MARCO ISLAND, FL — In a world with digital ad identifiers crumbling under ad buyers’ feet, where do advertisers turn for best placement?

Some in the industry are turning the clock back to a traditional style of adjacency, achieved using very modern methods.

In this video interview with Beet.TV, Matt Barash, SVP, Americas & Global Publishing, Index Exchange, says contextual targeting is hot.

Privacy safety

Barash says the economy, industry uncertainty and limits like cookie deprecation and Apple’s App Tracking Transparency (ATT) are driving changes in buying practices.

“The ability to find that strength of signal isn’t consistent across the board,” he explains.

“When you look to level the playing field, context becomes the most obvious choice. It’s privacy-friendly in most instances. In a world where privacy is only becoming more restrictive and not creating greater opportunity, it becomes a safer bet. But it also applies across channel, where today you’ve got patchwork privacy.”

Some context on context

Contextual ad targeting is a form of advertising where ads are displayed to users based on the content they are currently viewing or interacting with.

It is privacy-friendly as it does not rely on tracking the user’s behavior or personal data, but rather the context of the current page or app.

This type of targeting aims to provide relevant ads to users and provide a better user experience.

In doing so, it could swerve some of the disruption advertisers have been facing.

Sticker shock

Index Exchange is a technology company specializing in programmatic advertising.

It operates as a global independent advertising exchange, connecting buyers and sellers of digital advertising inventory in real-time.

Index Exchange’s Barash says he wants the industry to simplify in digital.

But he says the emerging connected TV (CTV) landscape, from an advertising perspective, more resembles TV than digital, despite its advanced capabilities like targeting, frequency control and attribution.

Barash says digital-style buyers experienced “sticker shock” when coming in to buy CTV ads. But he thinks the expectations are bedding-in.

You’re watching ‘What’s Next: Scaling CTV Through Industry Collaboration,’ a Beet.TV Leadership Series produced at IAB ALM 2023, presented by Index Exchange. For more videos from this series, please visit this page.