There seem to be many products and initiatives lately that take on ad effectiveness, viewability, brand safety, and malware. Consider Ad Lightning, founded this year as a spinoff of start-up Pioneer Square Labs. Ad Lightning just secured $2 million in a seed round, led by Sinclair Broadcast Group’s Digital Ventures. The new company's goal is to eliminate bad, disruptive advertising -- and thus, to improve the consumer experience of advertising.
It’s a lofty goal.
More specifically, the company aims to help publishers and digital advertising platforms eliminate slow-loading, disruptive and non-compliant digital ads. The outfit will be run by digital-publishing veteran Scott Moore, who also founded it. He was a Microsoft, MSNBC, and Yahoo executive, and served as CEO of Cheezburger. Based in Seattle, Moore is also a seed investor in the Ad Lightning financing.
“I've spent most of my career as a Web publisher, so this is a personal mission for me,” he stated. “Unchecked, consumers will continue to suffer from deteriorating user experiences until they download an ad blocker and kill the revenue model. Ad Lightning is the toolkit I wish I’d had as a publisher because it solves digital publishers’ biggest pain point.”
So what does a tool like Ad Lightning do? It uses proprietary intelligence designed to offer digital publishers the insight and control needed to manage programmatic advertising creative, eliminate ads that hamper site performance and consumer experience, and increase return on investment. While programmatic advertising is growing, by anyone’s forecast, programmatic ads and their delivery can cause latency and other negative consequences for consumers.
Ad Lightning is trying to help publishers and other ad-based businesses preserve brand integrity, protect audience experience, and recover some of the $10 billion in estimated lost revenues annually caused by the slow-loading, disruptive, or non-compliant digital ad units. No industry player wants more ad blocking software to be used, so addressing some of these issues is important. Ad Lightning notes that since the Interactive Advertising Bureau released its LEAN advertising standards a year ago in response to negative trends, more publishers and marketers are seeking ways to monitor programmatic advertising creative with the consumer experience in mind.
And here’s where outfits like Ad Lightning address a paradox:While programmatic advertising technology can be a marketer’s dream, its use has some unintended negative consequences. It can slow page-load times, and cause problems that disrupt the consumer’s experience with ads and content.