Transforming the advertising landscape: Multimedia classification, AI, and brand safety in 2023

16 August 2023
Jessica Miles.

Jessica MilesCountry Manager, ANZ at Integral Ad Science 

In the dynamic advertising landscape of 2023, the paramount challenge for advertisers is ensuring the safety of their brand within the sea of content and ensuring its alignment with suitable and relevant content. The rapid expansion of content consumption, powered by the influx of millions of videos to the open web each year, underscores the pressing demand for the ad tech industry to devise sophisticated technologies that keep pace with this evolution. We are in an era of ceaseless innovation, with the need to arm marketers with an arsenal to steer their brand safety and suitability while ensuring productivity.

As we delve deeper into the Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine learning (ML) driven age, marketers can access cutting-edge tools backed by AI/ML, revealing previously unattainable insights across video, audio, and text content. According to eMarketer, digital ad expenditure in Australia is projected to exceed $10 billion in 2023, spotlighting the increasing attention towards burgeoning video and audio platforms. Moreover, marketers are clamouring for actionable data capable of delivering maximum return on their advertising investment.


What is Multimedia Classification?

Multimedia classification technology uses artificial intelligence and machine learning algorithms to analyze and categorize multimedia content such as images, videos, and audio files. It enables automated tagging, labelling, and classifying of multimedia data based on content, context, and other relevant factors. This technology involves training models with large datasets to recognize patterns, features, and characteristics within different types of multimedia content. These models learn to identify objects, scenes, emotions, text, and other elements present in multimedia files. Next-generation AI/ML technology delivers unparalleled insight into content through meticulous frame-by-frame examination of images, audio, and text, extending to semantic interpretation. 

How Does it Help Advertisers? 

Amid escalating demands for transparency in advertising expenditure, multimedia classification emerges as a revolutionary technology that promises to alleviate advertisers' concerns and enhance the value of publishers' inventory. Multimedia classification technology allows advertisers to target their audiences more effectively by analysing the content of multimedia files; advertisers can gain insights into the context, themes, and sentiments associated with different pieces of content. This information enables them to deliver targeted advertisements that align with the interests and preferences of their intended audience. This nuanced detail equips marketers with the resources to oversee their media buys vigilantly, instilling confidence that their ads are positioned alongside brand safe content and conducive to executing effective advertising campaigns. 

Brands are now empowered to compare their specifications against the IAB and GARM brand suitability categories associated with the video or tailor criteria to their unique requirements. 

With this technology, brands can customise their criteria for suitable video content based on the IAB and GARM standards or their preferences. The technology is flexible and responsive to what advertisers want and need. For instance, a brand that chooses to advertise on a comedy channel may tolerate some obscenities in a standup act, but still have low tolerance for content involving alcohol, gambling, hate speech, offensive language, and violence. On the other hand, a brand that wants to avoid any negative associations can do so by setting low-risk thresholds across all risk categories. This way, brands can enjoy a granular level of transparency and control to give them the security and safety they have been missing.

How Does it Help Publishers? 

Greater transparency empowers publishers to thoughtfully curate inventory packages and establish pricing strategies. As multimedia classification technology becomes increasingly refined, it will not merely navigate ads away from damaging content but position them alongside content conducive to consumer engagement. This paves the way for publishers to serve ads that are more in tune with their brand and brand message, reflecting the preferences of their consumers and ultimately fostering stronger connections. This is true for social media platforms; as they strive to craft safe environments for vibrant expression and entertainment, arming advertisers with transparent, scalable tools for their digital campaigns becomes paramount.

Legacy methodologies prove inadequate for measuring content on an expansive scale, especially as we face the exponential acceleration of content creation. Marketers and publishers gain detailed and relevant insights by leveraging multimedia technology that measures text, image and audio. It empowers them to amplify their media buys and inventory to ensure digital ads resonate with authentic users and create results.

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