4 Examples of Effective Contextual Advertising Tactics

By Vungle | April 14, 2022

The data available from contextual traffic signals can help advertisers connect consumers with the right ads at the right time.

Contextual advertising is a highly valuable approach in the post-IDFA world. As LAT (limit ad tracking) traffic continues to reign as the dominant type of digital activity, advertisers need to find creative ways to display relevant ads to consumers without access to detailed data on their behavior. Contextual ad targeting can deliver powerful results for advertisers who know how to leverage the data available from contextual traffic.

In this article, we’ll explore four contextual advertising examples that demonstrate how contextual signals can help connect consumers with the right ads at the right time.

Jump to a section…

Contextual advertising example #1: App store category
Contextual advertising example #2: Location
Contextual advertising example: #3: Device specifics
Contextual advertising example #4: Audio settings

Contextual advertising example #1: App store category

On mobile devices, one of the most common contextual advertising examples connects apps through their categorization in the app store. For example, a user playing a racing game will receive an in-app ad for another app that overlaps with that category (games) and subcategory (racing). There is room for experimentation, too. How will a user playing a car racing game engage with an ad for dirt bike racing or horse racing?

This application of contextual advertising isn’t new — ad networks have been pairing puzzle game ads with other puzzle games for years — but its history of effectiveness sets the table stakes for contextual ad targeting.

Contextual advertising example #2: Location

Another example of effective contextual advertising is using signals like time to UTC to develop an understanding of a user’s location. It’s difficult for advertisers to know a user’s precise location, but identifying simple details like time zone and preferred language can lead to more precise contextual ads. For example, an ad for a meal kit or cooking app is less useful at midnight, when most people have already eaten their fill, than at midday, when they start to think about what they’ll have for dinner. For food delivery apps, four o’clock in the afternoon is golden hour. As workers start counting down to clocking out for the day, ads that give them one less thing to think about and make dinner as simple as possible are incredibly attractive.

In that sense, it’s important to take a big-picture approach to contextual advertising. Contextual data isn’t just useful when it comes to creating topical relevance — it also allows advertisers to prioritize ads that are helpful in the moment based on the way the day unfolds for most people.

Contextual advertising example: #3: Device specifics

Imagine this: Your mobile app ad is so effective that a user taps enthusiastically and rushes to the app store to download it immediately, only to discover that it’s not compatible with their device or they don’t have space available to download it. Poor experiences are the kiss of death in advertising. Consumers are likely to think of your app or even your company unfavorably, and the next time they see your ad, they’ll remember how disappointed they were the first time around.

That’s where device detail makes a big difference to any contextual advertising strategy. Here are some examples of device detail signals that can help advertisers streamline the experience from ad view to app download:

  • Device total storage space: How much total storage space does the device support?
  • Device available storage space: How much storage space is available right now?
  • Device hardware version: What type of device is it? (i.e. iPhone 13)
  • Device keyboard language: What languages does the user prefer?

Contextual advertising example #4: Audio settings

Dynamic ads are typically engineered to work in as many settings as possible. There’s no use investing in ad creative that is unintelligible without sound, for example. With that said, audio elements like narration, sound effects, and background music can make a big difference when used correctly. Understanding whether a user has their ring volume on or whether they’re using a headset with their device will give advertisers a glimpse into the role audio plays in ad effectiveness.

That way, if the audio components of your ad are critical, you can display contextual ads only to users who will hear them. And even if you don’t use audio signals to influence where your contextual ad is displayed, data about whether and how converting and non-converting users hear your ad’s sound is valuable feedback for your future ad creative.

These examples demonstrate the value of contextual advertising in an LAT world. Vungle does too — that’s why we acquired GameRefinery specifically to offer our ad partners supercharged contextual targeting capabilities. Our creative ad intelligence platform leverages valuable data from contextual traffic to connect consumers with the right ads at the right time. Interested in learning how Vungle can introduce the benefits of contextual ads to your company? Contact us today.