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Bloomberg Media: Driving impact with ads that “ad.apt”

Bloomberg recently launched a set of display ad formats that, while requiring very basic assets from advertisers, deliver higher impact results compared to standard banner ads, and easily adapt cross-screen.

This new format is called ‘ad.apt’ and requires a brand to only submit certain basic assets like headline, brand images and video. Bloomberg Media Group’s new platform then turns them into different ad variations, showcasing video, data or related Bloomberg news articles.

ad.apt also dynamically tailors the ad delivery to viewers, based on their interests, on-site behaviour, and browsing history.

It’s about driving more impact in a more efficient way.

“It’s about driving more impact in a more efficient way,” said Derek Gatts, Global Head of Ad Traffic, Technology, and Product at Bloomberg Media. “Standard banners don’t perform the way anyone would like them to.”

There are already a number of initiatives underway to make the banner ads smarter, whose prices have come down as their effectiveness has been questioned.

Publishers like The New York Times have already rolled out their own flexible display ads that replace standard banner ads.

A few days ago, the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) released the new “IAB Standard Ad Unit Portfolio,” featuring ads that can easily be adjusted to a variety of screen sizes and resolution capabilities.

Developed by the IAB Technology Laboratory, the portfolio’s ad units integrate aspect ratio-based flexible ad sizes, and also incorporate the LEAN Principles of lightweight, encrypted, AdChoices supported, and non-invasive advertising within all of its mobile, display, and native ad formats.

Bloomberg is on a digital transformation journey, evolving its model to adapt to changes, both in consumers and clients. Earlier this year, Bloomberg went behind a paywall after their success with the Businessweek subscription model. On the advertising side, it has ramped up its branded content efforts and grown its ad product portfolio to 21, from just 8 in 2015.

The launch of ad.apt, an innovative ad solution breaking new ground in display advertising, can be considered a continuation of this digital transformation journey.

“ad.apt delivers a range of user experiences featuring video, data and content that can all be switched on with a single set of streamlined brand assets,” Bloomberg announced. “These ads optimize impact without extra lift by dynamically assembling assets to flow onto any screen and any device.”

ad.apt is fully scalable across all of Bloomberg Media Group’s global properties and meets the growing need for ad optimization based on content, audience and distribution performance, while remaining sensitive to editorial context and brand safety.

Bloomberg’s USP is its ability utilise all the data it has on its readers to customize the ad.apt ads. It can test the different formats generated by its platform and then adjust the creative by monitoring where readers hover, pause, tap or click, even down to the colour of the call-to-action buttons or the headline type.

“We’ll be able to say, this particular kind of audience resonates with a red button, this resonates with a blue button; this type of headline resonates with a CEO whereas a CTO resonates with this type,” Gatts told Digiday.

When all the assembled brand assets are dynamically displayed on any screen/device, it automatically enhances ad engagement and optimizes user experience. The dynamic elements of ad.apt include:

  • ad.apt data: Integrates Bloomberg’s relevant data intelligence with a brand’s story, providing real-time information to Bloomberg users as they engage with market-moving news
  • ad.apt story: Engages Bloomberg audiences with content that inspires and informs, by aligning with select Bloomberg topics or showcasing custom brand narratives
  • ad.apt play: Highlights brand videos that are shared cinematically at scale, across screens
  • ad.apt brand: Designed to deliver maximum brand impact with minimum brand resources

The company believes that utilizing the full ad.apt product suite will allow brands to optimize user experiences to achieve specific performance goals, from awareness and understanding to interaction, engagement and more.

Cisco is the first advertiser to use the ad format, and a few others—including a couple of luxury advertisers, who are very particular about how they advertise their brands—have also signed on, Gatts mentioned.

The company expects these ad formats to become an important revenue producer, but it is already looking beyond ad revenue, to applications for the editorial side.

The more it serves this new ad type, it will generate increasing amounts of data from these campaigns. Eventually, it may use what it learns to personalize the site’s editorial content for each visitor.

In an ever-changing digital environment, the advertising industry is shifting to deliver a single cross-screen ad solution, and with ad.apt, Bloomberg Media Group has built a cross-platform ad unit that is positioned to be premium yet turn-key.


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