Yahoo have taken behavioural targeting (defined here and here) one step further with Smart Ads. As Adweek reported last month, Smart Ads:
automates the creation of banner ads, allowing advertisers to run potentially thousands of permutations tailored to user behavior.
The rich media banners are created on the fly, combining Yahoo's trove of user behavior data with inventory feeds from advertisers. The result is executions based on what users have searched for and one on Yahoo! matched up with product listings from advertisers.
For example, Yahoo! could detect a New York-based user who has recently searched for flights to San Francisco. Working with an airline's listing of fare deals from New York to San Francisco, a banner ad promoting a sale on that route would be generated from assets provided by the airline's agency. For agencies, this means not having to worry about creating thousands of different banner ads.
Yahoo! has begun with the travel industry and plans to move to retail and auto. The SmartAds placements are receiving two-to-three times higher click through rates than regular placements.
David Kenny, chairman of Digitas, said technology platforms like SmartAds hold the promise of bringing the hyper-targeting and effectiveness of search into the 95 percent of Internet pages that are not search results.
"It can be a very important piece especially for retail, financial services and travel," he said. "For those clients, who spend a big chunk of their [online] budgets on search, it's a big deal."
Tom – this makes the NYT piece on Publicis' digital strategy make a bit more sense, no?
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