Digital Advertising

An interview with Tapad CEO Are Traasdahl on connecting traditional TV ads with digital campaigns

By Natan Edelsburg | SVP

September 11, 2015 | 7 min read

Tapad has made a name for itself by becoming one of the major players to develop mobile advertising technology. The Device Graph, their main product allows advertisers to spend and see results across multiple platforms. This summer the company launched TV Pulse that aims to bring traditional television into the mox. The platform boasts that using its technology it can identify "additional devices related to the same viewer/viewers [of linear television] with 91.2% accuracy."



Tapad is already working with VH1 and National Geographic Channel and is beginning to bridge a major gap in how a network can track tune in driven by digital marketing campaigns. Found Remote interviewed Founder and CEO Are Traasdahl aboud their platform and TV Pulse product.

Found Remote: How/why was the platform/company launched?

Are Traasdahl: In 2010, driven by the explosion of smartphones and tablets, users started consuming content in a whole new way-- across devices. Mobile opened the door to a powerful set of new inventory for reaching users, but it complicated the advertising process as there was no unified platform for making sense of all the devices.

A single person using a mobile phone, tablet and laptop appeared to be three different people. This got even more complicated if the person was using multiple browsers-- making them appear as even more people. The fragmented consumer view resulted in missed opportunities for campaign effectiveness and wasted ad spend.

We set out to solve this problem by creating The Device Graph™, our core technology, which uses a combined probabilistic and deterministic data approach to determine related devices belonging to a single user.

The result is a unified view, which gives advertisers the ability to deliver seamless campaigns, providing a better user experience and increased marketing efficiency.

FR: What are some new things that you've recently launched/developed?

AT: Over the last year, we’ve been working to build our technology licensing business, which gives other technology vendors access to data within The Device Graph. We’ve secured partnerships with large brands, DSPs, DMPs, SSPs, analytics companies and ad servers. The goal is to provide a common cross-device solution to power the entire tech ecosystem with standard metrics and methodology.

We also recently announced a new product for our media business,TV Pulse. The solution ties linear television data into The Device Graph, allowing marketers to connect their traditional broadcast campaigns to their digital marketing efforts.

FR: How is TV Pulse disrupting the TV industry?

AT: TV advertising has long lived in its own ecosystem without a way to connect it to digital advertising initiatives. When TV and digital are bought in silos there is no way to measure how they impact each other or broader marketing goals. We set out to solve this problem by linking TVs to consumer’s other devices within The Device Graph.

With the biggest advertising budgets still going to TV, marketers need a way to measure the results of those campaigns. With TV Pulse, we can now, for the first time, measure when someone watches a broadcast TV ad and then takes a digital action such as downloading an app or watching an online video.

We can also use the the solution to measure the effect of digital campaigns on driving people to watch a TV event (tune-in). While this was already possible for connected-TV content, there was no way to measure the effect on linear content. Now, if someone sees an ad on their phone for Game of Thrones and then watches the content on their TV, we can attribute value to the mobile phone ad -- even if they watched at a later date or via a DVR.

The value to advertisers is an understanding of campaign performance and the ability to modernize strategy for smarter spending and better results.

FR: What TV companies are you working with?

AT: We have relationships with all of the major ad and media agencies, which has allowed us to work with huge networks like National Geographic Channel and VH1.

We’ve primarily worked with these brands to drive awareness of their shows with cross-device campaigns. In a recent VH1 campaign we saw an 81% view completion rate for viewers shown ads across devices. For National Geographic Channel we drove a 40% response rate lift when users were shown ads or two or more devices.

With TV Pulse, we can drive these same results, but also measure their direct impact on tune-in.

FR: What are some of the biggest challenges marketers are facing?

AT: In relation to TV, two of the biggest challenges for marketers are measurement and supply.

The huge budgets spent on TV advertising are expected to drive results, but the lack of measurement offerings made this hard to report against. Moving forward, we expect more and more marketers to embrace tools like TV Pulse to prove the ROI for their ad spend.

Cross-device also solves the issue of supply by massively extending the reach of a TV audience. Marketers understand the power of TV and video’s sight, sound and motion format, but they also have a limited budget to spend and rely on a certain view frequency to drive results. Extending the TV audience across devices allows marketers to reach their frequency needs, optimize their spend and get a holistic view of how each device is impacting goals. It also allows them to intermix ad formats or sequential messages within a single campaign.

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