The Context In Contextual For Targeting Cookieless Advertising Is 'Misunderstood'

Contextual is “slightly misunderstood,” according to Teads Global VP of Data James Colborn, who introduced at Cannes the Contextual Council, a forum to inspire new connections with cross-industry leaders.

Colborn brought the message to this year’s Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.

“Contextual advertising is slightly misunderstood,” Colborn said. “It has been around for ages. When I sat in the IAB meeting in London in 2020 and heard the announcement that Google would get rid of third-party cookies. Then someone mentioned contextual as a viable solution, there was an audible grown. They didn’t see it as a viable substitute.”

Google released its Privacy Sandbox relevance and measurement APIs in Chrome 115 in July 2023, and the goal is to expand to others in August. The web browser was released in beta in May 2023. The stable version of Chrome 115 was released in July.

Last week, Google shared updates and improvements to the Topics API, part of the Privacy Sandbox, in a blog post. The changes aim to make Topics even more useful to the digital advertising industry, without compromising user privacy.

Along with the initial Topics API announcement, Google proposed a taxonomy designed for testing. The taxonomy is the list of available topics that may be returned by the API.

Companies are making a shift in how they approach cookieless advertising, IBM Watson Advertising wrote in 2021, with contextual advertising projected to reach more than $376 billion by 2027. Artificial intelligence (AI) supports the move to create audience targeting.

Teads' contextual working group will have about 20 people to prompt discussions about the cookieless future and contextual targeting. The first meeting was held at Cannes. Those that follow will be virtual.

“We hope people who join the council will leave with a different point of view from which they came,” Colborn said.

The sessions conducted with the IAB, publishers and agencies will help to shape the conversations around contextual targeting across the market through industry feedback.

“Many in the industry have a slightly different point of view in terms of what’s happening with the deprecation of the cookie,” he said.

Teads also advanced its support for multi-screen reporting of attention metrics in its Ad Manager platform. The program will accelerate the understanding of attention for media buyers and media owners allowing them to plan, buy, optimize and report on attention to ultimately drive a better return on media investment for brands.

As digital investments are fluidly allocated across channels, brands are looking for better ways to measure this new metric across every screen.

Omnichannel attention measurement will become possible with Teads in cooperation with Adelaide, and Realeyes. More than 2,000 creatives measured will support facial coding measurement with Realeyes. This partnership will let brands pre-test creative by screen type to capture attention levels ahead of campaign launch. Advertisers can leverage these attention insights to optimize live campaigns, connecting the right creative with the right screen resulting in greater impact, higher outcomes and increased efficiency.

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