Video ad tech provider Pixability has announced a new brand safety solution guaranteeing that 100% of an advertiser’s YouTube campaign will be in brand-safe placements. There are two options, DependAbility Premium and DependAbility At Scale, which are both available as part of Pixability’s overall video ad suite. Pixability is providing refunds on any views that happen in non-brand-safe context.
Brand safety has emerged as a huge industry issue over the past year, with YouTube in particular coming under scrutiny. Advertisers are justifiably focused on making sure their ads don’t show up adjacent to controversial content. But managing this has turned into a major challenge.
To learn more about Pixability’s new solution, I interviewed Andreas Goeldi, the company’s chief technology officer. A transcript follows.
VideoNuze: Explain what you’ve launched today
Andreas Goeldi: We have worked with our most demanding clients on brand safety for years now, but the recent heightened industry attention on the issue presented us with an opportunity to refine our methodology and approach to it. That led us to build our two-tier brand safety offering: DependAbility Premium and DependAbility At Scale.
DependAbility Premium is built for advertisers with the most stringent brand safety requirements, and accounts for the more nuanced evaluation of brand appropriateness, by combining our proprietary technology, third-party verification, and human review. DependAbility At Scale is included in all Pixability campaigns, and is built for the majority of advertisers, and accounts for brand safety and viewability.
VideoNuze: Why is this important?
AG: Brand safety can't be looked at as a one-size-fits-all issue. Pixability’s solution is customizable per campaign, and doesn’t only measure brand safety post-campaign, but proactively ensures and optimizes it throughout the entire campaign lifecycle. This always-on, scalable approach is crucial in a dynamic ecosystem like YouTube. We’ve heard from clients that they want a tool that’s scalable and accounts for very complicated campaigns. We don’t solely focus on brand safety, or treat it like an add-on to a campaign. Instead, it’s an important element that’s integrated into our cross-platform solution that unites video ad planning, buying, and reporting.
VideoNuze: How specifically do these solutions work?
AG: Our solution uses a 5-point scorecard to measure and quantify brand safety, which includes measurement of viewability, non-human traffic, and video completion quality via Moat, and measurement of the entire campaign placement list via Pixability’s proprietary artificial intelligence technology. These are layered on top of Google’s always-on brand safety measures. We provide full transparency down to the video by video level, and give advertisers a refund on any views served on non-brand-safe inventory.
VideoNuze: It sounds like artificial intelligence is a critical element of the solution. Can you highlight how AI is being used?
AG: We use an extensive, human-curated list of 6000+ keywords that fall under content categories in 7 levels of severity. Our technology analyzes video and channel metadata on 7.8M+ YouTube channels based on this list, and assigns a score to every placement. We filter placements at the channel or video level using our patented whitelist algorithm, and incorporate constantly updated blacklists and negative keywords. You need AI to go well beyond standard keyword matching to execute brand safety properly -- for example, to distinguish between videos that include ‘gun’ vs. ‘nerf gun’ in metadata.
VideoNuze: Brand safety has become a top of mind issue for advertisers. Given your experience working with multiple video platforms, how concerned should advertisers be?
AG: Brand safety is still one of the biggest concerns from our client base, and is definitely top of mind. Many advertisers still don’t really understand the tradeoff between brand safety, brand appropriateness, and cost. We try to educate our clients on the need to define their unique brand safety parameters, and then recognize the relationship between cost and quality of the content they’re advertising against. Overall, it’s a positive trend that more advertisers are paying attention to brand safety & brand appropriateness, contextual quality, and the environment their ads are running on.
VN: Thanks for your time.