BrightRoll Joins clypd in Taking First Step Toward Programmatic TV

Last week, clypd announced the industry’s first Application Programming Interface (API) for programmatic television advertising. The API marks a milestone in the landscape of television advertising towards bringing an automated, data-driven solution to the way television advertising is bought and sold, and BrightRoll is on board. Through this collaboration with clypd, BrightRoll will integrate linear and set-top-box VOD capabilities into the BrightRoll platform allowing clients to buy inventory from television providers like Cox, DISH and others. The API will allow for the automation of the full campaign workflow, from planning and targeting to execution, delivery, and reporting. Further details regarding the announcement can be found in the press release from clypd or in this article from ADWEEK, which features a quote from our VP of Business Development, Brent Horowitz: “The world of TV and digital advertising are colliding and major players in programmatic video are investing in technology to enable cross-screen execution—but there’s still a long way to go before standards, workflow and measurement allow buyers and sellers to transact across screens.”

We believe the power of video transcends screens and it will soon be table stakes for any major platform in the video advertising world to allow buyers and sellers to transact against inventory across screens, including traditional linear TV. BrightRoll is taking a leadership role to align digital and TV advertising in order to make linear TV inventory easy to buy, deliver and measure across all video ad campaigns. To reach this goal, BrightRoll is collaborating with a number of key companies and organizations across the broader ecosystem, including the IAB, SCTE, CIMM and others.

Creative Shares Spotlight with Data and Programmatic at Cannes 2014

Martin Sorrell summarized it perfectly when he pointed out that ‘Mad Men’s’ Don Draper would be perplexed by today’s advertising world and its shift in focus towards “Math Men” and data-driven advertising. Speaking ahead of Cannes Lions 2014, Sorrell said the emergence of programmatic was now materially impacting the annual advertising jamboree – pointing out that Cannes now had award categories for data and data visualisation. To this point Sorrell stated, “This balance of Mad Men and Math Men, of art and science, left brain, right brain is really very important and we have to understand it.”

Sorrell’s comments have been made clear over the duration of Cannes Lions 2014, as debate, argument and revelations around programmatic and automation has been one of the dominant themes of a festival that is usually synonymous with creativity. While Cannes 2014 hosted a number of dedicated sessions on programmatic, it has been noteworthy that the subject matter has reared its head in plenty of others, as eager marketers and media executives look to plunder the latest insight by questioning session speakers on their automation strategy. Even outside of the Palais, the chat has been about programmatic on La Croisette on the way to the Carlton hotel.

So what have been the key themes and where is the debate heading? The festival has revealed that programmatic has flourished well beyond its digital display and video routes, and is now extending its wings into TV and other media. This was evidenced by digital advertising specialist Rocket Fuel, who hosted a session in which its president Richard Frankel shined light on how agencies are using programmatic platforms to complete TV buys. If this wasn’t enough, Frankel also wowed the Cannes audience by revealing how big-ticket advertisers like BMW and Lufthansa are using artificial intelligence to automate and optimize web, mobile and social campaigns.

What Cannes has showed is that there is no longer a debate about the impact and influence of programmatic: it is big, highly influential and is going to get bigger; the debate is now about what slice of advertising pie programmatic will make up. While many see traditional brand advertising working hand-in-glove with automated means of buying advertising, there still remains debate around the virtues of each.

Johah Peretti, Buzzfeed chief executive, expressed this debate in a session hosted by media agency Mindshare and presented by Marketing Week editor Ruth Mortimer. Peretti explained, “We are in the business of brand advertising primarily, so when search and programmatic say they have high measurability, mostly what they are doing is finding people who are already going to buy a product and capture the last click to take credit for it.”

Debate is good, and let’s hope it continues, as that is how advertising models develop and improve. Meanwhile, coinciding with Cannes Lions 2014, ISBA made an announcement underscoring the importance of automated trading. From September this year, the advertising trade body will provide Real Time Advertising (RTA) courses for its members. This confirms what many have known for some time: knowledge of the area is now a prerequisite working in the industry.

-Andy Mitchell, Managing Director, BrightRoll Europe

BrightRoll Ranks #27: CNBC Disruptor 50

BrightRoll is excited to share that we have been named number 27 on CNBC’s second annual Tech Disruptors List, which highlights the 50 most disruptive innovators in 2014. BrightRoll was nominated and chosen from over 500 companies around the world to be recognized this year. Our company appears alongside an impressive roster of innovative companies, including SpaceX, Uber and Pinterest, among others.

The featured private companies are deemed remarkable by CNBC for having identified an unexploited niche in the market and rushed to fill it, all the while pushing the boundaries of the status quo. In the process, listed companies have built ecosystems for new products and services and turned traditional sectors upside down. We are incredibly proud to have our innovations recognized by CNBC and congratulations to the rest of the disruptors who made this year’s list.

BrightRoll Brings Programmatic Insights to Cannes Lions

There is little doubt that video and programmatic buying are two of the hottest topics in the digital advertising industry. The growth in video advertising, propelled by programmatic buying, has been stellar in recent years, outpacing that of TV and other media. It is also worth reminding ourselves that video advertising has grown from a £4m industry in the UK in 2008 to £325m last year, with year-on-year growth of 65%, according to the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB). So, as I head off to the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity in the South of France this week, the presentation I will be giving as part of my TechTalk sessions seems even more timely.

Cannes Lions is one of the biggest European events for advertisers and the TechTalk sessions are some of the most highly sought after. With ad tech already making a big splash at Cannes this year, the sessions will feature revolutionary research alongside interactive presentations from BrightRoll and other forward-thinking digital companies. We are honored that BrightRoll has an opportunity to be a part of the discussion.

During my presentation I will provide insight into the broader impacts and benefits that programmatic brings to the industry, as well as address key topics that are still percolating within the industry, particularly around measurement. Central to the discussion will be the idea of shifting forward the debate around programmatic buying, with a focus on discussing why advertisers need to be positioned at the ‘point of most knowledge’ so they can closely track and monitor their ad campaigns. More information about the presentation can be found below:

Knowledge is power: Why business intelligence is the missing link in the programmatic value chain

Thursday, June 19, 2014
Session 1: 11:00am – 11:30am
Session 2: 3:00pm – 3:30pm
Location: Young Lions Zone (YLZ), Level 1 in the Palais

In addition, BrightRoll will be conducting a survey at the event to understand whether or not people believe budgets are shifting from TV to digital video. The BrightRoll team will be handing out surveys before each session and along la Croisette over the next few days. Make sure you look out for the team and snag a pair of BrightRoll sunglasses or sun screen to help you survive the glorious Cannes weather.

-Andy Mitchell, Managing Director, BrightRoll Europe

BrightRoll Addresses Hottest Topics at Key Industry Events

Last week a handful of BrightRoll executives spent time in New York to represent the company at three separate industry events. Each event covered the hottest topics circulating the digital advertising marketplace and BrightRoll was there to contribute to the discussion:

ARF Audience Measurement 2014: The Measurement Mandate

The ARF event took a deep dive on how programmatic buying and big data enables better decision making, featuring thought leadership from a number of industry experts. Tim Avila, SVP of Marketing Operations at BrightRoll, took the stage with Amaya Garbayo, Associate Director of Analytics & Portfolio Solutions at Kellogg, to present findings from a recent joint study on viewability. Below are some key takeaways from the event:

  • Advertising that is not seen cannot make an impression and it’s imperative for measurement companies to invest in developing solutions to measure the viewability of digital video advertising.
  • Select the right viewability measurement partner — independent, third-party measurement is preferred as a way to ensure measurement free of conflicts of interest.
  • Kellogg discerns a positive relationship between the percent of viewable impressions within a campaign and the ability to drive sales lift.

Videonomics Executive Roundtable

The NYC Roundtable brought together over 40 top brand marketers, agency executives and media professionals to discuss some of the biggest challenges in video advertising today. Joining the discussion, Tim Avila and Brent Horowitz, VP of Business Development at BrightRoll, invited Amaya Garbayo of Kellogg to provide a brand’s perspective to this conversation and took the opportunity to frame and lead the conversation on viewability. Key takeaways from the event include:

  • Agencies are on board to adopt the new viewability standard and are interested in optimizing campaigns for high viewability.
  • Publishers, like Yahoo, are thinking a lot about how to ensure maximum viewability for ads.
  • Brands continue to expect that the ads they buy will make an impression on viewers, which is why its imperative to find an independent, third-party measurement company to validate campaigns.

IAB Ad Tech Marketplace

The IAB Advertising Technology Marketplace brought together nearly 400 professionals from both the business and technology sides of the ad tech industry. The event focused on the seismic shifts programmatic has created within the marketplace, covering industry standards and best practices. Brad Piggott Vice President, Platform Solutions at BrightRoll, joined the event to discuss the power of programmatic platforms. Key takeaways from the event included:

  • Inventory quality and ad fraud are currently the hottest topics in the industry, indicating the industry is aware and closer to solutions than ever before.
  • The term “platform” is a term that is used loosely within the industry and many still do not understand what a platform actually is.
  • Transparency of business practices is a topic bubbling under the surface and advertisers truly want to understand where their budgets are actually going.

BrightRoll is committed to lending thought leadership on the hottest topics relating to the digital video ad landscape. Check out our upcoming events in the BrightRoll Newsroom and stay tuned for upcoming BrightRoll Video Summits coming to New York, London and Toronto this fall.

Maximize Campaign Efficacy with Performance Targeting: New to the BrightRoll Console

Easy-to-use customizable inventory filter

Campaign managers need to be armed with inventory performance data on an on-going basis, most importantly during the planning stage. In turn, this helps align a campaign closer to its goals.

Performance targeting

This new feature on the console enables buyers to easily plan and align inventory targeting parameters with their campaign goals through a streamlined workflow. Using data based on a 30-day average and real-time updates, customers can view, filter and select inventory according to key performance metrics including daily impressions, completion rate, and click-through rate across sites on the BrightRoll platform to result in maximized campaign performance and efficacy.

Users can sort, filter and target inventory based on performance data that aligns with an advertiser’s campaign goals:

1. Improve campaign performance with real-time data to deliver precise insight into inventory characteristics.

2. Easily select sites that match KPIs through streamlined search results for sites that meet performance goals by enabling users to filter inventory by desired performance metric(s).

3. Make informed decisions real time with actionable insights from historic and current campaigns to deliver against key goals on campaigns.

Check out more about the BrightRoll console and the suite of features transforming programmatic buying.

Digital Video Drives Traveler Purchase Decisions

Vacation season has arrived and travelers are turning to video to help guide their next adventure. The ability of travel-related video ads to tell short stories that elicit an emotional and persuasive response by viewers has directly inspired 60 percent of leisure travelers in the US to start thinking of their next getaway. According to a 2013 Google and Ipsos Media CT study, digital video is a major influencer that drives prospective customers from the consideration phase to purchasing mode. Specifically, travelers have had the following behaviors after watching online travel-related video advertising:

  • 64 percent decide to take a trip
  • 63 percent choose a destination
  • 52 percent decide on accommodations
  • 29 percent select a website to purchase travel services

The takeaway? These prospective customers are exceedingly receptive to travel-related online video ads. Based on a this study, online video ads prompted 49 percent of leisure travelers to visit an advertiser’s website, while 42 percent of leisure travelers discovered a new travel brand through video advertising. If you are a travel-related advertiser, video advertising may just be the best format to create the brand awareness, consideration and buying behavior you’re looking for.

For the month of April, comScore reported that 58 million US leisure travelers watched digital video. With our industry-leading reach and scale, BrightRoll can help travel-related advertisers connect with 86 percent of these leisure travelers through digital video advertising. Not only that, our analysis of campaigns delivered in May shows that click-through rates are two times higher during the evening and late fringe hours (6pm-10pm), while weekends are the best days of the week to generate the highest completed view rates and click-through rates. As the largest digital video ad platform, BrightRoll has access to billions of data points from live campaigns that provide advertisers with these types of data-driven insights to execute and optimize their ads at the right time, on the right device to the right audience.

CEO POV: Combating Traffic Fraud in Video

The problem of fraud in the digital advertising industry has garnered significant attention this year. In February, Randall Rothenberg, president and CEO of the IAB, called on the digital advertising industry to protect our supply chain. A number of business publications have chronicled examples of the problem. In reality, this is not a new problem — both Google and Yahoo faced and settled lawsuits over click fraud a decade ago. However, the rapid growth of programmatic buying and selling of advertising has increased the scale of the problem. Rothenberg is right. As an industry, the solution to this issue requires collective action.

At BrightRoll, we have focused exclusively on building technology to automate and improve digital video advertising since our founding seven years ago. Today we operate the single largest digital video marketplace and advertising platform in the industry. This provides us a unique and powerful view of the selling and buying behaviors within the digital video advertising ecosystem. It also makes platforms like ours strategically important weapons to combat fraud. We take this responsibility seriously and are working with the IAB and the industry to lead efforts to combat fraud.

While the industry works to create mechanisms to solve this problem, BrightRoll is taking proactive steps to identify invalid traffic and reduce financial incentives for malicious actors.  No single company can solve the problem unilaterally, however we are taking important steps to protect the ecosystem from this abuse. Our strategy to combat traffic fraud is built upon four guiding principles:

1. Independent, accredited measurement and validation: We believe in independent, accredited measurement and validation when it comes to providing brands assurance their campaigns are not impacted. BrightRoll has partnerships with leading fraud detection, verification, and measurement companies including DoubleVerify, Integral Ad Science and Moat.

2. Proprietary technology: We develop and employ our own technology to identify fraudulent sites and impressions, and we actively block tens of millions of fraudulent impressions daily from running on campaigns. In 2011, BrightRoll launched VideoRank, the video industry’s first fraud avoidance technology, and we have continued to innovate upon this proprietary solution.

3. Human curation: We maintain a team of more than 25 inventory-focused analysts and data scientists who proactively review and monitor the quality of traffic on the BrightRoll platform and are responsible for investigating any claims of illegitimate activity. BrightRoll also has an executive committee on inventory quality.

4. Leading industry task force: We are a founding member of the IAB Traffic of Good Intent (TOGI) task force working on a collective approach to addressing the issue of fraud within the digital advertising industry. This group is working on tangible, industry-wide collective actions we can take to mitigate fraud.

I am personally committed to leveraging the full force of our people and technology to address this complex and concerning problem that jeopardizes the future of the industry. However, we can’t eradicate this problem alone — ultimately, it will require the full support and collaboration of all participants in the ecosystem.

-Tod Sacerdoti

Segment pixel management and planner: new to the BrightRoll console

Planning and targeting are two critical stages of the campaign planning process. Two new features on the BrightRoll console are focused on ensuring that advertisers are able to reach the right set of audiences for the right amount of campaign dollars, starting from the planning stage.

Segment pixel management

Precision in audience reach is critical for a high performing campaign. Advertisers look to reconnect with audiences that have indicated some interest in or have taken a positive action toward the brand. This easy-to-use feature enables buyers to build custom audience segments to retarget or de-target a group from a video ad campaign based on two parameters: past user engagement from existing campaigns and/or previous actions on owned properties. This feature also further simplifies the often tedious pixel management process with the following capabilities:

  • Piggyback pixels to track this segment in another system.

  • One-click copy to quickly copy pixels in HTML or URL formats with one click to instantaneously link pixels to creative assets.

  • Bulk edit to efficiently edit pixels with bulk editing functionality across creative assets.


BrightRoll offers a robust suite of planning tools to address buyers’ diverse business needs. Planner uses a proprietary algorithm that leverages insights from the BrightRoll platform to ensure buyers can make smart decisions with transparency into potential campaign performance. Supported by a dynamic interactive graph, the tool provides buyers with the following forecasts based on campaign planning information:

  • Maximum bid

  • Available impressions

  • Average click-through rates

  • Average completed view rates

  • Total cost

Key benefits of this tool include:

  • Save time with quick and easy input of campaign information

  • Quick responses to RFPs/RFIs

  • Tailor plans to core campaign goals

  • Create a campaign with a single click

  • Deliver ads to unique viewers

  • Reduce spend waste

Check out more about the BrightRoll console and the suite of features transforming programmatic buying.

The Pros and Cons of Mobile Geo-targeting

BrightRoll has been at the forefront of mobile video advertising. We were the first to develop a mobile video marketplace, which connected thousands of popular app developers to the growing advertiser demand to reach audiences on their mobile phones and tablets.

Today, reaching an advertiser’s target consumer in mobile presents both unique opportunities and challenges when compared to targeting these same consumers in a desktop web environment. The ability to reach audiences on specific device models or operating systems provides mobile manufacturers with an attractive targeting option for their latest product launch. Conversely, privacy concerns and an inability to deliver to certain mobile targeting parameters at scale have tempered advertisers’ appetite to move more media dollars toward their mobile marketing initiatives.

Last year, the Mobile Marketing Association (MMA) published an exhaustive reference guide of geo-targeting options for advertisers. Three methods of geo-targeting stand out due to their recognition and adoption by the advertising industry. These have been reprinted with permission from the MMA.

1. IP address: The IP address can be used to determine the approximate location of the device when connected to a Wi-Fi network.

  • Pros: Using IP addresses requires nothing but an Internet connection: no cell signal, no GPS.

  • Cons: With the lack of accuracy of tracking, it is not geo-precise.

2. Wi-Fi triangulation: The Wi-Fi triangulation system looks for and examines the strength of all nearby Wi-Fi systems in relation to a specific device. The localization technique used for positioning with wireless access points is based on measuring the intensity of the received signal.

  • Pros: The system can provide location-discovery capabilities indoors and in dense urban areas.

  • Cons: Wi-Fi must be turned ON user phones and accuracy depends on the number of Wi-Fi hotspots that are available in the area. As a result, this method typically reaches a limited audience. In addition, the processing time involved in triangulation may cause latency in the communication of this location information.

3. Global positioning system (GPS): GPS is a satellite-based system that is considered the gold standard of location data as it is among the most accurate of methods; it provides the actual latitude and longitude (lat/long) of the device.

  • Pros: All modern smartphones have GPS capability. The signal is geo-precise, timely, and does not require sign-in like Wi-Fi; it is passively active if the consumer has opted in to allow access to this information.

  • Cons: This method is considered geo-precise and therefore has significant privacy implications. It also requires users to have GPS turned on and to activate location sharing, losing those potential customers who don’t. GPS also has limitations when used indoors due to interference with building structures. Due to the small targeting area (as determined by the lat/long coordinates), this method also reaches a limited audience.

One commonality that can be inferred from reviewing these three targeting methods is that there is an inverse relationship between accuracy and scale when choosing a mobile geo-targeting option. Simply put, the more accurate the targeting method selected, the smaller the audience pool you are able to reach.