Singapore – Media company Verizon Media has launched its Next-Gen Audiences and Next-Gen Buying, the first two tools from its newly introduced Next-Gen Solutions suite the first-to-market offering for advertisers and publishers independent of cookies or mobile app IDs for audience creation, buying, or measurement.

The two new tools will be using content and other real-time data signals like weather, location, and device types to power machine-learning algorithms that allow advertisers to connect with their most relevant audiences without the need for cookies, mobile app IDs, browser storage, or creating user-level profiles.

Over the past few years, internet companies have implemented tighter privacy-data protection policies to secure users’ personal data on the web. However, the majority of businesses still rely on third-party data for customer insights.

With the new tools, Verizon Media aims to build an identity-less era that delivers relevant ad experiences while strengthening consumer trust. Next-Gen Audiences is for creating audiences from machine-learning models built on Verizon Media’s extensive first-party data signals. Enriched by contextual and real-time signals, Next-Gen Audiences leverage existing demo, interest, look-alike, and predictive audience signals in an aggregated, privacy-centric manner to provide ad campaign accuracy and performance for brands, agencies, and publishers for identity-less impressions.

Meanwhile, Next-Gen Buying will be leveraging Next-Gen Audiences, maintaining healthy end-user marketing experiences for identity-less impressions while optimizing advertiser campaigns. By using machine learning-based frequency to limit over-exposures, Next-Gen Buying natively integrates into the Verizon Media DSP to intelligently bid between addressable and identity-less supply for seamless buying and delivery. 

“As legislation and consumer privacy preferences shift, and the ad ecosystem moves away from third-party cookies, advertisers, and publishers need new solutions that can reach consumers in relevant and meaningful ways. There is an expanding opportunity, given the massive digitization wave sweeping across Southeast Asia that netted 40 million new internet users in 2020 alone,” said Verizon Media in a press statement.

Rico Chan, the head of APAC sales at Verizon Media, shared that advertisers find themselves lacking ready access to privacy-centric identifiers that effectively reach the SEA region’s swelling digital population. 

“The roll-out of Next-Gen Audiences and Next-Gen Buying will allow advertisers who are identity-constrained to reach an addressable audience. The new tools will help advertisers achieve targeted scale, delivering relevant consumer experiences and enable better publisher monetization in the absence of IDs,” said Chan.

The new tools are now available in APAC, North America, and selected LATAM markets.

In addition, Verizon Media has announced that it will be launching Next-Gen Measurement in Q4 2021. This tool will allow advertisers to maintain omnichannel insights and measurements. By combining Verizon Media’s measurement methodology, based on first-party aggregated data, with third-party solutions provided by browsers and operating systems, it will provide a comprehensive, reliable, and privacy-preserving foundation for measurement.

Tel Aviv, Israel – Global in-game advertising platform Anzu has announced a new global deal with media company Verizon Media to bring Anzu’s fully-blended in-game advertising to ad platforms hosted by Verizon Media.

Verizon Media has established itself as a forward-thinking media brand that provides its clients with access to next-generation advertising opportunities across established and emerging platforms and channels. Its already strong foothold in the gaming industry will be bolstered by the partnership with Anzu.

Through the deal, Verizon Media advertisers will benefit from Anzu’s exclusive partnership with popular game publishers such Vivid Games, Toplitz Productions, Axis Games, to name a few. Clients will also be able to connect in-game with Xbox gamers as Anzu is the only platform of its kind licensed under the Xbox Tools and Middleware program.

“Our new partnership with Verizon Media is a testament to Anzu’s platform and strengthens our position as a leader in the in-game advertising industry. We are pleased to welcome Verizon Media advertisers to our platform and provide them with exclusive opportunities to deliver their campaigns to a growing and receptive gaming audience,” said Yaniv Rozenweig, director of business operations at Anzu.

Meanwhile, Kristiana Carlet, VP for international sales at Verizon Media, commented that they have been always on the lookout for new partnerships that help connect their advertisers and media partners to premium, engaged audiences through creative campaigns and innovative context and formats.

“We see an increasing demand for in-game advertising opportunities from clients across our global markets. This partnership with Anzu continues to build out our strong gaming credentials, supplying our ecosystem with even more premium advertising opportunities,” Carlet said.

Just recently, It was announced that 90% of Verizon Media’s division had been acquired by investment management firm Apollo Global Management for roughly US$5b, and will be known as ‘Yahoo!’ following the closure of the deal. Meanwhile, Anzu has also been ramping up its operations, recently announcing its new partner in China, Chen Zeng, as well as forging partnerships with companies such as Eskimi and AdColony similarly to bring in-game advertising to a greater reach.

Singapore – Media company Verizon Media has recently announced the promotion of Paul Sigaloff, former managing director of ANZ, to now assume the role of vice president of Verizon Media ANZ and INSEA.

Sigaloff brings with him over 10 years of experience in the media industry across the United Kingdom and Australia. He joined the company as the commercial director in 2014, and thereafter, worked as the managing director in 2018, where he led Verizon Media’s portfolio of dynamic digital media and technology brands including Yahoo across ANZ.

In his new role, Sigaloff will be responsible for leading the media company’s teams in Australia, New Zealand, and India, as well as the whole Southeast Asia region. The current sales team headed by Carol Tay, the senior director of sales of Verizon Media SEA, will now report to Sigaloff.

According to the company, the promotion is recognition for Sigaloff’s leadership during a record year of growth for Verizon Media ANZ. In 2020 Monthly Active Users (MAUs) across Yahoo’s editorial brands grew 11%, with double-digit revenue growth despite the headwinds in the wider market.

Furthermore, the company said that Sigaloff’s leadership philosophy and success in ANZ is grounded on the principles of media and advertising acting as forces for good in the world. This approach has leveraged product developments including greater privacy controls for users, and internally through a phenomenal corporate social responsibility program which saw the company donate more than AU$1M in time and value to charitable causes in 2020.

Commenting on his promotion, Sigaloff said that he is fortunate to be building on strong foundations in Singapore with the SEA region being a vibrant and important market for Verizon Media.

“My priority is to take the time to learn from the successful initiatives in those markets and take a strategic approach to apply the most appropriate lessons from our ANZ success story to create meaningful impact here in South East Asia,” said Sigaloff.

Rico Chan, the head of sales of Verizon Media APAC, commented that Sigaloff deserves the promotion coming from an inspirational leadership in ANZ.

“I look forward to working with him going forward to replicate this success across Southeast Asia and India. Southeast Asia is an important market for our business and this new structure enables us to take full advantage of key growth areas in 5G, e-commerce, and responsible business within these regions,” said Chan.

Singapore – Media company Verizon Media has announced the promotion of former director of content Simon Wheeler as the company’s senior director of content, therefore ramping up the company’s remit in Southeast Asia and India following the success of its Australian-based media brands.

Through his new role, Wheeler will be responsible for editorial strategy in English-language regions including Australia, India, and Southeast Asia. Editorial teams in India and across Southeast Asia will now report to Wheeler under the new structure. 

Prior to his new role, Wheeler has led the editorial strategy in Australia, managing teams to deliver quality content, diversify audiences, and achieve substantial growth. 

According to the company, Australian monthly active users across its editorial brands Yahoo Finance, Yahoo Lifestyle, Yahoo News and Yahoo Sport grew by 8% last year, and logged-in users increasing by 7%.

Commenting on his promotion, Wheeler said, “This is a really exciting time for Verizon Media as we band together with international teams to deliver quality content for our audiences across the wider APAC region. 2020 presented difficult and unexpected challenges for all but we overcame and adapted to interact with our audiences in new ways. I’m excited to be taking on this new role and working closer with our regional counterparts.”

Meanwhile, Marie-Hélène Savard, vice president and head of international consumer at Verizon Media, commented, “We’re thrilled to announce Simon’s promotion to this new role. Having proven success in diversifying and growing audiences over the past few years in Australia, we’re excited to see his expertise in play across the wider region. This new structure will better align our editorial strategy across wider APAC and enable our editorial teams to continue to deliver fantastic content and results for our audiences.” 

Sydney, Australia – Popular chip brand Doritos has worked with RYOT Studio, the branded content division of media company Verizon Media, in bringing the ‘Doritos Quest’ game, based on augmented reality (AR), to the Australian market.

The ‘Doritos Quest’ is an AR game where players must hunt around their local area to collect all four virtual ‘PlayStation Shapes’ in order to win the highly coveted PlayStation®5 Console prize. There is also a pool of instant-win rewards up for grabs including free packs of Doritos. 

The digital experience is developed by RYOT Studios, which combines virtual objects known as ‘Vatoms’ with augmented reality and blockchain technology to bring the digital experience to life, providing access via a mobile-only website for players Australia-wide. 

“RYOT Studio is all about delivering new, innovative ways of storytelling to build brand love. ‘Doritos Quest’ follows the trail of strong demand we’re seeing for our next generation of AR formats as more brands look for exciting ways to tell their stories and connect with new audiences,” said Zoe Cocker, head of brand at RYOT Studio ANZ.

“This campaign not only allows users to interact with a brand in their own physical world but also drives tangible sales results here in Australia. It’s a great example of how RYOT Studio creates new ways of engaging with consumers and innovative experiences that connect with them on the path to purchase,” added Cocker. 

In an exclusive statement to MARKETECH APAC, Cocker shared that the rise of AR-related campaigns have profound impacts in the behavior of consumers and eagerness among marketers in creating campaigns of their respective brands.

Zoe Cocker, Head of Brand at RYOT Studio ANZ

“For consumers, we know that the need for this is already there. Attention has never been harder to grab and consumers are itching for new ways to interact with brands that offer a higher value exchange, better personalization and interactivity. For marketers, this partnership shows how mixed and virtual reality has evolved away from being expensive and difficult to execute, to a valuable and scalable format that helps brands achieve higher attention/recall,” Cocker shared.

Cocker also mentioned of the vitality of AR-related campaigns to the food and retail industry, especially in the quick service restaurant (QSR) industry, to which she stated that the next big format in campaigns of the future revolves the question “how does the overlay of a digital experience enhance the user’s real world?”

“It’s important to note that AR has many different uses, whether its gamification, utility or even education. Technology alone won’t make something successful and we don’t believe in just using it for the sake of it. At RYOT Studio, we offer incredible technology solutions that are matched with unparalleled storytelling and filled by our first-party data insights. Those insights fuel the idea which enables us to bring immersive formats to marketers in a way that is accessible and scalable and relevant,” Cocker explained.

This is not the first time RYOT Studio has involved itself in creating AR campaigns. They have worked with concept store Officeworks in creating an AR Christmas campaign centered around a virtual Santa Claus, as well as with the Australian arm of news site HuffPost in relation with the National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee (NAIDOC) Week observance, where they created an art experience about the Migaloo whale migration.

Global campaign reel of the ‘Doritos AR Quest’ by RYOT Studio

‘Doritos Quest’ is part of a wider global campaign being featured in international markets including Belgium, Ireland, the Netherlands, Spain, and the UK. 

Sam O’Donnell, brand manager of Doritos at PepsiCo, stated, “We know Doritos fans are always looking for bold new ways to enjoy themselves and we wanted to encapsulate that in a tangible gaming experience. RYOT Studio has been imperative in enabling us to bring this vision to life and we look forward to seeing Aussies engage with Doritos like never before.”

Chinese New Year (CNY) is the first major holiday of the year in Southeast Asia (SEA), and a tremendous opportunity for marketers. In 2021, this opportunity has shifted online, with surging online activity in the region and e-commerce skyrocketing with blockbuster year-end 9.9, 11.11, and 12.12 sales.

This year’s Chinese New Year will be celebrated on the 12th of February

This CNY, we welcome the year of the Ox, the zodiac animal marked by traits such as diligence, reliability, and inspiring confidence – values that brands can lean into this season as they strive to bounce back from last year’s crisis. With a fresh sense of optimism, marketers would be wise to parlay the immense growth in digital adoption into exciting opportunities as the SEA region fully embraces online shopping. Especially during the holidays, shoppers are looking for online, immersive experiences that translate to retail therapy.

One sure-fire way to meet this need is by introducing dynamic and personalized shoppable content. Channel the festivities and optimism of the year with these exciting forms of shoppable content across food, fashion, technology, and more.

Showcase curated and irresistible shoppable content

Brilliant and engaging content that feels authentic, with a high level of conceptualization and interaction can reach and engage consumers who are averse to ads while capturing the holiday spirit.

One example is leveraging powerful storytelling and leaning into branded entertainment such as a shoppable video. Consider an interactive film – a heartwarming story of a family celebrating the festivities amid social distancing, while introducing products, shoppable within a click, that fit within that experience. This way, a brand can take their consumers through an authentic journey that shapes positive brand association, while also providing a direct path to purchase – making every moment shoppable.

Another tactic that works well for fast-moving consumer goods such as food items is a shoppable image carousel or hotspot, with easily recognizable products and images. This allows for quick browsing and an instant path for shopping. For brands that would like to go big with a splash, a customized landing page provides unique, can’t-be-missed experiences that create a large impact and draw in the user to make a purchase.

Drive discovery and inspiration

What’s another way to make your shoppable content hard to miss? Be discoverable. As consumer behavior shifts towards experiential e-commerce, customers want to find and learn about new products online. A study by Valassis and Kantar Research showed that customers are making more informed buying decisions than ever, with 60% researching their products online before purchasing. A research by Verizon Media also shows that people go online to search for inspirations and ideas while they shop, where in Europe, around 35% of consumers searched online for ‘gift inspirations’ during the holidays and we can expect this to be a growing trend globally as e-commerce continues to boom.

When it comes to shoppable content, not everything has to be a hard sell. Look to combine value with information for the shopper. Shoppable editorial articles, for example, can deliver valuable and informative content, as well as build customer confidence and trust in their purchases. 

Also consider gift guides for shoppers with distinct themes, such as an interactive gift guide for CNY with the latest styles and colors that will bring luck and positivity for the year. As for undecided buyers, a shoppable quiz or poll is a fun and interactive way for them to discover new items, gift wrapped with personalized shopping advice.

Introduce interactive and immersive experiences

While online shopping certainly provides the conveniences that physical shopping cannot, certain factors of the brick-and-mortar experience are still not easily replaced. Yet, as more and more shoppers rely on e-commerce and lean on mobile shopping, the demand for reimagined sensory physical shopping experiences becomes all the more necessary.

Shopping for clothing and makeup heavily relies on ‘window shopping’, or the buyer’s interaction with the product – with decisions largely based on how it feels or fits. When it comes to shoppable content, experiences can go beyond mere interaction and become immersive, with rich and dynamic XR experiences aiming to bridge the physical-digital realm.

This is an opportune moment for brands, especially fashion, and beauty, to create innovative experiences through multiformat, tailored content. Consider forms such as AR-enabled shoppable content that not only strikes inspiration for shoppers by letting them view multidimensional facets of an item, but also allows them to try the items on for size: think of it as a ‘try before you buy’ feature where a shopper can virtually try on clothing or a makeup product. Other formats can enhance social experiences through rich forms of interactive content, such as being able to watch shoppable videos with friends

To really take online shopping up a notch, brands need to create a frictionless, relevant experience as consumers interact with content they trust. With 5G launching across SEA, 5G-enabled devices will set the stage for more innovative, personalized, and engaging experiences, especially for shopping.

Truly engaging and effective shoppable content requires a masterful mix of information and context, inspiration, and action. In order to scale shoppable content to the right audience and amplify positive results, it is especially useful to complement this with other forms. Enhance its impact by going omnichannel and pairing shoppable content with native ads, prominent front-page display ads, social media, and even DOOH – easiest if done with a one-stop-shop demand-side platform that allows for omnichannel buying across a diverse set of channels in a single platform.

With supercharged shopping experiences online and a rebound in consumer interest – 2021, the year of the Ox is shaping up to be promising for marketers. As CNY rolls in, good fortune and prosperity await brands who are able to capitalize on the opportunities emerging, and pivot to innovative, engaging, and dynamic offerings online – this year and beyond.

This article was written by Rico Chan, co-head of Verizon Media for APAC.

Verizon Media is a division of Verizon Communications, Inc., which houses media brands such as Yahoo, TechCrunch, and HuffPost to help people stay informed and entertained while creating new ways for advertisers and media partners to connect. 

Singapore – In its bid to be one of the first to adapt to an emerging cookie-less digital landscape, global adtech company Verizon Media has launched a new privacy-centric identity solution, Verizon Media ConnectID. 

The new unified ID helps advertisers buy, measure, and optimize ads while enabling publishers to manage, monetize, and navigate audiences all without third-party cookies. The solution helps marketers maximize the potential of their own first-party data for campaign optimization and measurement, and enables publishers to leverage first-party audience data for better monetization. 

To be able to do this, Verizon Media will be leveraging its strength in direct consumer relationships, where its user-base spans globally through Verizon Media’s over 30 owned and operated consumer brands including Yahoo, HuffPost, AOL, and TechCrunch.

The delivery of the solution will also maximize the company’s diverse identity graph. The company said its ID graph is built on deterministic data from direct consumer relationships across a range of omnichannel, cross-screen touchpoints, like mobile app, search, owned and operated sites and apps, email, and more.

Verizon Media also said that as an end-to end, full-stack technology partner with a recognized demand-side platform (DSP) and supply-side platform (SS), it is able to uniquely support advertisers and publishers in unlocking the full value of their content and marketing. A full-stack also allows for a single user match pool across demand and supply platforms for better transparency, transactions, and audience insights, without any third-party integrations required to get started.

Lastly, the solution ultimately banks on the adtech’s trusted data protections, where data is hashed, opt-in, and consent-based, enabling direct relevant advertising while maintaining a commitment to consumer choice and privacy.

“We are uniquely positioned to drive scaled, consumer-first identity solutions to help advertisers and publishers navigate the evolving digital landscape,” said Iván Markman, chief business officer at Verizon Media

“Our trusted, premium global properties used by hundreds of millions of people, our identity graph built around billions of daily, consent-based data signals, and the only independent ad platform with a full-stack DSP and SSP to protect data integrity across demand and supply, all come together to solve this new landscape for our customers,” Markman added.

According to the company, early adopters of the solution has delivered a 33% lift in performance for advertiser campaigns.

The company revealed that the Verizon Media ConnectID is only the first part of its strategy in building sustainable identity solutions for the future. As it moves forward, Verizon Media is continuing with an integrated three-pronged approach namely, investing in persistent identity within its Ad Platform ecosystem, developing next-generation ID-less audience solutions, and partnering across the industry with leading data providers like Acxiom, Adstra, Equifax IXI while also working with technology standard regulator IAB Tech Lab’s programs to develop industry-wide pro-privacy solutions for addressability with accountability. 

Jordan Mitchell, SVP and head of consumer privacy, identity, and data at IAB Tech Lab, said, “IAB Tech Lab is proud to have Verizon Media involved in the development of new privacy-preserving addressability standards and industry accountability programs through Project Rearc, and we look forward to their support of these standards and programs once they are released.”

Verizon Media ConnectID is currently available in the US, APAC, and select LATAM markets and is said to be rolled out to more markets in the future.