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News Work2021-11-25

Google and Essence launch contextual advertising powered by machine learning with Guardian Australia

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Essence

People are confronted with a huge volume of messages from brands each day. This only increases the need for marketers to create relevant and engaging creative that grabs attention. When brands thoughtfully associate the creative message to the media environment, then audiences are more receptive. Furthermore, with privacy more important to consumers than ever before, many advertisers and agencies in Australia are looking at how to deliver impactful advertising in a future-proofed way.

Essence, working in partnership with Google and the Guardian, and using the best of Google Cloud’s artificial intelligence suite, developed technology to build machine learning models to evaluate the context of thousands of articles on the Guardian’s website, and then deliver contextually relevant ads that are not reliant on cookies or personal identifiers. Production of hundreds of ads was automated, with each ad customised for contextual relevance on individual article pages. 

This innovation improves audiences’ experience with advertising, enhances advertisers’ campaign performance results, and powers an advertising solution that does not use cookies. After successful campaigns in the United Kingdom and the United States that saw strong lifts in brand metrics such as purchase consideration and category understanding, this approach has launched in Australia, with a Google Nest campaign to promote the Nest Hub.

Sid Nair, AVP, Programmatic and Data Strategy, APAC, Essence, says, “In this new era of advertising without personal identifiers, contextual advertising is seeing a return to dominance. Our campaigns in the UK and the US have shown that with innovative use of new technologies and advancements in data-driven creative, brands can expect high relevance and performance from their contextual advertising campaigns. We are excited to launch this innovation with Google and the Guardian in Australia.”

Rob Maddison, AUNZ Media Lead at Google, says, “At Google Marketing, we prioritise reaching our audience in a privacy-respecting manner. By coupling this with machine learning-powered ad technology, we can demonstrate the benefits of the Google Nest Hub in a relevant environment based on the context of articles and editorials people are reading. We are thrilled to have worked closely with the Guardian as a partner that can enable innovation within a premium and trusted news environment.”

Mason Rook, Commercial Director, Guardian Australia, says, “I am really excited about this project - working alongside Google and Essence, we are able to launch this technology here in Australia. This innovation brings the opportunity for the Guardian to offer renewed levels of relevance to brands through their advertising placement, while maintaining a seamless personalised ad experience.”