Yahoo launches SmartAds

July 2, 2007

Yahoo has launched a new display advertising product called SmartAds, this allows marketers to offer ads that are customised based not just on the usual demographic data (age, gender, location) but also on their online activities. This type of behavioural marketing is popular but Yahoo have thrown in a new twist which makes their SmartAds very powerful.

SmartAds combines Yahoo’s demographic, geographic and behavioral targeting capabilities with a new ad assembly platform that allows the customised ads to be created in real-time. Yahoo will get different backgrounds, logos and other features from the creative agencies that can be re-configured with ad copy based on who is seeing the ad and what they are interested in.

Yahoo give some examples of how this could be used:

‘For instance, instead of just seeing a generic ad for a Toyota Prius, a woman in San Francisco who conducts research on hybrid cars on Yahoo Autos could be served an ad for a local San Francisco dealer with information on the types of Priuses that are in stock and the purchase price. The ad, which is configured on the fly, could also feature a background color targeted for women in her age range, as well as a Golden Gate Bridge logo.

Someone searching for flights between Dallas and Phoenix could be served an ad, for example, with specific up-to-the-minute fares from a particular airline along with a button that says “buy now,” all within the ad.’

This turns your usual, run of the mill banner adverts into a vehicle that can drive direct response, almost akin to paid search. This tool has the potential to make a huge difference to Yahoo’s bottom line if it gets adopted by the major creative agencies. Used cleverly this tool will help businesses increase both brand awareness (something that all banner ads are good for) and also drive incremental business (something not many banner ads are good for).

What’s the betting Google counter with a new display advertising tool in the very near future now that DoubleClick are on board??

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