Agencies Can Now Emotionally Target Ads

Agencies Can Now Emotionally Target Ads

In the days of hyper-personalisation and tighter targeting comes a new offering from video ad tech company Unruly, which allows advertisers to target customers based on emotion.

Emma Mackenzie
Posted by Emma Mackenzie

The offering Unruly Custom Audiences targets paid media to specific consumers who are most likely to emotionally engage with an ad and subsequently share the ad with family, friends and social media.

Unruly, which was recently acquired by News Corp for the hefty sum of $125 million, teamed up with media agency Mediacom for the Australian launch of the event, being the first media agency to test out the capability with a campaign it’s running for Westpac.

Tom Robinson, head of content strategy and distribution at MediaCom Australia, said: “The launch of Unruly Custom Audiences means we will now be able to find out how, why, where and with whom our customers clients’ ads or video content are resonating.

“We can also use Unruly’s distribution platform to optimise our digital online video distribution to reach and engage the sub-segments of their audience most likely to emotionally engage with the content.”

Sarah Wood, co-founder of Unruly, told B&T during her visit to Australia media agencies were one of the main reasons the Unruly Custom Audiences capability was launched.

Previously, when media agencies would use Unruly ShareRank – an algorithm which predicts how much an ad will get shared – it would take a few weeks. However, by the time the media agency would get the creative from the ad agency, it would already be too late as the campaign due date would ordinarily be fast approaching, or have already gone.

“Really, this was built out for them,” said Wood. “So that we could say ‘that doesn’t matter’. Give us the content 24 hours before launch, we’ll test it, we’ll ShareRank it super fast, we’ll find out which audience is most likely to respond and then we’ll apply that to your paid buy.”

The offering will utilise the data within ShareRank – which has more than two trillion tracked views of various ads – to help target consumers likely to emotionally engage.

News Corp’s director of national sales, Sharb Farjami, also added that as many media agencies are expanding their capabilities to often included things like branded content, the use of Unruly Custom Audiences helps media agencies deliver for clients.

“In fact us,” he said, referring to News Corp, “we’ve used the products ourselves to try and work out how to create ad content better ourselves.” While not sharing any results on how it’s gone so far, given the product is very new in Australia, Farjami said it came just in time as the media company was in the throes of launching a big campaign.

Of the announcement of the new offering, Unruly’s Australian managing director, Lance Traore, added: “For the first time, brands and media agencies can use the results of content testing to apply emotional targeting to their video buys. In today’s frenetic, cluttered media landscape, brands that want success on social media and memorability at the point of purchase need to create and distribute contagious content that makes a deep emotional connection with their audience.”

The offering comes just in time for Christmas Down Under, as many Chrissy campaigns use emotional pulls within the advertising.

And it’s these emotional ties that get people sharing ads, as Sainsbury’s and John Lewis’ Christmas ads have are already within the top 20 most shared ads of this year, despite only being out for a few weeks.

Unruly Custom Audiences had already been launched in the US and UK, with Wood saying it will be rolling out across all Unruly’s offices eventually.