How this Adtech Firm uses AI to Ensure Audience sees Relevant In-video Ads

The digital tool can identify brand logos, faces, emotions and objects, but what about consumer's privacy?

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How many times have you closed a video on your phone or laptop because of pesky, irrelevant advertisements? SilverPush wants to change that.

The India-based adtech firm, which serves clients across the world, has launched Mirrors, an artificial intelligence (AI)-powered technology that delivers more relevant in-video ads by way of analysing what appears in the content. It uses context detection technology to analyse logos, faces, emotions or objects and then delivers an in-video ad that is connected to the content.

Inserting context

"The collective problem of users seeing irrelevant ads prompted us to make these ads meaningful and targeted for both advertisers and audience. To solve the random placement of ads, our mission was to come up with innovations that not only put "context' back in content marketing but also simultaneously respect consumer's privacy and data concerns," says Kartik Mehta, the chief revenue officer of SilverPush. He adds that Mirrors is a first of its kind in-video advertising tool that blends advertisement with the user's most interested visual and emotional elements in the video, "to not just advertise brands but help them to be a part of a story well told."

To illustrate the use of technology, Mehta explains, "When a player scores a goal during a soccer game, our technology detects his face and the brands endorsed by him can be showed in the in-video ads to the user watching the match. Now imagine content showing an interesting model of shoes, Mirrors identifies the brand logo and helps in the positioning of an actionable ad which could facilitate its purchase."

The APAC effect

India is currently the second largest market for Netflix after the US, and along with India, across the whole Asia-Pacific region, content streaming has seen a rapid growth of platforms and providers. Cheap data, high quality content and audience with plenty of idle time means a huge uptake in online video views which is to say that people are shifting from long-form TV content to digital. It is obvious that brands will shift to online video sooner or later.

Multiple reports have highlighted the stupendous growth in over-the-top (OTT) subscriptions, and heavy video consumption rates are one of the highest in the world, with an estimated 64 per cent of connected consumers in Asia Pacific watching online video content daily. Asia-Pacific is home to one of the most competitive subscription over-the-top video markets in the world. The region has the highest growth potential for subscribers and video services are building libraries of content to drive interest. OTT investment into Asia-Pacific will spur the fastest subscriber growth rate worldwide in 2018, rising 35.2 per cent to 331.5 million, informs Mehta.

Now the question arises, how does a brand invest in online video by making a relevant consumer experience by getting the most out of their spend. "As brands are expected to follow the user's most preferred mode of media consumption for advertisement, Mirrors will play a crucial role in aligning brand's communication towards a non-intrusive and future proof mode of engagement with customers," he says.

Key Issues with Contextual Advertising

Similar to how Google works, SilverPush relies on context to share data. "We do not necessarily know if user wanted to see the ad or not. However, this approach is still better than serving blind ads. Example, we serve anti-skid tyre ads if we see an automobile in rain. However, we do not actually know if the user is interested in automobile or not," he says.

But what about privacy? "This is public data being utilized at a generic level, hence this is completely privacy complaint," he plugs.