LONDON — So-called “programmatic” buying and selling of online ads may super-target highly efficient inventory – but that doesn’t mean algorithms really understand consumers’ emotions, says one ad exec.

“The programmatic landscape is very obsessed with ‘who’ and ‘what’; it’s not looking at ‘why’,” Phil Townend, EMEA MD of viral video monitor Unruly Media, tells beet.TV, bemoaning programmatic’s “one-size-fits-all” approach. “Once you understand why somebody watched one of your videos, you can create even cleverer segments.”

Unruly Media monitors videos shared around the web, understanding who shared them and why. The results help marketers try to plan viral video campaigns. Unruly has also been helping advertisers understand consumers’ emotional responses by surveying for their reactions to ads – for instance, Unruly found that car ads map to positive responses like “exhilarating”, “sexy” and “cool”.

Planning video spending without knowing these things? “It’s like throwing paint at the wall and hoping some of it sticks,” Townend says.

This video was recorded  at the Beet.TV programmatic video leadership summit sponsored by Videology, hosted by Xaxis at the London offices of GroupM.