Rubicon’s Project Awesome offers an alternative to ad blocking

Rubicon Project's Project Awesome offers an alternative to ad blockers to help consumers see the ads they want.

Rubicon Project, which says it operates an advertising marketplace that reaches more than one billion consumers across one million websites and 20,000 apps, announced the private beta launch of Project Awesome, a product it says puts consumers in control of their digital advertising experiences.

Project Awesome was built in Rubicon's innovation lab, The Garage, and is designed to “deliver a less arduous, more intuitive and engaging way for users to provide feedback on ads,” Rubicon said.

According to a release, the user interface allows consumers to snooze or block the ads they don't want, like the ads they do want, save ads for later, build a taste profile in 59 seconds and search for specific categories and see ads tailored to their expressed interests.

The consumer product uses machine learning to put consumers in control of their data, privacy and interests. What’s more, Rubicon said Project Awesome will adapt and hone an individual’s advertising experience based on real-time feedback, personal interest profiles and liked and disliked ad categories and creative. And, of course, the more a consumer uses it, the better it will get at delivering more of the ads that the user wants and less of the ads that the user does not want, Rubicon added.

Further, Rubicon noted ad blockers have been installed more than half a billion times worldwide, which it said is tantamount to a call to arms among consumers, who want advertisers, publishers and application developers to know that they will use whatever means necessary to control their digital advertising experience.

In addition, Rubicon said most existing ad blocking products offer an all or nothing approach-- users can block all ads or shut off blocking and receive all ads. However, Rubicon also noted advertising has the potential to deliver value to consumers, citing a recent Adobe study that found 78% of consumers said they liked personalized ads and only 28% thought ads targeted to them were tailored correctly.

Rubicon said the launch is part of a broader initiative that calls on the advertising industry to focus on keeping the Internet free and open and to fuel its growth by changing advertising for good.

"Our vision is to turn advertising into information and provide information as a service to consumers. We want to change advertising for good," said Frank Addante, CEO of Rubicon Project, in a statement. "We founded Rubicon Project with the mission of fueling the growth of the Internet by making advertising an effortless source of capital for innovators and content creators. There have always been three participants involved in advertising and for too long our industry has focused on the buyers and sellers and ignored consumers and their experience. The increasing adoption of ad blockers, privacy concerns and general apathy for ads, are symptoms of this lack of focus on the consumer experience. People recently have been given a choice with ad blockers, but their choice has been limited to either see all ads or block all ads. That's not ideal for consumers, advertisers or publishers and application developers. Today we're offering a new option, the ability to choose the specific ads and interests that you want to see or don't want to see.”

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