As big brands move more of their ad budgets online, what they want most is not just to capture clicks, but to capture the attention and mindshare of consumers. The buzzword in the online advertising industry for this attention capturing quality is “engagement.” Every ad platform out there is promising to deliver more consumer engagement. Today, Glam Media, which itself is both a publisher of women’s sites and an ad network, announced an entirely new ad-serving technology platform called Glam Adapt it’s built over the past 18 months to help brands find and target the most engaged consumers.
GlamAdapt works with existing ad-serving technologies and networks such as DoubleClick, Atalas, and Eyeblaster, but Glam CEO Samir Arora has bigger ambitions for it. “It also can be used as a complete replacement for Doubleclick,” he says. GlamAdapt came out of his own frustrations as a publisher and ad network. “We were running into a wall in terms of having technology that do what the brands are asking,” says Arora: “targeted properly, engaging, detailed analytics and reporting, the aha of television. I decided to build a third generation ad-serving stack that can work with existing technologies.”
The current generation of ad-serving technologies, he points out, are built to “optimize clicks.” GlamAdapt is built around a broad set of engagement metrics, including audience targeting (demographics, location, income), contextual targeting (by topic, page placement, etc.), by device or ad type (display, video, iPhone, iPad, smartphone), brand metrics (such as sentiment), content metrics (by the authority of the source), and social metrics (such as buzz on Twitter, Facebook, etc). GlamAdapt includes a content rank, which aims to augment Pagerank as a way to determine which pages might be the best for a brand to place their ads on. Content rank will take into account the authority of a source down to the author level, social buzz, sentiment, as well as how much that article is being linked to.
GlamAdapt is built on open APIs which other partners can build on top of to create their own brand engagement targeting capabilities. Arora gives the example of a sun screen manufacturer who was testing the system in beta and wanted to target ads to people in cities with the highest levels of ultraviolet radiation. So it imported its own geo-data for UV levels across thecomScore, country and used that to target ads. Partners like Quantcast, and Pointroll can build in their own targeting capabilities tied to their existing data. For instance, a brand could target based on Quantcast or comScore demographic variables.