What do Mercedes, Loctite, Snickers, KIA, Skittles, and Doritos have in common? Normally very little, but in 2015 they all had a commercial spots during the Super Bowl. We all know these things do not come cheap; this year NBC asked a record breaking $4.5 million per 30 second spot. Super Bowl ads are world famous and a large part of the 114.4 million viewers that tune in actually watch it exclusively to see the ads. No wonder big brands go all-in during this most watched event of the year.

A costly tradition

Brand advertising is and always has been done primarily on traditional media such as TV. The idea is to influence consumers by storytelling and to build trust over a multitude of interactions with a brand. Digital advertising on the other hand has, from its inception, been dominated by performance marketing, i.e. demanding full accountability for views, clicks, and conversions. In doing so, advertisers have always accepted a large amount of “waste” at the top of the funnel while demanding a no-cure-no-pay type of deal at the bottom. That big brand advertisers seem to be so forgiving with TV advertising also shows how ad spend is allocated: TV amounts to 40% of the world’s $537 billion advertising market, while total internet advertising takes around 25%.

The reason that brand advertisers splurge on TV ads like those during the Super Bowl is because they have been proven to have high impact, are easy to repeat, and scale immensely. That this comes at a price – reaching large amounts of people that have no use for their specific product, are uninterested, and sometimes downright annoyed with their ad – seems to be taken for granted.

Change is difficult

But now times are changing. We have a new contester in the media space which is stealing significant amounts of time from TV watching, especially for the younger generations. Millennials, for example, spend on average 5 hours and 12 minutes per day on their mobile device, leaving very little time leftover for television.

The problem is that mobile is a brand new (pun intended) advertising channel, especially compared to radio, print and, television, and brands have yet to figure out how to advertise effectively on a wide scale. Brands need the mobile equivalent of a Super Bowl ad.

The good news is that mobile will provide a much better alternative than TV ads. Sure, the Super Bowl attracts over a hundred million viewers, but all of these fantastically different people will see the exact same 30 second video. Imagine a mobile app with a hundred million active users, now imagine the trove of data the app contains, go further to imagine showing an ad that has been programmatically chosen to be perfectly suited for each particular user based on that data, and now imagine measuring effectiveness in real-time.

Today, however, there are some barriers. Unlike with desktop advertising, until recently there has not been a (properly functioning) mobile equivalent of the tracking cookie because most activity happens in-app, which essentially form little data silos. This means targeting interest, demographic, and intent based audience segments on mobile was not possible on a large scale without having a ton of first party data. There are only a few app publishers that have both the reach and the data suited for brand advertising and they don’t like to share, (at all.)

The future is looking bright

There are mobile apps that have hundreds of millions of users but are missing the right data to attract brand advertisers. These are the app publishers Personagraph wants to empower. Through the Audience Platform they are able to understand who their users are, and this allows them to monetize significantly better on a data enriched programmatic platform, resulting in higher eCPMs. Advertisers can also create campaigns focused on custom audience segments, which greatly improves effectiveness while not sacrificing scale nor being locked into one ecosystem. In other words, everybody wins.

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