In-Image Ads Can Now Be Programmatic, Too

GumGum partners with Xaxis to automate buying for its unusual promos

GumGum, a company that offers ads appearing inside Web images, is partnering with Xaxis to sell its unusual inventory programmatically. Indeed, whether one is talking about TV, online video, display or mobile advertising, the marketing world is moving toward more automated buying and selling.

Santa Monica, Calif.-based GumGum has worked with brands like LG, Lincoln Motor Company and Cat's Pride Fresh & Light. To give you an idea about how the vendor's promos work, Cat's Pride last year ran overlay ads on cat images for sites ranging from the New York Daily News to Per Ophir Tanz, GumGum CEO, such marketers will now be able to build custom interactive-styled ads through a programmatic system that will entail some 2,000 Web sites.

"Advertisers can develop [our] rich-media units according to our specifications, or we can build them using an agency’s creative assets," Tanz explained. "Alternatively, advertisers can leverage their traditional [Interactive Advertising Bureau's] units. Xaxis will assign the targeting parameters to define when and where ads will appear across the GumGum platform."

Brian Gleason, Xaxis' North America managing director, added that "we’ll also be able to develop custom creative internally that can be used for in-image campaigns. We’ll then be able to apply third-party tracking to capture standard [performance] metrics."

It's the first in-image partnership for WPP-owned Xaxis, which is based in New York.

Once again, the development underscores digital advertising's migration to automation. For instance last month, Mullen's MediaHub division became the latest agency entity to partner with a programmatic player—Videology in that case.

But while it's likely the wave of the future, how popular the movement currently is depends on what data you look at. For instance, AOL recently said that 92 percent of marketers are using programmatic, while a survey by Forrester and the Association of National Advertisers has found that only 23 percent of the marketers have used such a system.  

So this machine-based revolution still appears to be a work in progress.