Captivate, xAd Announce Cross-Platform Media Buying

September 18, 2014 by Dave Haynes


The elevator screen ad network Captivate has announced a strategic partnership with the ad-targeting firm xAd that will enable media planners to not only buy ad time on those screens, but geo-fenced ads on other screens in the vicinity, like smartphone screens.

It’s a move into the whole omni-channel ad-buying thing that people in the media and marketing sectors have been talking about endlessly, but has rarely been seen so far in Digital OOH.

The news release today is in the unique variation of English used by advertising people, but if you hang in there you’ll get a sense of what’s going on:

Captivate Network, North America’s #1 in-office video media network, has formed a strategic partnership with xAd, the global location marketplace, to help advertisers reach affluent and elusive professionals at multiple touch-points throughout the workday.

This alliance provides advertisers with an additional platform to engage Captivate’s valuable at work audience at the point of consideration and conversion. Through complementary mobile display ads targeted at Captivate buildings, brand messaging is reinforced to professionals who have been exposed to Captivate’s in-office elevator screens and lobby displays. Ad delivery is 100% location-verified, based on the longitude and latitude of Captivate’s 1,800 office buildings in the US and Canada. xAd brings Captivate’s clients the ability to not only amplify their advertising message via mobile devices but to provide viewers with a means to interact and respond.

“Advertisers are looking for integrated solutions that engage viewers and drive measureable behavior,” said Dan Levi, Chief Marketing Officer at Captivate Network. “Through xAd’s SmartFencing™ technology, Captivate now offers advertisers a one-stop shop for multi-faceted campaigns that are proven to build brand awareness and impact consideration & purchasing behavior. We couldn’t be more impressed with the xAd team and their technology-driven solutions and are thrilled to be partnering with them.”

“We are pleased to partner with Captivate, a leader in the digital place-based advertising space,” said Dan Hight, Vice President of Platform Sales at xAd. “xAd’s location targeting solutions provides a way for advertisers to amplify the reach of their out-of-home advertising with precise location-based mobile campaigns. Through this combination, Captivate allows advertisers to more effectively reach their target audience by extending their message to multiple screens.”

Soft-launched in August, this innovative service has piqued the interest of media agencies and Captivate has already activated this mobile-targeting campaign extension for select clients. “The partnership between Captivate and xAd brings advertising clients an integrated solution that fully engages an audience of high-value, hard-to-reach professionals,” said Ray Rotolo, Chief Operating Officer at Posterscope USA. “It reinforces the evolution from buying screens to activating audience interaction via digital place-based media. The integration of mobile also allows advertisers to start to provide performance metrics that can be used to incorporate digital place-based media into attribution models.”

Ok then …

MediaPost’s Joe Mandese has done a nice job of translating this into everyday English:

Captivate Network, the “in-office” video network known primarily for serving ads targeted at business pros riding up and down high-rise elevators, is extending its reach and following office workers wherever they go. In a deal with location-based mobile ad-targeting firm xAd, Captivate will now offer advertiser the ability to cross-target office workers in elevators, other fixed-screen office locations, and on their hand-held mobile devices.

“It reinforces the evolution from buying screens to activating audience interaction via digital place-based media,” Ray Rotolo, COO of Dentsu Aegis Network’s Posterscope USA, said in a statement, adding: “The integration of mobile also allows advertisers to start to provide performance metrics that can be used to incorporate digital place-based media into attribution models.”

Posterscope was one of the big media shops that helped beta test the cross-targeting buy, and the concept is consistent with the shop’s new positioning as the “agency of things” — a concept Rotolo has been working on since taking the helm of Posterscope after former chief Connie Garrido stepped down earlier this year.

In effect, the new Captivate offering embodies exactly what Posterscope’s Rotolo believes out-of-home media agencies are evolving to: shops that develop strategies, plan, buy and execute campaigns across all the possible screens and experiences consumers — or in this case, office workers — might encounter in the real world. The opportunities for that, Rotolo toldMediaDailyNews previously, will only expand with the “Internet of things,” hence his repositioning of Posterscope as the “agency of things.”

Meanwhile, Captivate says interest from other media shops has piqued since the “soft launch” of its new mobile offering, and CMO Dan Levi says it’s just beginning to develop research that will help agencies and brands figure out how to optimize their reach — and messaging — across the screens used by office workers.

“This allows an advertiser to target people in our buildings when the advertiser’s campaign is running, but unfortunately there’s no way to target people while they’re literally in front of our screens,” he explains, adding: “We know from Nielsen’s measurement that 92% of elevator riders in Captivate buildings watch our screens, and since we’re talking about office buildings we know that the majority of viewers are in our buildings every day (since they work there). So we know there’s an incredibly strong likelihood of the mobile ads being delivered to those who have seen or will see the advertiser’s ad on Captivate screens.”

While the cross-platform buy doesn’t yet have the ability to “attribute first view” exposure to either the Captivate elevator screens or the workers’ mobile devices, Levi says those relationships will become more evident over time as Captivate begins analyzing data “on mobile engagement, click-through rates, etc.

“We’ll start to work with clients to incorporate this data into attribution models,” he adds. “We also plan to do test/control research with clients to measure the additive impact of mobile on top of the digital place-based ads.”

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