Tim Armstrong Talks Cross-Device; Pinterest Buys Kosei

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AOL Chief On Cross-Device IDs

Responding to the cross-device ID trend and how it relates to the future of ad targeting, AOL chief Tim Armstrong pegged AOL as an early investor in the space. “We have 100 million-plus IDs with cross-device targeting right now,” Armstrong said during a fireside chat at AdExchanger’s Industry Preview in NYC. But, he added, “People-based targeting, or what we do with cross-device linking, is the first generation of commoditized targeting. I think we’re looking at a 20-year cycle to getting to non-commoditized targeting. All of the targeting stuff going on right now is really interesting, and it will work in a much larger network world, but my guess is that almost everyone’s spending their time on similar types of targeting that will get commoditized.” So the question is: What’s the next level of targeting?

Pinterest Picks Up Kosei 

Pinterest snapped up personalized product recommendation company Kosei on Wednesday for an undisclosed sum. With Kosei, Pinterest could build out its ad offerings by using Kosei’s tech to generate “object graphs,” or a digital map of products specific pinners are likely to buy. “It’s a relatively blatant advertising push for the company, which just expanded Promoted Pins to all US advertisers for the first time earlier this month,” writes Re/code’s Kurt Wagner. “Pinterest has billions of Pins on the platform, so if the company can identify which products users most want to see, they should be able to create a better ad experience.” More.

Facebook’s Super Bowl Play

Facebook’s game-day plan of attack is to lure ad dollars from linear TV. To do that, Facebook began scanning users’ likes, comments and statuses for key words related to the Super Bowl, and selling those audience segments to advertisers. Last year, Facebook trialed a similar offering, but targeting was limited to general fans of football with no real-time capabilities to speak of. “There are a lot of people who want to be involved with the Super Bowl and not pay Super Bowl ad rates,” said Horizon Media SVP-Research Brad Adgate. “I think it’s part of their strategy to siphon off as many dollars from television as possible. There’s probably close to $400 million spent by marketers on the Super Bowl. Read on.

Choozle Raises $4.1 Million

Digital ad platform Choozle raised $4.1 million in funding, following a $1.8 million seed round last March. About 100 digital marketers use the platform, which combines DMP and DSP capabilities for marketers like Cricket Wireless and Gaiam Yoga. But it’s less complex for the end user: “Our ideal customer is an independent agency that…is ready to take on the power of programmatic. The platform is powerful, but doesn’t require a data scientist and/or seasoned media trader for its operation,” founder and CEO Andrew Fischer told AdExchanger. Using the interface, it could figure out what its customers have in common (a college degree and a recent apparel purchase, for example) and then use that targeting to execute a buy on Facebook through Choozle, Fischer explained. Read the press release.

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