Vox Media Creates Self-Serve Ad Tool for Marketers

Concert Ad Manager will allow advertisers to reach audiences at scale

Vox Media is creating a new tool for marketers. Vox Media

Further investing in its offerings for marketers, Vox Media has launched a self-serve ad tool to create and submit ad campaigns, then track how they perform across properties included in the company’s in-house ad marketplace, Concert.

The new tool—called Concert Ad Manager—is another step the company is taking to capitalize on its proprietary ad software and attract ad dollars in a year in which many marketers have been concerned about brand safety and have used their marketing budgets wisely, given budget constraints and changing news cycles amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We wanted to create a solution that made us more accessible to brands of all shapes and sizes,” said AJ Frucci, vp of programmatic advertising and head of Concert.

The publisher has made recent investments in its Concert network and expanded it to include local properties in March. Vox Media also rolled out a new first-party data marketplace, called Forte, in December 2019.

The new tool will allow advertisers to build custom Athena ad units (proprietary Vox Media technology) to reach audiences at scale—audiences, the company wagered, of over 230 million unique monthly visitors.

The new tool would reach audiences across Concert and Concert Local properties, including NBC Universal, Penske Media and Quartz as well as local outlets such as Advance Local, The Boston Globe, and the Chicago Sun-Times.

“As a brand looking for exposure beyond the traditional digital channels, Concert provides us reach to a large publisher network that would otherwise be challenging to access,” said Ross Goodhart, co-founder of Jupiter, one of the brands testing Concert Ad Manager in beta. “Thus far, we’ve been impressed with the responsiveness and creativity of the team, and the ease of the platform to launch ads.”

Other brands, including RéVive Skincare and Parallel Markets have also used the tool in beta. In using the tool, marketers can also access Vox Media’s ad ops team, who will help oversee and launch campaigns. The team will provide robust analytics about best practices, including how things like color and action words perform.

“As marketers are having a lot more conversations around what their budgets stand for and the values of their companies and wanting to support and be in these premium open web environments, where their creative is going to show up is becoming far more top of mind,” Frucci said.

@SaraJerde sara.jerde@adweek.com Sara Jerde is publishing editor at Adweek, where she covers traditional and digital publishers’ business models. She also oversees political coverage ahead of the 2020 election.