Washington Post Launches Its First Real-Time Ad Campaign

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Thanks in large part to its personalized news aggregation technology Trove, The Washington Post has recently launched new reading experiences like Social Reader and Personal Post. Now it’s starting to use Trove on the advertising side too, creating ads that pull real-time content from social networks.

Specifically, it’s using this technology for a campaign from the Cleveland Clinic, which is the official sponsor of the TEDMED event (one of the independent, licensed TEDx conferences) in Washington, D.C. The ads will automatically pull headlines and tweets about the TEDMED conference into the clinic’s display ads, and they’re running on The Post’s homepage starting today. (The ads are targeted to a D.C. audience, so if, like me, you live outside the area, you won’t see them.)

The idea of real-time advertising is hardly a new one, but as The Post noted, they’re usually offered by ad tech companies or ad networks. What’s unusual here is that The Post built the technology itself, and it can can sell the ads directly. (Director of Ad Innovations Kelly Andresen is predictably vague about when we might start to see future campaigns: “We are looking at innovative ways to make our Trove platform available to other clients.”)

As for how this relates to Trove’s previous uses, Senior Vice President and Chief Digital Officer Vijay Ravindran says, “The Trove platform was always designed to support a variety of semantic content needs. Today, Trove powers WP Social Reader and Personal Post in addition to the stand alone Trove experience. The experience created for the Cleveland Clinic continues to show versatility and power of the Trove platform and you can expect to see more creative applications built leveraging it.”