High impact for brands and publishers alike: an interview with Undertone
Today, we’re chatting with AdThrive ad partner Undertone about industry trends and developments in high-impact ad units. Undertone powers some of our latest ad offerings like interscrollers and expandable sticky footer ads.
These ad types maximize your income from your existing ad spaces by reimagining how that ad space can behave — giving readers engaging new ad experiences and giving brands creative new ways to showcase their messaging.
It’s a win for publishers, site visitors, and advertisers alike! Undertone’s VP of Publisher Development, Jonathon Matthews, is here to share some more behind-the-scenes details on that!
Undertone has been around for a long time – can you tell us how your business has evolved over time and where you’re focusing your efforts these days?
Undertone was founded in 2001, during the depths of the original dot com downturn. Few ad tech companies have stood the test of time like Undertone, something we are very proud of. We actually pioneered one of the original high-impact formats (it was called a pop-under, thus the name Undertone) and built an ad network business around it.
As the market grew and changed, Undertone evolved with it, always staying focused on its mission of marrying creativity with technology and distribution.
Our current focus is ensuring that our clients are able to deliver a personalized experience to consumers across screens, platforms, and devices. We call it ‘synchronized digital branding’.
For publishers, this means synchronized monetization solutions cross-screen through various high-impact ad formats. AdThrive publishers are familiar with our products Brand Reveal and Expandable Adhesion as “Interscroller” and “Expandable Sticky Footer” ads.
Given how connected you are to brands and advertisers, what is one thing that you’d like to share with publishers about strategy and marketing?
Strategically, brands want to diversify away from the large platforms who have become so dominant. This puts publishers in a stronger position than they have been in years.
Tactically, publishers should seek to develop a direct relationship with their core audience and overdeliver on user experience to keep them coming back for more. In a digital context, that means thinking about site speed, the number and quality of ads within a given session, and the types of brands that are being offered.
What are some of the big advertising trends you’ve seen recently?
We’re excited about this idea of synchronicity and the potential that it has for marketers. As the consumer experience grows increasingly fragmented and includes more devices and platforms, brands that lean into this reality have an incredible opportunity to deliver great advertising.
An example that ties this all together is Undertone’s recent partnership with television data company Alphonso. By connecting Alphonso’s user-level TV viewing data with Undertone’s best-in-class ad formats and creatives, brands are able to deliver advertising that is seamless across TV and digital in real time.
Can you tell us how advertisers choose which high-impact ad types to use and why they would choose them over regular banner ads?
We take a consultative approach to ensure we understand the marketers’ goals and objectives and then make a recommendation. For instance, our Brand Reveal (Interscroller) format is designed to capture consumer attention and subsequently drive engagement.
Broadly speaking, regular display ads have their place and are effective for building reach, frequency, and driving lower-funnel action, so we include them as part of a total campaign. However, for brand-building, having ad formats that make an impact are essential, which is why we place such emphasis on them.
With high-impact ad types, what have you seen around user engagement and interactions? Why should publishers run them?
Across the portfolio, our internal data shows that Undertone formats garner nearly double the interaction time level of Google’s rich media benchmarks. Importantly, high-impact formats deliver higher CPMs and revenue to publishers than their standard display ad counterparts.
We believe that when you prioritize user experience, everyone wins. That means designing formats that offer great creative capability, fit the context of the device and platform they are being delivered on, and are personalized for the consumer using comprehensive data. All in a manner that keeps user privacy and security at the core.
Great user experience and superior revenue — truly a win-win for publishers.
Thank you, Jonathon!
Here at AdThrive, we’re committed to helping publishers run fewer ads, give their readers a great site experience, and take home the most money for their business!
If you’d like to make sure you’re running every available high-impact “ad upgrade” (including Undertone’s options) for the ad spaces on your site, reach out to the AdThrive publisher team anytime right here.