Why Contextual Ads Are Generating More Interest

Increased attention to consumer privacy is shifting the way advertisers do business. One of these shifts is the increased embrace of contextual advertising, which shows Internet users ads based on the content of the sites they’re searching, not based on their previous digital activity.

I checked in with John Clavadetscher, president and chief commercial officer at Cooler Screens, for more on why brands are taking up contextual ads and what benefits the format offers.

Why are contextual ads getting more attention now as the online privacy movement is heating up?

Marketing has always been governed by two key tenets: Marketing works best when it is targeted, and marketing is most efficient when it is at scale. With the rise of GDPR and CCPA bringing to light the lack of transparency surrounding data privacy, consumers have taken note of the brands that are evolving their business practices in a way that protects their privacy and those that are not.

For this reason, we’re seeing more brands turn to contextual advertising, as it’s an alternative way to elevate the overall shopping experience without compromising the privacy of consumers. These contextual marketplaces help win with the consumer and the brands.

What are the benefits of contextual advertising?

Marketplaces have always been important as they are contextual in their design, and they help increase brand awareness and drive sales.  At Cooler Screens, our contextual advertising creates a pure marketplace that does not compromise the privacy of the consumer.

How can brands seek out contextual advertising opportunities? 

Brands looking to tap into contextual advertising opportunities should consider adopting an identity-blind business model instead of relying on the traditional tactic of using personally identifiable information (PII) to guide their advertising spend. Unlike traditional digital models, the identity-blind advertising model achieves the same level of sales results without compromising the privacy of consumers.

How can brands and publishers implement contextual ads?

Brands and publishers can implement contextual ads by leveraging context to inform the content they create rather than using consumer data. Taking this approach will not only allow brands and publishers to avoid violating consumer privacy concerns but will enable them to provide better experiences and the ability to compete against the walled gardens.

This interview has been edited for clarity and length.

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Joe Zappa is the Managing Editor of Street Fight. He joined Street Fight as a contributing writer in 2015, has compiled the daily newsletter since 2016, and has spearheaded the newsroom's editorial operations since 2018. Shoot him an email at jzappa@streetfightmag.com.