Video ad network BrightRoll has struck a deal with search data provider Magnetic to offer search retargeting as an option for targeting video ads. Search retargeting allows advertisers to run display ads based on a user's search history. So if someone has been researching a car purchase, they might see a banner ad from an auto advertiser.
With the BrightRoll deal, Magnetic is now applying this approach to video ads as well. "By combining Magnetic's targeting technology with our video advertising platform, we're able to solve the needs of our advertisers by delivering targeted campaigns at scale with a high return on investment," said BrightRoll CEO Tod Sacerdoti in a statement. The ad network already offers targeting according to demographic, behavioral, geographic and other criteria.
Magnetic has already struck partnerships earlier this year with display ad networks including interCLICK and Undertone Networks aimed at refining display ad targeting based on the 270 million anonymous profiles the company has created based on search data gleaned from mostly second-tier search engines, Web site toolbars, e-commerce sites and other sources.
The idea is to combine the high conversion rates of search advertising with the traditional brand-building role of display. "You have all the different creative options in display that you don't have in search," said Magnetic CEO Josh Shatkin-Margolis. "And for premium publishers the best form of online display ads are video ads."
He gave the examples of showing a high-impact BMW video ad to someone who has been researching a Lexus or a Mercedes purchase online, or showing an iPhone 4 video ad to a viewer whose search queries indicate they are in the market for a smartphone. "This is the branding opportunity we're delivering," he said.
Shatkin-Margolis adds that search retargeting helps marketers reach people who are higher in the purchase funnel than search advertising typically does. For instance, a search for a 3D graphics card or an Alienware computer indicates a video game purchase further down the chain. So EA or Sony might target people with that search behavior with a video game ad.
The Magnetic CEO said the New York-based startup has also entered into partnerships with other video ad networks in addition to BrightRoll, but can't yet disclose them publicly. Overall, the firm now sells data to more than 90 ad networks and agencies directly, according to Shatkin-Margolis.
BrightRoll ranks as the third-largest video ad network in terms of in-stream ads viewed, with 333.5 million in June, according to comScore. Nearly 85% of the total U.S. Internet audience watched online video last month. Last week, it unveiled a new online video ad exchange called BRX that promises greater efficiency in the video ad marketplace. Shatkin-Margolis said Magnetic's search retargeting technology would extend to the exchange as well as BrightRoll's own network.
Magnetic in June announced closing $4 million in a first-round venture financing led by Charles River Ventures, Ron Conway and NYC Investment Fund, bringing its total investment to date to $5.25 million.