Brand Suitability During COVID-19

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How you can implement brand safety measures with Programmatic


In a world where content is being rapidly generated and consumed, digital marketers are forever concerned about whether their adverts are placed on “brand safe” environments. This can take the form of fake news, fraud or negative content where the brand deems it to potentially damage their image or result in “ad fails”.  Over this past month alone 22-30% of ad impressions were placed next to content around COVID-19 according to ComScore. The situation has led to many brands, understandably, pausing or applying wide-ranging blocklists.

Over this past month alone 22-30% of ad impressions were placed next to content around COVID-19 according to ComScore

However, brand safety can mean different things for a different brand. Therefore, it’s important to consider what your brand views as ‘suitable’. For airlines and travel, promoting your services next to an article on travel bans is not a) suitable and b) a waste of investment. But, for a web conferencing solution, this is where their solution can help the B2B sector and businesses connect in these difficult times.

With this in mind, there are few ways in which you should consider when implementing your brand suitability within Programmatic buys.

URL targeting 

Positively targeting websites you are comfortable or deem to be high quality – such as verified news or premium websites. Although this may go against the idea of buying adverts based on your audience, it is a way to guarantee you meet your brand suitability metrics. This may limit your reach and scale, so you may want to apply negative lists to block unwanted content in conjunction with other tactics below to mitigate risk.


Content category exclusion

Whereas blocking sites outright is a good way to filter out the content you 100% do not wish to be placed on. Applying content and category exclusions can help filter and fit your perceived suitability. By just blocking news, you ignore the many sub-categories such as food or weather. When blocking categories consider what is the sensitivity of the category and within the context of the content.


Negative keywords 

As a final layer, you should consider negative keywords. Although this can be a very ‘black and white’ solution and may limit the scale and reach if wide-ranging keywords are implemented. Words such as “death” or “intensive care” or directly negative keywords can be applied for most risk-averse brands. But again it is important to be dynamic and update your lists in line with your brand suitability.


3rd Party Verification

What if you are outsourcing your media buys? Aside from working with a trusted partner, using 3rd partner verification solutions can add an extra layer of protection and ensure that nothing slips through the net.


In Conclusion

Your brand is unique to you, reviewing how you perceive risk can provide you with some clear and measurable ways to mitigate this. During times where negative content and sentiment may be at an all-time high, think of your brand suitability and how you address this as well as in your programmatic campaigns.

To find out more how to implement these and other advance tactics from our expert team get in touch today.

Your brand is unique to you, reviewing how you perceiving risk can provide you with some clear and measurable ways to mitigate this.

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