Commentary

Reckitt Benckiser Buys Into Video Behavioral Ad Targeting

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Even in the seemingly bottomless pool of display inventory, behavioral targeting technologies traditionally have had to contend with scale issues. Sure you can segment audiences based on previous browsing histories into ever more tightly defined targets, but are you ending up with an audience size worth buying? Pull back on some of the segment definitions enough to get a usable audience and decent pool of inventory it doesn't take months to serve and you may have watered down your target beyond the point of increased effectiveness.

And so 'BT' is even harder to deploy in the video environment where the available inventory is a fraction of overall display. But several ad networks and targeting companies have announced in the last year they were implementing tighter targeting technologies with video. Today a major buyer of online inventory Reckitt Benckiser gets behind the approach by partnering with Netmining on their new targeting extension into video.

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According to Netmining General Manager Dean Vegliante, this model uses the same scoring engine on cookied users for video the targeting company uses for its established display business. "We look at past products and pages a user looked at and determine whether they are in or out of market based on past activities." Netmining says its technology evaluates a user in real time to decide both their interests and their propensity to purchase. Netmining is not using pre-fab or standardized segments but building custom audiences for each client. For Reckitt Benckiser they are finding audiences that are in market for some of the brands the company handles for the CPG powerhouse, including Lysol, AirWick and Finish. Netmining works with a number ad nets to assemble the necessary scale, including SpotXchange. Vegliante says that the program is less about reach than getting the right publishers and audience for the client.

In terms of creative the program is using the general suite of pre-rolls Reckitt Benckiser provides. "They have done a good job of merging online and offline creative," Vegliante says. For Reckitt Benckiser this seems an evolution of a large move made over a year ago, which transferred $20 million in TV ad dollars to online video. The company has famously been driving hard bargains to get online CPMs down and prove that online buys are both less expensive and more efficient in delivering audiences. According to reports last year, Reckitt Benckiser was investing in online video ad nets rather than pay for the premium space on Hulu and the TV network sites.

While Reckitt has been involved with advanced ad technologies for a while, the partnership represents a high profile coming out for Netmining's new video targeting solution. The company says that its client base has grown over 50% in the last six months.

2 comments about "Reckitt Benckiser Buys Into Video Behavioral Ad Targeting".
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  1. Mike Einstein from the Brothers Einstein, September 22, 2010 at 3:25 p.m.

    I'd call this snake oil, but it wouldn't be fair to the snake.

  2. The digital Hobo from TheDigitalHobo.com, September 22, 2010 at 4:27 p.m.

    Another constructive comment from an Einstein. We get it. You don't think targeting is worth it. And you may be right. But can't people test it and try to make it work without being scoffed at?

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