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GumGum and Playground xyz on fusing attention and contextual tech for huge ROAS increase


By The Drum, Editorial

December 6, 2023 | 6 min read

GumGum and Playground have won the Game-Changing Technology category at The Drum Awards for Digital Advertising. Here is the award-winning case study.

Example of the award-winning work

In a global first, leading contextual intelligence platform GumGum and Playground xyz, the world’s first attention tech stack, offered a joint solution that fused advanced contextual and attention-based advertising technologies to secure tangible results for Domino’s ‘50% Off’ pizza campaign for their UK and Ireland markets. Domino’s is the largest pizza chain in the world and is the first brand to test the true power of The Mindset Platform™, GumGum’s platform for the future of digital advertising that combines advanced contextual targeting capabilities with high-impact creative and real-time attention optimization.

GumGum’s contextual intelligence platform, Verity™, is the first independent ad tech platform to achieve the Media Rating Council’s content-level accreditation for contextual analysis, brand safety, and suitability across mobile, desktop, and CTV. This means that Verity™ is extremely sophisticated and able to understand all content signals within a digital environment (text, audio, video, images) to serve relevant ads without using personal data.

In an increasingly crowded and competitive landscape where third-party cookies continue to depreciate, Domino’s needed to ensure maximum cut-through for their national ‘50% Off’ campaign. They knew context could play a key role but were curious to see whether attention signals could more effectively optimize their approach, ensure optimal consumer awareness and, ultimately, help them sell more pizzas!

The concept behind the strategy was simple: optimize ad delivery to the contextual categories where attention levels are highest. Such an approach would allow Domino’s to reach their most attentive audiences without the need for third-party cookies or other invasive personal identifiers. Not only that, it would ensure ultimate spend efficiency, securing the highest levels of attention for every pound spent.

As the campaign delivered, Playground xyz’s Attention Intelligence Platform (AIP) analyzed each contextual category and subcategory defined by GumGum’s accredited contextual intelligence platform Verity™ identified. The Attention Time, the revolutionary metric powered by AIP and defined as the length of time in seconds an ad is actually looked at provided a clear picture in a short amount of time of which categories were over and under-indexing against the mean average formed. These insights were then actioned upon in-flight, with delivery optimized towards the high-performing categories and away from the under-performers.

The approach achieved significant uplift across major campaign KPIs, here are some highlights:

An additional 3000 hours of attention on one creative element (against control) and

A 40% uplift in CTR on a creative

The most significant results were the stellar commercial outcomes, with overall ROAS of 135% - 398% being secured across each creative element

Here’s a deeper dive into exactly how we utilized contextual data and insights to optimize attention for the campaign: AIP identified Verity’s™ contextual categories securing the highest levels of Attention Time for the Domino’s ad, quickly highlighting clear, actionable trends. The contextual categories that were the top performing categories for the campaign highlighted segments that may have been unexpected – such as Business, News, and Education, with Shopping and Style & Fashion among the under-performing contextual categories. Interestingly, and likely in contrast to what pizza and other quick-service restaurant (QSR) retailers may have traditionally thought, Health & Fitness over-indexed for attention which provided an optimization opportunity that may have been missed with a more standard and less advanced contextual targeting approach.

Stepping down further tier into ‘Level 2’ sub-categories, a more nuanced picture of where opportunities for effective optimizations was formed. As with the main categories, certain Business and News themed sub-categories performed well, however ‘Shopping/Household Supplies’ over-indexed for Attention Time against the wider ‘Shopping’ category which under-performed.

The in-flight optimizations made against these insights and resulted in a marked uplift in overall attention achieved by each of the campaign elements. In fact, the optimizations to Playground xyz’s HangTime creative element achieved 2989 hours of attention against just 846 hours of a non-optimized control – that’s 89 days worth of additional attention on just one single creative!

As well as significant uplift to attention, optimizing to Attention Time led to strong positive impact on other core KPIs. When comparing period-on-period data of the 7 days before and after optimizations were made, clear uplifts to Click-through-rate (CTR) were easily distinguishable. Across the In-Screen Expandable unit, a 40% uplift in CTR was achieved, and a 9% uplift for the Desktop Skin unit.

But the results didn’t stop there… Thanks to the innovative fusion of contextual and attention technologies, Domino’s secured phenomenal ROAS across each element and format of their 50% Off Value campaign:

HangTime ROAS: 135%

Desktop Skin ROAS: 142%

In-Screen Expandable ROAS: 398%

The relationship between context, creative, and attention is where GumGum and Playground xyz believe the future of digital advertising lies. The approach used for the Domino’s campaign proved the efficacy of GumGum’s The Mindset Platform™, and their blueprint for the future of digital advertising, The Mindset Matrix™. Ultimately, the Domino’s campaign highlighted that combining advanced contextual and creative with real-time attention optimization delivers incredible ROIs and KPIs for campaign performance. And the best part? Absolutely no personal data was involved at all in delivering the campaign to consumers – so long cookies, hello 50% off pizza!

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