The Evolution of Brand Safety and Context in Advertising

by silverpush

After the year 2020, the advertising industry has experienced a dramatic increase in demand for brand safety and context. “What might be the cause?”was the key dilemma for many advertisers.

Brand safety crisis and ban on third-party cookies are the primary cause of this move.

Many of us are well aware of the brand safety crisis, which was a watershed event for digital advertising. This made YouTube take immediate action and alter its rules to prohibit any video with fewer than 10,000 views from displaying advertisements.

But, the damage had already been done for consumers, and the fault was fully placed at the feet of companies.

According to statistics at the time, two-thirds of consumers felt businesses had complete control over where their advertisements were displayed. 

While 77% said advertising next to ‘unsavoury or disagreeable’ content harmed their opinion of a company.

According to a recent study, 46% feel an inadequate brand suitability strategy leads to a loss of client confidence.

Moreover, the restriction on third-party cookies by major online browsers and search engines is the primary cause for the emergence of context in advertising.

With video channels gaining a larger percentage of marketing budgets, organisations must immediately ensure their safety procedures and contextual targeting are up to date.

Comparison : Then and Now

Brand safety in digital advertising has evolved at a fast rate. Conventional  brand safety avoidance methods remain important, but the discussion now is about using nuance by creating brand profiles to actively identify safe and relevant environments.

Continue reading to learn how much brand safety and context have evolved between then and today.

Standard Procedure Followed in Brand Safety

Traditional brand safety strategies assist advertisers in removing common brand safety hazards, reducing wasted cost, and aligning brand safety with industry norms.

Its key strategies are as follows:

  1. Using keyword blocking
  2. Uses URL Blocklists to target conventional brand safety hazards such as drugs, alcohol, and so on.

One important issue with these approaches is that they do not take context into account when blocklisting keywords. Depending on the context, a single word might have several definitions and interpretations.

For example, the term “shot” may be employed in a variety of settings, including healthcare, athletics, ambition, and photography.

Advanced Brand Safety Methods 

Modern brand safety methods seek environments that complement their company’s identity and purpose.

These solutions are meant to assist prevent brand-specific vs. standard hazards by catering to the particular demands and tolerance levels of each brands or campaigns.

It operates on the following characteristics:

  • Leverages contextual knowledge 
  • Considers brand personality and purpose 
  • Adopts a customised approach to brand safety 
  • Considers brand personality and purpose

What is Contextual Intelligence?

Technology that connects marketers and publishers to preferred settings while maximising security and driving relationships with appropriate consumers.

It is the technology that allows marketers and publishers to interact with targeted surroundings while also maximising security and building relationships with relevant audiences. Here’s a timeline of how it’s changed throughout the years:

  • Domain level in the 1990s

Contextual targeting was only accessible at the domain level through the use of broad, predefined keywords.

  • Content level advancements in the 2000s 

Permitted analysis of individual pages, resulting in greater accuracy.

  • Beyond content in the 2010s

Contextual advertising has moved beyond text-based classification to include human and observable categorisation.

  • New horizons in the 2020s

Context may now comprehend a whole picture that includes video, image, music, and page quality.

Path to Evolving Brand Safety and Context in Digital Advertising 

Brand suitability when powered by contextual intelligence, involves analyzing content beyond URLs and keywords to determine the relationship between terms and phrases, and the broader meaning they depict.

Contextual intelligence technology, on the other hand, analyses the entire page for underlying meaning and accounts for it.

Moving Towards First-Party Data Strategies

With the web’s emphasis on privacy and security, major internet browser providers such as Mozilla Firefox and Apple have been compelled to phase out third-party cookies. Furthermore, Google Chrome is on a similar path to prohibiting third-party cookies by the end of 2023.

This has heightened the value of first-party data. Rapid repairs are no longer an option in a first-party situation where media owners’ assets have become important. A decision in one area will have repercussions in other areas of the company.

What are some of the steps that will be taken by the adtech industry in the coming years:

  • Adoption of ad-blocking technologies
  • Highly volatile news environments
  • Through custom brand safety and page-level targeting
  • Avoid particular brand risks while not losing out on chances.

Final Words

Brand safety need more than a “one-size-fits-all” strategy across whole digital initiatives. There are nuances that are unique to different channels that must be considered when developing brand safety criteria to safeguard your brand from appearing alongside unsavoury material.

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