Innovative @PlaceExchange Geospatial Ad Units

Adrian J Cotterill, Editor-in-Chief

Place Exchange has launched geospatial ad units for mobility media, spanning all of Place Exchange’s mobility partners, including Curb, Firefly, Lyft Halo, Octopus, Road Runner Media and Uber OOH.

Yahoo’s Stephanie Gutnik said “Through our integration with Place Exchange, Yahoo is one of the first DSPs to leverage this capability.”

This innovation turns discrete geographic locations, such as zip codes, into ad units, allowing buyers to target and deliver ads on mobility media screens that pass through each location.

This dramatically improves the accuracy of targeted ad delivery and forecasting capabilities for buyers in their DSPs, as compared to traditional approaches that assign fixed locations to individual vehicles.

Geospatial ad units also provide full transparency to buyers with regards to the publisher and precise location at the time of ad delivery, while protecting privacy by eliminating vehicle-based identification.

Mobility media, also known as moving media, is one of the most dynamic and effective formats in OOH yet, despite the power and ubiquity of mobility media, advertisers and agencies have struggled to understand its role in the mix, as it has long suffered from the rigid planning tools historically built for buying stationary OOH inventory.

Having to fit a square peg in a round hole, mobility media owners had to assign a single fixed location to each vehicle as if it was stationary, when in reality each vehicle is constantly on the move, reaching consumers in many locations. Using this sub-optimal approach, buyers would plan against the cars assigned to a specific location in a market, when in reality a car assigned to a garage in Brooklyn may have spent most of its day in Manhattan. Furthermore, some DSP planning tools dedupe for the same location, which can leave a mobility media owner’s screen counts grossly underrepresented if they registered multiple vehicles with the same location.

Stephanie Gutnik, Global Head of DOOH at Yahoo said “This is an exciting improvement in planning and targeting for DOOH and unlocks moving media to a greater variety of campaigns. Through our integration with Place Exchange, Yahoo is one of the first DSPs to leverage this capability, enabling clients to reach and engage consumers through this unique and powerful real-world medium.”

Geospatial ad units also address another key challenge mobility media has faced: privacy. The traditional approach of using vehicle-based identifiers could open the door to tracking the locations of specific vehicles and their owners and passengers.

By contrast, geospatial ad units do not involve identifying specific vehicles. Buyers can forecast and target mobility advertising to precise locations, but cannot identify the individual vehicles on which those ads run. For example, a buyer can use geospatial ad units to target ads to any custom-defined area such as “downtown Los Angeles,” “near grocery stores,” “at airports,” or “around Madison Square Garden.” As each vehicle enters the designated location, its screens become part of that geospatial ad unit for as long as the vehicle remains in that location, but the buyer cannot identify the individual vehicles visiting the area. In this respect, it is exactly analogous to contextual targeting online – a buyer may contextually target a sports website to reach sports enthusiasts, but by doing so would not be able to identify the individual visitors to the website.

Nick Bennett, SVP Partnerships at Place Exchange said “As an industry, OOH must continue to place privacy at the center of our decision process, especially for new, innovative formats such as mobility media. Digital Out of Home media is more trusted by consumers than any other digital channel, and we want to keep it that way.”

Place Exchange’s implementation of geospatial ad units for all existing and future mobility media partners has attracted interest from numerous advertisers, agencies, and DSPs.

Roey Franco, Senior Vice President, Product at Firefly told us “Firefly was motivated to partner with Place Exchange when we first released geospatial ad units to market as we saw a critical need to accurately represent our inventory to buyers accessing it programmatically. We are now thrilled to see Place Exchange push this approach forward as the standard for all mobility media. It’s a win-win situation: buyers benefit from precise planning and targeting, and as a publisher we are seeing more than 2x lift in revenue on Place Exchange campaigns once we shifted to the geospatial model.”

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