Meredith And The Trade Desk Bring Custom Ad Units To Programmatic

meredith-trade-desk-shopper-marketingBuyers can now purchase Meredith’s shopper marketing display units programmatically through a private marketplace set up through The Trade Desk. The units used to be available only through direct buy.

“There is a lot of talk of the IO business migrating into programmatic, but a lot of that IO business is custom opportunities like this,” said Tim Sims, VP of inventory partnerships at The Trade Desk. “This is a great bridge to consolidating more of the media plan in one place.”

The banner ads use Meredith’s first-party data to match a user’s location with sales featured in local store circulars. An ad for canned tomatoes on sale at a Minneapolis Target, for example, might appear to a reader near the store.

Meredith claims the units can increase return on ad spend by as much as 19 times. “Display is still the most effective reach and frequency tool out there,” said Chip Schenck, VP of data and programmatic solutions at Meredith.

Because the ads rely on data from Meredith (which acquired Grocery Server last July to power this tech), the publisher serves the ads itself.

Here’s how it works: The advertiser points its creative ad tag to Meredith, not its content delivery network. Meredith then assembles the dynamic ad based on its first-party data.

Because buyers use a DSP to decide who sees the ad, they can centralize campaign analysis and use global frequency caps while still benefiting from Meredith’s custom ad execution.

“We are big believers in demand-side decisioning, and recognize the need to work in this [programmatic] market,” said Chip Schenck, VP of data and programmatic solutions at Meredith, acknowledging the advantages buyers get from using programmatic buys. Since DSPs need “to go for a sense of ubiquity” to enable scale, that has prevented them from adding customized and native formats.

The Trade Desk’s client base includes a number of retail and CPG clients, Sims said, making the opportunity to work with Meredith particularly attractive. The DSP is on the lookout for more custom advertising to bring into the platform.

Schenck hopes the ability to execute custom formats will move conversations about programmatic beyond price.

“The market still hinges on price, but this is about return on ad spend,” he said. “It’s not about being cheaper. It’s about effectiveness.”


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