• Spectrum Media Services

Spectrum + Dr. Fou Case Study: The OPPOSITE of “virus” Keyword Blocking

Pre-Cookie contextual targeting offered high levels of creative engagement but was traditionally challenging from a relevance and scale perspective. However, as the cookie-era is nearing its end, contextual targeting is experiencing a revival – and is now being viewed as a critical targeting strategy in the new cookie-less economy.

One of the common issues associated with content-based targeting is content ambiguity. For example: Malibu rum, Malibu rehab, Malibu California, Chevy Malibu are all facets of the word Malibu which can very easily target different content sources. This has been historically a difficult issue to resolve, resulting in wasted spend, lost opportunity and false impressions of scale.

Spectrum’s next-gen contextual platform uses topics instead of keywords at the page level to decrease the incidence of these issues, without the use of cookies.

We were able to demonstrate this in a recent case study conducted by the well-known fraud researcher, Dr. Augustine Fou, where the Spectrum Platform was used to conduct an experiment on a current brand safety issue related to the COVID-19 epidemic.


For some background, the basic premise of his thesis is that ads targeted to COVID-19-related content are being inadvertently blocked by brand safety and fraud protection platforms. This issue is resulting in revenue impact on mainstream publishers who are unable to monetize important virus-related stories which are, in fact, legitimate and brand-safe. He maintains that this content can and should be harnessed and that not only should the publishers earn revenue on these opportunities, but the brands should also be able to benefit by being seen to support critical content.

Using Spectrum’s page example-driven platform and our topic engine, Dr. Fou was able to create a segment that used Spectrum topics to identify COVID-19 related content that would meet his criteria of brand safety (measured as viewability + CTR as expression of engagement).

Once this segment was created, we then ran a paid media campaign against it. In the screen grabs below, you can see in visuals of our platform, the top domains we found and as well as the top pages that our campaign ran on without the use of cookies.




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