Digital Advertising

How marketers are seeing value in a proven standard: The Drum & GumGum report on contextual advertising

By Olivia Atkins | Writer



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October 2, 2018 | 4 min read

Long gone are the days when contextual targeting was based on a simplistic reliance on a single keyword. With advances in computer vision, it’s now possible to decipher the visual content of a publisher’s page. Visual images are much easier for the brain to process than text, according to a new report released by The Drum in partnership with computer vision company GumGum. The brain, in fact, can process them up to 60,000 times faster.

Advertisers are trying harder than ever to capture a consumer’s attention, striving to get the right ad in front of the right person. Thanks to semantics analysis and computer vision, contextual advertising is a realistic solution.

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Contextual Advertising: the new frontier

Contextual advertising: the new frontier

The Contextual advertising: the new frontier report looks at the ways in which contextual advertising has evolved, conducting a survey to understand how advertisers and agencies adopt this strategy. Some 116 senior executives in the UK and US were interviewed with findings revealing that contextual targeting was widely implemented in the US because of its ability to make advertising seem relevant through using and contextualising texts and images.

A computer’s ability to receive and analyse visual data individually is hugely beneficial, because if it can visualise images and review them without requiring human input, it will give marketers a huge head start in an extremely competitive space.

Contextual advertising is being heavily invested in at the moment, with many companies planning on continuing to invest further in this sector and contextually-targeted advertising too. Just consider these numbers, from the research. Almost half of all US marketers (49%) use contextual marketing today. The average increase in performance following the used of contextual targeting when compared to behavioral targeting is 73%. And 31% of brands plan to increase their contextual marketing spend next year.

Contextual advertising isn’t to be used alone however, but it does act as a useful measure against inconsistent global regulations on data collection and brand safety concerns.

The report can be downloaded here.

Digital Advertising

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GumGum is a contextual-first global advertising technology company that captures people’s attention, without the use of personal data. We believe that a digital advertising ecosystem based on understanding a consumer’s active frame of mind rather than behavior builds a more equitable and safer future for consumers, publishers and advertisers alike. Founded in 2008, GumGum is headquartered in Santa Monica, California and operates in 19 markets worldwide. For more information, visit

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