Technology Featured APAC

Innity’s latest shoppable ads feature allows users to ‘add to cart’ directly from ads

Singapore – Digital advertising solutions company Innity has made its latest feature, Shoppable QuickBuy, available on their enhanced Innity Shoppable Solutions service, allowing online shoppers to now add items directly to their online cart from the ads they see online.

With Innity’s Shoppable QuickBuy tech, users are able to browse and add products to the retailers’ cart all from within the ad format, retailers’ landing pages, blog posts, or apps. Once shoppers click on the ‘Buy Now’ button, they will be led straight to the ‘Add to Cart’ page or checkout page on the retailers’ site. 

Innity’s in-house creative team custom designs each creative experience so that it is unique to each brand.

“Innity Shoppable Ads solution was designed to effectively shorten and streamline the traditional consumer purchase journey, allowing users to go from discovery to purchase in an instantaneous and engaging experience, leading to greater profits for brands,” the company said in a press statement.

The shoppable platform is also equipped with advanced data feed management to allow retailers to synchronize product feed across multiple sales and marketing channels to monitor, enrich and update product info or pricing simultaneously.

In addition, retailers can also create custom segments from their product catalogs to run dynamic ads that can highlight personalized products to shoppers who have already shown interest in the brand.

Speaking about the feature launch, Phang Chee Leong, co-founder and CEO at Innity, said, “We’re thrilled to be rolling out Shoppable QuickBuy to help more brands adopt and maximize the power of discovery commerce; to turn interests into purchases, and content into conversions more seamlessly. As a result of the global COVID-19 pandemic, consumer behavior towards online shopping has shifted for good, and we believe this change will continue beyond the pandemic.”

He added, “We’re constantly on the lookout for new ways to improve and expand our Innity Shoppable Media platform, with the goal to make the online shopping experience more interactive, personalized, and instantaneous for everyone.”

Technology Featured APAC

Programmatic solutions provider Bench expands marketing intelligence platform to APAC

Singapore – Bench, a programmatic solutions provider, has announced that it is extending the market offering of Bench Connect, its very own marketing intelligence platform, to clients in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region, which was designed to address ad ‘murkiness’ and media inefficiencies that have plagued the industry.

Founded by programmatic media veterans Gil Snir, Shai Luft and Ori Gold, Bench Connect is designed to speed up and scale end-to-end digital media planning, team management and analytics in record time. Bench Connect integrates agencies and advertisers’ existing ad platforms into one seamless dashboard, enabling unrivalled transparency, efficiencies and ROI. 

For Gold, their aim is to help today’s busy digital marketers and advertisers save time and reap the rewards of more holistic and scalable ad management.

“You don’t solve the inefficiencies of our industry with analytics alone. We are transforming the way media is managed from siloed workflows to a fully integrated ecosystem, by unlocking a new and exciting breed of marketing intelligence,” Gold stated.

By automating the manual processes that exist within programmatic media workflow, the Bench Connect platform enables data to be mapped from various platforms, visualized and actioned to speed up digital media management at an unprecedented rate. The end-to-end process on Bench Connect – from initiating the brief to launching a marketing campaign – takes about 30 minutes, significantly less than the industry average of 30 days of traditional legacy models of ad campaign management.

“Up to now, any offerings that promise to connect your media and teams in a seamless workflow could take years to implement, and often the project is left unfinished due to lack of team or technical resources. We are very excited about this launch, especially now with marketers under greater pressure than ever before to interpret data and make faster decisions,” Gold explains, adding that most competing solutions are either too slow or simply rely on manual inputs for the system to work.

Unlike competing marketing cloud providers in the market, Bench Connect removes slow set up times and high implementation martech and adtech costs. Gold says these efficiencies will flow directly to brands and agencies’ bottom line and enable them to take control over their media and transparency across the supply chain.

“We expect this number to more than double over the next five years, as the world moves further towards online transactions and realizes the rapid growth of digital spending across APAC. The time is now to say goodbye to legacy models of adtech and martech, and embrace smarter ways of transforming our industry globally,” Gold concludes.

Technology Featured Global

DoubleVerify to expand fraud protection to MoPub’s programmatic exchange

Singapore – Global digital media measurement software platform DoubleVerify has announced that it is expanding its partnership with MoPub, a monetization solutions provider under Twitter, entailing DoubleVerify to expand its full fraud protection to MoPub Marketplace, which is MoPub’s programmatic exchange.

MoPub Exchange currently connects advertisers with more than two trillion ad requests from over 1.5 billion addressable users around the world.

Said expanded partnership stems from their original partnership in 2019 where DoubleVerify was the sole provider of fraud and invalid traffic detection (IVT) post-bid measurement for the MoPub Marketplace. 

This expanded partnership, which includes DoubleVerify’s pre-bid avoidance segments and post-bid monitoring and blocking, further extends quality coverage for global advertisers and publishers across one of the world’s premiere mobile app programmatic exchanges. With DoubleVerify’s technology, MoPub can continuously refine the quality of mobile inventory available through MoPub Marketplace.

“For advertising to perform, it must be seen by real people. Unfortunately, fraud follows the money — and as ad investments have shifted to mobile, bad actors are working hard to take advantage. For that reason, it’s imperative that brands have clarity into the quality of in-app inventory they buy,” said Matt McLaughlin, COO at DoubleVerify.

He also added that they are excited to expand their partnership with MoPub to promote transparency, support mobile ad quality and performance, and empower marketers to reach their consumers wherever they are.

Meanwhile, Michal Jacobsberg-Reiss, head of ecosystem Partnerships at MoPub noted that ad fraud is an industry-wide challenge, impacting publishers, advertisers and SSPs, which pushes MoPub continuously invests in keeping their Marketplace fraud-free, and having the right partnership in place is paramount for this effort.

“DoubleVerify has been a strong partner for combatting new and emerging types of ad fraud. This expanded partnership supports our comprehensive, multi-step approach to ensure MoPub Marketplace is thoroughly vetted and monitored to uphold our already stringent, high standards of traffic quality,” he said.

As part of its mobile in-app fraud solution, DoubleVerify identifies and screens the most significant types of in-app fraud, including background ad activity, hidden ads, app misrepresentation (spoofing), and measurement manipulation.

Technology Featured APAC

Current programmatic activity 30% higher in JAPAC compared to pre-COVID period

Singapore – Programmatic investment and spend is growing at a rapid rate across the Japan and Asia-Pacific (JAPAC) region despite a hugely challenging 12 months in terms of both the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and the deprecation of third-party identifiers, which is now 30% higher compared to pre-pandemic levels, a new research from adtech OpenX and market intelligence news site ExchangeWire shows.

According to their latest report, around 64% of agencies, publishers, and brands are increasing programmatic spend or revenue, an evident growth in the sector driven by a surge in digital transformation across agencies, publishers, and brands.

The report highlights as well that 31% of publishers are generating over 40% of their revenue via programmatic. On the buy side, 21% are allocating over 40% of their spend on the channel. 

With that in mind, there has been an observation as well that publishers have matured in their strategic selection of header bidding partners, while the use of unified auction solution Prebid has increased by over 10% market-wide. Compared to 2020, publishers are using relatively fewer providers than in 2020, and prioritizing ease of setup for when existing providers are not meeting expectations.

Such behavior is prevalent in the Indian market, where 32% are now using one to four partners, compared to just 7% last year, and 13% are using 15 or more partners, which has more than halved from the 29% recorded in 2020.

“The programmatic industry in JAPAC is displaying a remarkably strong recovery. We see newly-forged programmatic expertise across both buy and sell sides driven by rapid digital transformation. Agencies, publishers and brands are demonstrating greater confidence in managing their own programmatic activities. As a result, the ecosystem is directing more revenues and spend through the medium compared to other marketing streams,” said Andrew Tu, managing director for APAC at OpenX.

There have been rising concerns within the region over the deprecation of Apple’s Identifier for Advertisers (IDFA) and the third-party cookie. Two-thirds (67%) are concerned about the effect of IDFA and cookie deprecation, with 29% very concerned about these changes. India displayed the most concern, with 87% disclosing some level of concern, followed by Indonesia (71%) and Australia (62%). In Japan, only 49% are concerned, while 50% are not perturbed about the upcoming changes.

Furthermore, brands and agencies are not funnelling money to ‘walled gardens’, and instead favor independent ad tech.

A ‘walled garden’ refers to a limited set of technology or media information provided to users with the intention of creating a monopoly or secure information system.

Only 16% of buyers are increasing walled garden ad spend in response to IDFA and third-party cookie deprecation, whereas 27% are investing in exchange, supply-side platform (SSP), and demand-side platform (DSP) partnerships.

In India, only 2.5% are funneling spend away from independent ad tech towards the walled gardens.

“Despite some fears around the impact of IDFA deprecation and the eventual removal of cookies in Chrome, a majority of brands are maintaining or increasing spend on the independent web and not towards the walled gardens. Instead, they are working together with their tech partners to navigate the nascent privacy-first environment,” Tu added.

In terms of investment, India is more heavily invested in programmatic than its peers. Only 2% are not using the channel, compared to 33% in Japan, 9% in Australia and 6% in Indonesia. Moreover, 12% of respondents within India are generating over 75% of their spend in programmatic, double that of both Australia and Indonesia.

Platforms Featured Global

Anzu, OpenX to bring programmatic in-game advertising closer to advertisers

Tel Aviv, Israel – Global in-game advertising platform Anzu and independent advertising exchange OpenX, has recently announced a new partnership in which both companies will be able to programmatically serve Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB)-recognized in-game video and banner ads at scale across mobile, PC, and console platforms.

For Brian Murphy, SVP of buyer and publisher development at OpenX, their company has always been in search of creating more value for our partners, adding that for marketers, this means integrating with new, cutting-edge ad units that will help them engage their target audiences.

“Gaming is an industry with an audience that is growing at an unprecedented rate and shows no signs of slowing down. Our integration with Anzu enables marketers to programmatically reach this audience through immersive ad placements that respect the gameplay and naturally match the environment,” said Murphy.

Meanwhile, Yaniv Rozencweig, global programmatic director at Anzu, commented, “We’re excited to partner with OpenX to offer gaming’s untapped premium and brand-safe environment to its advertisers, allowing them to reach players across a wide range of SDK supply from various game genres and devices. OpenX is known for being a leader in brand safety and creating a good user experience for the consumer, which perfectly aligns with Anzu’s values.”

Fully GDPR, COPPA, and CCPA compliant, Anzu’s innovative SDK technology integrated into games delivers high-quality direct traffic with complete control over ad placements and first-party data.

On the other hand, OpenX is a recognized global company in programmatic advertising, delivering value across every type of connected screen and format. The company powers effective and impactful audience targeting on the open web by enabling marketers to leverage first and third-party data to reach their target audience across OpenX’s global network of publishers.

Main Feature Technology APAC

Beyond mobile: The other screen to turn consumers’ heads post-pandemic

Online video consumption reached new heights as a majority of people were forced to spend a greater amount of time indoors. According to Limelight’s State of Online Video 2020, viewers spent almost eight hours per week consuming various types of online video content.

In Southeast Asia, a majority of this growth is being driven by mobile video consumption. No surprise then, that mobile video advertising spending grew by 65 percent in this region.

Premium video advertising’s popularity continues to soar. According to Verizon Media’s Video Advertising Study in January 2020, two-thirds of marketers said that video will continue to offer a higher return than other ad formats.

OTT and short-form social video are the platforms of choice for a majority of video consumers today. But there is another platform that offers marketers with an avenue to reach consumers with premium video content outside of the internet: Digital Out-of-Home (DOOH) media.

DOOH screens are now present across every possible consumer touchpoint outside the home. There are now millions of public screens installed in venues like shopping malls, transit hubs, bus shelters, office buildings, residential lobbies, and more. This is in addition to the roadside and building facade screens that have been replacing static billboards.

DOOH ads have not traditionally been considered part of video marketing budgets but it is now starting to achieve a scale of presence and automation that will enable it to challenge for a share of the pie. The following is a summary of the biggest shifts happening in this space.

More than Just Billboards

Enough has been said about the impact of pandemic-battling lockdowns on the outdoor advertising industry. One good thing to come out of this was that it pretty much forced the hand of industry stakeholders to embrace data and technology to change the narrative around DOOH media.

By embracing dynamic movement data, DOOH providers are now able to show the potential of audiences exposed to the site for upcoming campaigns. One of the trends that emerged during some forms of lockdowns was that people were still moving about but these journeys were taking place closer to home, where they would still come into contact with some form of DOOH screen.

This repositioning exercise showed marketers that DOOH screens are ever-present and that there are opportunities to reach audiences with video assets in contextually relevant environments like grocery stores.

Growing Availability of Programmatic DOOH Solutions

While DOOH screens have been available for quite some time now, it is only possible to consider them for premium video campaigns when the inventory is accessible at scale.

Advertising technology solutions that make automated buying and selling of DOOH inventory possible are now mainstream and the connected assets are available for buyers to activate from anywhere in the world alongside other digital video platforms.

Digital marketers are now starting to leverage the unique characteristics of DOOH as a video advertising platform. For example, DOOH ads are always 100 percent viewable and make a bigger impact simply due to its large physical presence.

For example, this Snickers Hunger Bars Campaign in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia amplified an online campaign by featuring real user-generated content on premium digital billboards.

Non-Traditional DOOH Screens Lead Shift to Impression-Based Buying

Large digital billboards, which basically replaced static billboards in the same locations, heralded the arrival of DOOH media as a marketing channel. However, it is the incredible growth of indoor digital screen networks that have helped it achieve the scale it has now.

Traditional billboard media owners were just that – media owners. Today, any physical establishment that has installed a digital screen can become a DOOH media owner. This could be an independent gym owner with one screen or a nationwide supermarket network with 10,000 screens across their locations.

The interesting thing about these non-traditional media owners is that advertising revenue was not the primary goal of their screen installations. They were installed to enhance communication with the establishment’s visitors or even engage them with entertainment content.

This is a medical supplier in Indonesia which installed hand sanitizers that now double up as ad screens

There is now a growing trend of these players partnering technology providers to equip their screens with programmatic ad-serving technology to make the space available to potential video marketers.

A smart vending machine in Singapore went with the same route with machines now displaying video ads

A recent example of this in Southeast Asia is a medical supplier in Indonesia who installed hand sanitizer stations in retail spaces that now double up as advertising screens. Another is a smart vending machine operator in Singapore whose screens can now serve contextual video advertisements when not being used to purchase a product.

Delivering Incremental Video Reach

Since DOOH screens are present outside the home, they don’t directly compete for audience attention with personal screen time. They are also non-intrusive as they are not consumed at the beginning or in-between other video content.

Cross-media planning tools can now ingest DOOH audience data and available inventory information to identify opportunities to allocate an effective portion of video spends to deliver incremental reach. With the growth of new screen networks, the potential DOOH media reach now surpasses broadcast and cable TV in some cases.

These critical developments – positioning of DOOH as a video medium, availability of data, and automation technology, along with the scale achieved by non-traditional advertising screens – could not have come together at a better time. As global markets reopen and screen-fatigued consumers start going outdoors again, DOOH will be more visible and impactful than ever. Now marketers have the right tools to run effective ‘video outside’ campaigns as well.

This article was written by Mehul Mandalia, Co-Founder and Head of Demand Platform at Moving Walls.
Technology Featured Southeast Asia

InMobi taps former Unruly exec to lead programmatic business in SEA

Singapore – InMobi, an independent marketing cloud company, has recently announced the recent appointment of former executive from video advertising platform Unruly, Valerie Jaquet, as InMobi’s new director of agency and programmatic business in Southeast Asia.

She had a five-year stint at Unruly, where she stood as its vice president for programmatic sales in APAC. Prior to InMobi, she had also worked with global programmatic buying group Dentsu Amnet and media company FairFax. Overall, she brings in over 15 years of digital advertising and programmatic experience. 

Through her new role, Jaquet will be focused on leading regional growth and scaling InMobi’s agency and demand-side platform (DSP) partnerships as well as overseeing the company’s programmatic business and operations.

Speaking about her appointment, she said, “In today’s fast-paced connected consumer landscape, it is imperative for brands and marketers to leverage data and technology in the right manner. InMobi is doubling down on its efforts to build the future of marketing, adtech, and data and I am excited to be part of this change and looking forward to expanding our reach and foothold within Southeast Asia.”

Meanwhile, Rishi Bedi, vice president and GM for Southeast Asia, Japan and Korea at InMobi, commented, “I am happy to welcome Valerie as our new Director and look forward to working together to drive stronger growth across Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, and Philippines markets in 2021. Her rich experience, as both publisher and agency, is complementary to InMobi’s regional growth plans.”

InMobi’s latest appointments come as the Southeast Asian market is becoming a focus market for InMobi, with great growth potential on mobile marketing and programmatic fronts. This has been the case in their recent findings, where they note that mobile ad spending grew by 65% in the region.

Marketing Featured East Asia

Anzu taps into China gaming market; appoints new partner to lead expansion

Shanghai, China – In-game advertising solution Anzu has announced that it is now entering the Chinese gaming market, and has sought Chen Zeng to lead its expansion in Mainland China as its strategic partner for China.

Anzu’s expansion speaks for its previous goal after it concluded its US$9M series funding last February this year led by WPP and Sony.

In regards to Zeng’s background, Zeng is an industry professional with more than 15 years of experience in the IT industry and an impressive track record of building technology-focused advertising brands in China. Before joining Anzu, Zeng spent five years as the General Manager of mobile ad tech Glispa China. He was also the head of sales at mobile marketing company MobPartner China, as well as leading InMobi China’s business development team.

Speaking about the partnership, Zeng said, “I am beyond excited to assist Anzu with its expansion into the region. Anzu’s unique and creative platform is a game-changer and Chinese advertisers and game developers will be eager to tap into the power of this disruptive technology. I am committed to seeing Anzu’s operations in China succeed and have no doubt that success is only moments away.”

Anzu has always ramped up its global presence prior to its China expansion, as it has forged partnerships with companies such as Eskimi and AdColony to bring in-game advertising to a greater reach, as well as with game developers like those of the game World Cricket Championship.

“Anzu has been operating in the APAC region for some time, but expanding to China specifically brings us one step closer to becoming a company with global operations. As the number one gaming market globally, China is overflowing with opportunities, and this partnership helps circumvent the Great Firewall,” said Itamar Benedy, co-founder and CEO of Anzu.

He added, “I’ve known Chen since the days of Glispa and am thrilled to be working with him again on this joint venture which promises exciting synergies for the local gaming industry.”

Technology Featured Global

PubMatic announces fraud-free program for CTV, OTT inventory

California, USA – Programmatic digital advertising company PubMatic has announced that it is now expanding its fraud-free program to omnichannel clients, specifically those handling inventories of connected TV (CTV) and over-the-top media service (OTT).

The program is designed to expand scale and engagement opportunities for buyers and promote the development of the rapidly growing CTV sector, from a limited number of top-tier channels and apps, to a broader range of channels and apps with unique high value audiences.

Furthermore, it is expanded to include a money-back guarantee for demand-side partners if fraud is verified on PubMatic’s platform.

“We see tremendous upside potential in the transition from linear TV to connected TV, but fraud concerns have prevented some buyers from fully benefiting. We are confident in the quality of inventory on the PubMatic platform, and our fraud-free program should give buyers confidence to bid on quality CTV inventory at scale,” said Paulina Klimenko, chief growth officer at PubMatic.

She further says that publishers are creating a wealth of new premium TV content and that they are attempting to remove the major challenges and risks. 

“PubMatic is helping DSPs, agencies, and advertisers take advantage of the dramatic increase in opportunities to engage the huge numbers of viewers shifting to CTV,” added Klimenko

With many buyers continuously buying from a small number of CTV publishers due to concerns over quality and fraud, PubMatic’s fraud-free program aims to enable buyers to embrace the full potential of programmatic bidding, where efficiency and control do not need to be traded off against each other.

In addition, PubMatic believes the full potential of programmatic CTV can only be realized when buyers have confidence that their investments will reach real consumers within their intended contextual environments.

“PubMatic employs a rigorous inventory review process for publishers across all platforms and formats (mobile, desktop, digital video and CTV). Leveraging a combination of expert human analysis, proprietary and third-party fraud detection tools, PubMatic vets publishers prior to onboarding and implements pre-bid and post-bid protections to detect and filter out invalid traffic and other nefarious activity, and has historically achieved low fraud levels,” the company said in a press statement.

Technology Featured Southeast Asia

GroupM’s Xaxis to work with SG proptech Really’s ‘eScreens’

Singapore – Xaxis, the programmatic unit of media investment company GroupM, has announced a new partnership with Singapore-based proptech Really Singapore, as Xaxis extends its programmatic DOOH (Digital-Out-of-Home) network in Singapore, particularly among the prized audience segment of affluent consumers.

The Premium Audience Advertising Network features Really’s ‘eScreens,’ a network of digital notice boards installed in high-traffic locations across a growing number of condominiums throughout Singapore. As work-from-home (WFH) protocols become the new normal for many Singapore residents, Really’s ‘eScreens’ are presenting advertisers with new opportunities to engage the island’s high-income working professionals.

Joerg Zeugner, CEO at Really Singapore, said, “We are excited to collaborate with GroupM and Xaxis, two digital-forward entities owned by the world’s largest advertising company, WPP. This is where the best in PropTech meets the best in AdTech – a strategic alliance that opens up for brand owners the opportunity to effectively engage a valued audience segment living within premium, gated, and exclusive communities.”

Through the ‘eScreens’, property managers will now have the ability to distribute real-time updates for the benefit of their residents at any time, from anywhere. For brand owners and advertisers, these screens give access to a captive and recurring audience, with their content appearing alongside important updates, local news, and affairs of the estate. 

Felicia Poon, head of investment at GroupM Singapore, commented that as people continue to work from home, they see the partnership as a great opportunity to contextually and smartly engage them. 

“Really’s platform and technology will enable our agencies to enhance the value of our DOOH offering across condominiums in Singapore, cementing our position as the leading media company,” Poon stated.

Meanwhile, Josh Quek, managing director at Xaxis Singapore, said that the partnership roots from the past digital evolution of the past 12 months, which has introduced new ways of reaching audiences, in line with rapidly changing consumer behaviours. 

“Through this partnership with Really, we are pleased to be able to offer brands the opportunity to reach residents within the grounds of their condo. Delivering DOOH campaigns programmatically allows us to address concerns brands may have regarding measurability, proving that DOOH advertising truly is the future,” Quek stated.