of emotional data

The Red Cross partnered with Unruly to harness the power of emotional data and targeting, to ensure the ad campaign was as effective as it could be.

The charity produced three videos which evoked emotions of sadness, pride and warm-heartedness. Audiences also said they felt informed when watching the videos.

Red Cross charity ad campaign

The intended audience was urbanites aged 25 and over. In order to reach this audience the brand used Unruly’s proprietary targeting tool UnrulyEQ to test the videos and find the most engaged audience (bullseye group) to target, and increase the core key performance indicators.

The ad was then targeted at the bullseye audiences and distributed at scale across our Premium Publisher Network. The video players were customised with bespoke brand bars and sharing buttons to boost brand recall and interactions.

Smashing the campaign results

The results were extraordinary. The campaign delivered an amazing 279,769 full completed video views!

What’s more, with the use of the custom audience targeting (building the audience with the most intense emotional response to the video) the campaign achieved an extra 90,000 completed views.The UnrulyEQ Customer Audience targeting video also achieved an uplift click through rate of more than 28% and more than 10% uplift in average time spent with the video.

The campaign over delivered by of 3%, which resulted in 7,042 views in added media value and brand awareness. The total completion rate for boths film was 51.25% which is a great result in comparison to our benchmark. Viewability scored 73.30%, beating MOATs industry benchmark in Sweden of 59.3%. The campaign delivered a total of 3,246 hours spent with brand!

Red Cross charity ad campaign

The Red Cross were extremely impressed with the results which hit all of its campaign objectives and smashed expectations!

“Unruly were quick to understand the needs of our charity ad campaign. Through both analysis and optimisation, Unruly contributed to an increase in engagement and distribution of Red Cross material. The Unruly custom analysis and the emotional data targeting generated increased donations to the Red Cross. This was valuable in helping us hit specific campaign goals and in generating insights which will help to inform our future communication strategy.”

Check out our other case studies.

Click here to get in touch with our team and find out how we could help supercharge your ad campaigns!

Post-GDPR, and before the full roll out of the CCPA, dependencies on third party data sets have been wound down. Marketers and agencies are now looking for signals familiar from traditional advertising buys, but that are often overlooked in programmatic.

This discussion focuses on how marketers are showing an increasing appetite to understand the connection between consumer emotions and digital advertising. Featuring pioneering insight from UnrulyEQ, the chat also addresses the rise of AI and what using traditional targeting methods via modern programmatic technology actually means for those on both the buy and sell sides of advertising.

This recording was taken at Trust Talks: The Great Programmatic Debate which happened in London on 6 November 2018. Speakers are James Chandler – CMO, IAB; Liam Brennan, Global Director of Innovation, MediaCom; Becky Waring, VP Insight, UnrulyEQ; Anna Forbes, UK general Manager, The Trade desk.

On 15th November our Associate Director of Strategic Sales Ella Gribben and VP of Insights Becky Waring will be talking at Mindshare’s Huddle 2018 along with the Visualogical team.

Huddle is a jam-packed event of intimate and no-holds-barred discussions about the future of media, and each year the event focusses on a different subject. This year the focus is on ‘The New Era of Influence’.

The session entitled ‘The Art of Science and Emotions’ will take participants on a journey that explores the different applications of emotional data and demonstrates how emotions provide the competitive edge in a brands media strategy, now and in the future.

From supercharging campaign effectiveness to creating visualisations of our subconscious, emotional data is the new secret sauce that marketers need to pay attention to.

Our expert panel will explore the different ways emotional data can be applied, and the art and science of emotions will be bought to life as the audience can test Unruly’s facial coding for themselves, or participate in Visualogical, and create a digital portrait of their subconscious!

The session will take place in area 62 at 12pm.

Check out the full agenda here.

At ATS London on 10 September, 2018, Ronan Shields, staff writer AdWeek, moderated a panel discussion on the mechanics of publisher monetisation.

He was joined by Karen Eccles, director of digital sales and innovation at The Telegraph; Damon Reeve, CEO, The Ozone Project; Jason Trout, EMEA MD, Unruly; and Jourdain Casale, VP of global intelligence at Index Exchange.

You can watch the full panel below which covers new marketplaces, PMPs versus programmatic and publisher monetization opportunities.

Check out Jason’s thoughts on the panel here.

ABTA’s Over 50s Holiday Market conference, is an annual conference which focuses on key trends, travel insights and innovations for the over 50s.

The event helps companies to discover the importance of segmenting the over 50s market, including new ideas for reaching and engaging the over 50s and the over 70s, and what channels to use. It also covers key product trends, the rise of domestic tourism and how overseas destinations are working to attract this market. There will also be a focus on trends such as adventure travel, multi-generational holidays and the solo traveller.

Unruly’s VP of Strategy Nicola Spooner will be joining the travel innovations panel session at 4:15, leading the debate with an introduction on the innovative ways to engage with the over 50s, how they respond to content, and what their motivations are. She’ll also be speaking about what innovations in products, marketing and customer service, brands within this space should be aware of.

The panel will be moderated by Victoria Bacon, Director of Brand and Business Development, ABTA. The other speakers are Jennie Carr, Creative and Communications Director at Silver Travel Advisor, and Dr Daisy Fan, Lecturer at Bournemouth University.

Check out the full agenda here.

In AdExchanger’s latest podcast, Unruly Media CEO Norm Johnston talks about the evolution of video ads – how they’re bought, how they’re sold and who gets to sell them.

“Nothing against Facebook or Google, but most people would agree they shouldn’t be upwards of 70% of the total industry and 90% of the growth in digital”

Norm talks about how Unruly aims to provide high-quality audiences outside the high-gravity orbits of Google and Facebook.

“Nothing against Facebook or Google, but most people would agree they shouldn’t be upwards of 70% of the total industry and 90% of the growth in digital,” Johnston says. “Most advertisers and agencies are looking to diversify their portfolios.”

The conversation also turned to what UnrulyEQ can do for advertisers. “A lot of advertisers have these wonderful creative agencies that like to win awards and produce beautiful four-minute videos to do that,” Johnston says. “But it doesn’t quite work in programmatic environments and online where you have shorter attention spans … We will find parts of videos that resonate the most strongly. You can cut it up by segment, to target different individuals with different parts of a video that resonate with those groups. If advertisers have a predefined segmentation model with first-party data, it complements that.”

Listen to the podcast:

Read the original article on Adexchanger here.

Last month I was invited along to the ExchangeWire studios to take part in their latest MadTech Podcast as the weeks special guest.

I joined ExchangeWire’s CEO, Ciaran O’Kane, and COO, Rachel Smith to chat about Unruly, programmatic, and the latest trends and news stories from the world of advertising.

During the podcast you can hear us chat and debate about the following topics;

  • Now that Brian O’Kelley is moving on, what does he do next?
  • What can be done to save Johnston Press? And what can ad tech do to help journalism?
  • Has OTT hit a saturation point, and does ad-funded content still have a future?
  • The Unruly solution for buyers and sellers.
  • The shift from IO to programmatic guaranteed, and what that means for the market.
  • The future of independent ad tech, and the differentiation required to survive.

Listen to the podcast:

Read the original article