Why Context Is King in Brand Safety: Comscore Unveils Suitability Projections

Comscore’s new solution to help advertisers combine brand safety with relevance

Comscore, the media measurement and analytics company, yesterday launched new brand suitability projections to help marketers determine brand safety and contextual relevance with greater precision. The new segments have been made available across leading demand-side platforms and will help advertisers better control their campaigns without sacrificing scale.

The new offering from Comscore comes at an interesting time, as digital content consumption peaks as consumers increasingly choose to stay at home. What makes the product particularly interesting is that instead of taking a binary, keyword-based approach to brand safety, it leverages a proprietary pattern profiling technology to decipher an article’s true essence.

Other brand safety solutions that still rely on keyword parsing lack the sophistication needed to effectively navigate today’s media and content landscape. For instance, traditional tools will find it difficult to distinguish between actual acts of hate speech and informative content on occurrences of hate speech.

Comscore’s unique features provide brands with a much better nuance than what keyword-based solutions can deliver, resulting in better advertising outcomes. With Comscore, brands can go beyond basic keyword blocking to make better decisions without having to wipe out large swaths of inventory, like avoiding all news content.

“Words are powerful, but keyword blocking is an outdated, inaccurate, and insufficient approach to managing brand safety,” said Rachel Gantz, general manager, activation services, Comscore. “Brands must do the work of determining where they draw the line, and they need the proper tools to enable them to do that. A simple binary approach isn’t good enough any longer. Offering clients more control over their risk tolerances is a natural evolution reflecting Comscore’s role as the currency for buying and selling media.”

Comscore’s new capabilities bolster its Comscore Activation suite, which helps advertisers reach specific demographics, and behavioral, TV and OTT audiences in brand-safe, relevant contexts across desktop, mobile, and Connected TV.

Why Is Brand Suitability Replacing Brand Safety?

As advertisers look to exercise better control over advertising environments their brands are exposed to, modern brand safety and suitability strategies will see increased adoption. Strategies that aren’t just rooted in blocklists, but offer some degree of semantic analysis is the way forward.

Advertisers are realizing that the challenge of brand-suitability or placing ads in a brand-appropriate setting can successfully be tackled by focusing on the context of the content. Additionally, external influences such as the US presidential elections and the Coronavirus pandemic have compelled marketers and brands to increase their focus on brand suitability.

Brand suitability also empowers marketers to make the most out of connecting with the target audience. For instance, advertisers promoting lawn mowers will want to avoid content aimed at children and seek out content curated for home-owners to increase the relevancy of the lawnmower ads around appropriate, engaging content. Marketers can work with partners to determine what suitability means for their specific brand, aligning their definition with brand values, and actively target these environments.

It’s here that Comscore’s latest product offering provides brands with a unique opportunity to combine relevance and safety to achieve scale. While the first priority for advertisers will always be safety, a close second is suitability and context.

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