WSJ Serves Up Semantically Targeted Ads Programmatically using SmartMatch


Smartology has recently launched a service where it can execute campaign buys programmatically. Its working with a range of premium publishers.

The Wall Street Journal recently began serving up content-driven ads, where a subscriber reading about oil prices might see a display unit with related content – thought leadership from financial advertisers like HSBC, Credit Suisse, Blackrock and ING.

Smartology WSJ Microsoft example of semantically targeted ads
Smartology WSJ Microsoft example of semantically targeted ad

To ensure those ads are next to relevant content, the newspaper works with Smartology’s semantic profiling technology, which scans article content and places semantically targeted ads alongside relevant content.

About a year and a half ago, the Journal ran those campaigns through its ad server. But in Q1 this year, it began running the ads programmatically.

The setup boosted yield for the Journal and gave Smartology access to more of the impressions it wanted to buy.

Smartology couldn’t bid on all the available impressions when it only had access to inventory in the Journal’s waterfall. But the vendor needed to look at more impressions than it could find since it only wants to place ads by articles matching specific semantic profiles.

Since the switch, the Journal has seen an increase in overall revenue coming from Smartology campaigns, because advertisers can place semantically targeted ads next to relevant content more frequently, said the publication’s VP of EMEA advertising sales, Anna Foot.

And there’s more competition. While the advertiser pays a premium for these semantically targeted ads, the Journal still evaluates the bidded CPM against other buyers to make sure it’s slotting in the highest payer.

This process also greatly reduces discrepancies and keeps the ad ops team from having to set up the campaign manually as it would for a direct deal.

Smartology sets up private marketplaces to buy programmatically through Google Ad Exchange and it recently added Index Exchange as a second partner. Smartology originally tried to run the campaigns through DFP First Look, but saw more inventory after switching to preferred and private marketplace deals on Google’s platform.

Brands run across a group of publishers, including other Smartology clients like BBC, CNN and CNBC, with one buy.

This article from Adexchanger explains how.


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