Teads’ co-CEO wants clients to leverage AI for greater personalisation
The Media Leader Interview
Teads announced a number of new AI-powered solutions and an expansion of its CTV footprint at Advertising Week NY. Co-CEO Jeremy Arditi insists these tools further help clients effectively reach mass audiences in high-quality environments.
“At the most fundamental level, if you think about the activities that we’re engaged in as an advertising industry, you have to do three things: make an ad, place that ad somewhere, and measure whether it works. And we are applying different types of AI to each of those processes.”
Speaking to The Media Leader on the eve of Advertising Week in New York City this week, Teads co-CEO Jeremy Arditi discussed a number of new “AI-powered” solutions the ad platform announced at its Teads Connects partner day event.
“In some cases, we’re leveraging the newer generative AI technologies, in others its more machine-learning based and things that we’ve been doing for almost a decade now,” he said.
Leveraging ‘anonymised signals’
Teads’ new AI Creative Lab is being billed as a time-saver that combines existing assets with AI to create ad creative. The Lab includes a Dynamic Creative Optimisation tool that uses real-time user data to help tailor ad content, including visuals, language, and calls-to-action.
Alongside the Creative Lab, Teads unveiled an AI-powered “Data Suite” toolkit, which it says helps enable advertisers to plan, activate, and optimise their digital campaigns with insights into user behaviour patterns, content consumption, and audience engagement. The company also says the tool helps publishers gain a better understanding of their audience to help “more attractively” package their inventory to advertisers in a post-cookie world.
When pushed on the ethics of using AI tools to help develop highly personalised creative to deliver to users and using audience data to inform such decisions, Arditi argued that AI can, in fact, offer extended benefits to user privacy. “It can leverage a lot of anonymised signals to infer things about what a user may likely respond to (in terms of an ad) without having to know a whole lot about who that person actually is,” he explained.
“In some ways, AI can help us actually bring a little additional level of anonymisation into digital advertising. It also helps create a lot of different creative versions at scale in a very easy and automated way. So it might feel like, to a user, that they’re seeing ads that are much more personalised, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that the machine needs to know a whole lot of specific attributes, and private attributes, of that user.”
Pulling off an ‘organic and natural’ move into CTV
Teads is also expanding its connected TV (CTV) presence into the Asia-Pacific (APAC) market and expanding its CTV ad inventory offering with a new native home screen inventory. The former allows advertisers in APAC access to genre-targeting segments, derived from users’ online content preferences (based on Teads’ audience data). The latter includes exclusive inventory for travel, beauty, and luxury brands in the US, France, and Belgium.
Teads was founded in 2006 as a digital ad platform that made it easy for advertisers to insert video ads into web pages, such as in premium publishing environments. Over the past few years, however, the company has sought to expand its footprint into CTV, previously launching offerings in the UK, Canada, Brazil, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, and Spain. Teads’ offering currently works across the top four original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) globally.
Arditi called Teads’ growth into CTV from mobile and desktop a “very organic and natural one,” as many of the publishers Teads works with have “been expanding their own footprint from mobile apps into CTV apps.” Similarly, since video has always been the “mainstay” of Teads’ offering to advertisers and agencies in digital environments, the company was “seeing a lot of natural demand from our existing customers to expand the campaigns that they were buying from us from mobile and desktop into CTV screens,” he added.
Given the company’s existing online audience data, Teads can “parlay” those understandings into the CTV environment through enhanced targeting, especially as it relates to purchasing behaviours, noted Arditi. The interconnectivity also allows Teads to measure correlations between performance of a CTV ad and website traffic or actions, for example. “The two coexist really well in a symbiotic way,” he said.
However, the expansion into CTV has not come without its challenges. While Arditi said CTV, like its other offerings, is a high-quality environment with mass reach, it’s a completely different environment within which to place an ad compared to Teads’ digital roots.
“We’ve been known in the digital side of things to be very focused on editorial, text-based publisher partnerships and experiences,” Arditi explained, “and in the CTV space we’ve evolved into ads in video-based environments; much more of a classic in-stream or pre-roll, mid-roll type of experience.”
When asked whether and how Teads is working to ensure some of the negative aspects of digital advertising, such as ad fraud or wastage, don’t come over into CTV, Arditi offered that “it starts with choosing the right partners on the supply front.” Like in the digital space, Teads doesn’t connect to third-party SSPs, which “helps us get a very high level of control where we’re helping customers distribute ads,” said Arditi.
“We want to help [clients] use our platform to reach users where they are, as long as that’s in high-quality environments. And TV lends itself beautifully to that.”
‘On our toes’
Teads also announced a new full-funnel solution called Teads Conversions, an evolution of its current performance suite of acquisition and commerce capabilities which leverages predictive AI.
The launch comes following a beta program with over 150 campaigns in 35 markets, during which Teads says it helped achieve clients’ cost per actions goals with a 75% success rate.
The new offerings are driven by Teads’ desire to expand its capacity as an omnichannel, “full-funnel,” end-to-end platform. Such changes are also a reflection of what Arditi called an “exciting” and “challenging” time period of rapid technological change impacting the advertising industry.
“We are constantly on our toes. We cannot be complacent as an industry given the constant reshuffling of the cards either through technology or technology regulation.”
He added that his personal passion is not just in supporting clients, but also in helping fund high quality content and journalism. “That’s one of the higher purpose aspects of this industry that sometimes is easy to ignore,” he admitted. “But I think it’s fundamentally very important.”