Unruly Brings Emotions To Programmatic Via 'Emotional PMPs'

Unruly is deepening its focus on bringing emotional intelligence to programmatic campaigns, because emotionally driven ads can increase sales by more than 20%, according to 2015 Nielsen data and Unruly's own data.

In September, Unruly  launched what it calls Emotional PMP (private marketplace) packages, that it positioned as a new way of buying inventory that matches a consumer’s mood after viewing a brand's ad to the viewing environment surrounding it, according to Kenneth Suh, Unruly’s EVP, global business development. The company also launched Unruly EQ, an algorithmically based content testing tool that enables advertisers to maximize the social and emotional impact of their content by evaluating, improving, and predicting the online potential of video ads.

Based on sophisticated algorithms, Unruly has identified 18 core emotions, 12 of which are the most commonly used. PMPs are created around each emotion. Six of the 18 emotions are less positive ones like sadness, contempt, disgust, and fear. Not surprisingly, brand marketers don’t tap into these emotions as much as they form their emotional PMPs — but, for example, an entertainment brand may want to convey “fear” if it’s working on a theatrical trailer for a thriller.

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“We’re understanding and developing emotional intelligence for brands, that’s our mission,” Suh says “Now, we’re turning our attention to  publisher sites and looking at the emotions that are evoked from the content on those sites.”

He adds, “We have identified the emotions that people are feeling from the content they’re reading and engaging with. They may overindex on happiness, for example. Then we look at all the other sites that overindex on happiness and package those for advertisers.”

Unruly works with  brand marketers, agencies, and publishers directly and is starting to see marketers buying into Emotional PMPs. For example, a travel company that wants to drive online bookings and evoke nostalgia around traveling home for the holidays, may purchase the “nostalgia” PMP. So the sites they would purchase would overindex on nostalgia.

Unruly also looks at the emotions people feel when they’re watching video. “What are the emotional aspects of the creative that advertisers want to align with the content?” Suh said.

According to 2015 Nielsen data and Unruly's own data, emotional ad campaigns can increase sales volumes by 23%.

Unruly has also found that campaigns targeting people most likely to engage emotionally with specific video creative result in a 74% increase in brand favorability and an 80% increase in purchase intent. “This is unique because the way most people buy PMPs is based on content verticals,” Suh explained. For example, a marketer may want to buy a publisher’s set of fashion and cooking sites. However, the marketer may also want access to other sites and use audience targeting filters.

“What we’re striving for is that if the marketer has a piece of creative, and an emotion it wants to target, let’s make sure we’re getting the right ad to the right person,” Suh says. This is, in its way, elevating PMP buying from buying via content vertical to pure audience targeting.

“We’re bringing human emotions and programmatic buying together. That’s a bit of a clash in people’s heads, but it’s very basic—we’re trying to connect to humans who have emotions with your message. The focus should be your audience,” Suh says.

Unruly’s partnership with Nielsen Consumer Neuroscience, neuroscientists, and academics enables it to measure non-conscious responses, something traditional research misses, for a more complete view of consumers. For example, more than 30 sensors are used to capture activity across all brain regions, along with eye tracking. The work has the potential to get to the heart of what emotionally moves consumers. Unruly expects to have more findings from its Emotional PMPs early next year.

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