A brand can be harmed simply because an online ad is situated in a context that isn’t appropriate for the company involved. No company wants to discover they have spent thousands of dollars (or more) only to have the ad achieve the opposite effect of what was intended. Furthermore, having an ad appear next to content that is contextually negative, inappropriate or offensive can do significant harm to the organization in a short period of time. This impacts not only the reputation of the company but its sales. Brand Safety needs to be a priority for this reason.
Brand Safety refers to tools that help to eliminate problematic advertising with regards to online marketing. Digital advertising, especially on sites such as YouTube, is something a company gives up some control over. For example, a brand advertising on this site needs to feel comfortable their ad won’t show up before content their target audience will find inappropriate or offensive. A company offering leather goods wouldn’t want to appear right before a PETA ad as PETA is known for protesting goods of this type. This is only one instance where brand safety could be compromised by the inappropriate placement of the ad.
A few years ago, the measurement company comScore provided an article regarding ad campaigns and how often they were placed in a contextually inappropriate place. It was found that 72 percent of ad campaigns were placed in an environment that was inappropriate. The question a company must ask is how much harm this will do to their business. How will their target audience act? Brand name recognition is good unless the brand is known for negative reasons. However, research presented at the IAB’s Annual Leadership Meeting found this number to be significantly lower. Brand Safety truly shouldn’t come down to which research a company believes. It is too important to leave to chance, thus it needs to be a priority.
Real Time Bidding
Real time bidding has declined as a result of concerns about the safety of the brand. This type of impression-focused advertising was notorious in the past for placing a brand’s ad next to content that was questionable. Direct programmatic is replacing this type of bidding, as it may be used to ensure the ad is placed only in those areas where the target audience will be left with a favorable impression of the advertiser. Programmatic advertising eliminates the human element and allows machines to determine where ads will be placed.
Contextual targeting is of great importance to make certain a company gets the best return on investment. Brand Safety plays a role in which type of programming should be selected. Be sure to take this into consideration when deciding which option is right for the company, the ad campaign or another factor. Often, companies find they benefit more from direct programmatic than real time bidding.
Brand Safety Tools
A number of tools are now offered to help safeguard a brand. Brand Safety tools include ones that can be plugged into an ad server, and this type of tool allows the advertiser to establish ad campaign parameters to be certain the materials are only placed in contextually appropriate locations. As the company purchasing the ad determines the breadth of the parameters, they may limit the advertising options significantly or allow for more leeway. With direct programmatic advertising the company receives the option of white listing or selecting the desired environment and content types for ad placement. White listing guarantees the ad will only be found on these sites and no others.
When buying privately, companies find they reach a larger portion of the target audience. Furthermore, the ads are placed in a brand-safe environment, and the purchases made are carried out in a data-driven manner. Very few companies want to be associated with a product or service that is sexist, extremist, homophobic or racist, yet this can be an issue with real time bidding. Brand Safety tools help to minimize this problem.
Brand Safety and its importance should never be discounted. Companies that allow their ads to be placed anywhere on the internet, with no regard as to the context of the ad placement, will find they are suffering as a result. Keep the above in mind to ensure this does not become a problem. Organizations that make this a priority find doing so benefits them in a wide range of ways.