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Q&A with Ria Madrid: BrandDiscovery offers a unique opportunity for SSPs and DSPs

With the explosion of content available across ad-supported streaming services, the need for SSPs and DSPs to offer unique, yet scalable solutions has never been more critical. The capacity to provide advanced, innovative targeting strategies and deliver high-quality, contextually relevant ads becomes a key differentiator.

In this Q&A session with Ria Madrid, Vice President of Advertising at Wurl, we delve into the evolving challenges of CTV advertising and the strategic importance of differentiation for SSPs and DSPs. Ria shares her insights on why and how SSPs and DSPs must adapt to the next wave of value-add for their offerings, and how Wurl’s BrandDiscovery is pioneering this shift towards targeted, scalable, and effective advertising solutions.

With increasing demand for contextual targeting, how can BrandDiscovery provide a competitive edge to SSPs and DSPs?

Ria Madrid: I see BrandDiscovery as a huge step forward in building a more advantageous ecosystem for all parties. There has been a lot of interest in contextual targeting because everyone benefits from well-placed ads: viewers get a more relevant, personalized experience and advertisers see greater brand lift and ROAS. When SSPs/DSPs can provide the tools to facilitate these transactions in a seamless way, advertisers can discover a powerful performance channel while suppliers unlock new ways to monetize their content. Contextual targeting solutions are proving to be highly effective and should help advertisers justify shifting more budget to CTV.

One of the unique benefits of BrandDiscovery is its ability to analyze and target streaming content at the scene level, in real time. This provides advertisers advanced controls to align their ads with content – helping them to capture positive viewer attention, and ultimately, drive performance. For SSPs in particular, this lends a strong value proposition to their customers: AI-powered contextual segmentation and targeting provides an easy workaround for a lot of the transparency challenges found in the programmatic marketplace today. Inventory enriched with BrandDiscovery signals provides publishers with a zero-lift solution to provide advertisers with the targeting precision they need.

As advertisers seek more targeted and effective ways to reach their audience, the depth of insight offered by BrandDiscovery enables forward-thinking SSPs to meet these needs.

What’s the benefit of scene-level analysis of content, and how does BrandDiscovery minimize operational lift?

Ria Madrid: BrandDiscovery’s scene-level analysis of content provides access to a more refined and targeted advertising capability. After all, content varies significantly within programming. Some scenes may be laugh-out-loud funny, while others make you run for the tissue box. Scenes may cross-genre categories as well — think of news shows, which may include reporting on sports, weather, entertainment etc. This deep level of content analysis ensures that ads are placed within the most appropriate context, enhancing the effectiveness and relevance of the advertising to viewers.

Combining scene-level analysis with the power of GenAI has also enabled Wurl to unlock new types of contextual targeting, including targeting ads based on emotions. The introduction of emotional alignment in advertising is a game-changer. Independent research, as well as studies carried out by Wurl through the development of BrandDiscovery, have demonstrated that ads that resonate emotionally with the content they follow can enhance performance by 2-3 times. SSPs can now offer advertisers the opportunity to ensure their ads not only reach the viewer but do so at a moment when the audience is most receptive, based on the emotional tone of the content.

BrandDiscovery’s technology also minimizes operational lift for SSPs and DSPs by seamlessly integrating into existing infrastructures. This enables these platforms to quickly adapt and offer advanced contextual targeting without significant adjustments to their current systems. This “no lift, high return” approach allows SSPs and DSPs to enhance their service offerings with minimal effort.

Considering the challenges related to brand safety, how does BrandDiscovery’s approach differ from existing solutions?

Ria Madrid: BrandDiscovery ensures a brand safe environment by incorporating its advanced AI-driven analysis directly into the scene-level categorization of the content. Evaluating content in real-time allows for a nuanced determination of brand safety that surpasses the capabilities of traditional keyword or metadata-based filtering systems.

If we think back to the very start of media buying, when television stations had start-up and close-down times, TV ad buyers would sit and watch all the upcoming programming, looking for the best placements — and contexts to avoid. Today, there is endless choice when it comes to streaming content. Between live and on-demand options, it is an impossible task for a human being to consume and evaluate content, at scale, and determine what is and isn’t safe for their brand. But using BrandDiscovery’s GenAI ‘viewer,’ you can access that level of insight with both efficiency and precision. Our system watches everything and automatically categorizes it in real-time.

BrandDiscovery can more accurately align ads with brand-safe environments, reducing the risk of ads appearing next to unsuitable content.

In the context of a cookieless future, how does BrandDiscovery position itself to enhance the value of CTV advertising for SSPs and DSPs, and what implications does this have for moving advertising dollars from mobile and web to CTV?

Ria Madrid: Anything that potentially shifts ad dollars away from mobile and web creates an opportunity for CTV. As advertisers start preparing for a cookieless future, there will no doubt be challenges along the way. BrandDiscovery seeks to be a solution partner and key value driver in this scenario, since CTV already doesn’t rely on cookies. Instead, BrandDiscovery will provide advertisers the tools they need to get in front of the right audience, at the right time — all on the largest screen in the home.

The implications of this are huge, as we start to view CTV advertising as more of a measurable, performance-based channel that advertisers are used to on mobile and web, all while retaining all the emotional and brand-building power we are used to from linear programming.

With over 60 billion CTV impressions in the US, and no data fees, BrandDiscovery provides an easy path for marketers looking to test new strategies in CTV. Talk to us today to find out how you can benefit.

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