CAPTCHA As Native Advertising
A new form of native advertising has become available to search engine marketers. Linking content to CAPTCHAs, the brand can tie in the Completely Automated Public Turing tests to Tell Computers and Humans Apart verification function. At least one start-up has taken advantage of that connection. Detroit-based Are You A Human, which specializes in game verification systems, doesn't view its CAPTCHA service as a native ad unit, but it does consider its PlayThru game ad unit an alternative to the string of distorted squiggly letters that Web sites use to prove a person is human through a quick game. Publishers tie the ad unit to content or a landing page.
PlayThru can replace traditional CAPTCHAs. In the process, it creates an interactive branding platform through native advertising. A Ford Fiesta campaign targeting 18- to-34-year-olds, which began in August, will run through the end of the year across 3,200 of Are You A Human's 5,000 network sites. On average, consumers spend 8.2 seconds with the brand's ad unit, about 133 hours since the launch, with an 84% completion rate and average click-through rate (CTR) of 8.76%.
Chiquita, Xbox, Salvation Army, United Way of Southeastern Michigan, Moosejaw, and Kabam also had positive results.
Users interact with PlayThru units in a variety of ways such as when registering for a site, commenting on a post or article, resetting passwords, making a purchase, or sharing links or photos. Once the branded game is completed, marketers can deploy a range of call-to-action options such as launching video, sending users to their sites or sharing the game in social media.
Fake display-ad impressions often driven by bots are estimated to account for about 30% of overall online traffic, according to MdotLabs, wasting $3.6 to $4.5 billion annually in the U.S.
PlayThru verifies that real people interact with ads and not bots, using a proprietary algorithm that analyzes interaction to determine whether it is human, but on Monday a technology San Francisco-based start-up called Vicarious said it has developed software that works like a human brain to break the CAPTCHA code, per Reuters.