How Vungle Uses Aesthetic-Based Ad Targeting to Overcome Privacy Challenges

By Vungle | October 22, 2021

In a post-IDFA world, contextual targeting is more important than ever — but not all contextual targeting is created equal.

It’s no secret that 2021 has been a challenging year for mobile marketers. Growing concerns about consumer privacy culminated in Apple’s shot heard ‘round the mobile advertising world: making IDFA opt-in for users. With around 96% of iPhone users opting out of data tracking, mobile marketers are struggling to target potential consumers with relevant in-app ads. Fortunately, thanks to the 2021 acquisition of GameRefinery, Vungle is uniquely positioned to help mobile marketers overcome these challenges.

With contextual advertising once again becoming the industry standard, the vast majority of mobile ad campaigns are limited to using properties like available device storage and app category to target the users more likely to convert. With GameRefinery’s creative ad intelligence tool, however, mobile marketers that partner with Vungle can unlock a world of powerful targeting opportunities rooted in deep, game-specific criteria. Campaigns that use this type of aesthetic-based targeting drive better performance and higher returns for marketers. Here’s how.

Vungle knows context is king

Traditional contextual ad targeting uses publicly available data to match ads with appropriate audiences. The problem is, not all of the contextual data available is equally useful. For example, while narrowing down a potential audience to serve an ad to by app store category and subcategory can be helpful, it’s hard to hone in on the right audience to serve an ad to with such broadly general data. Additionally, though it might be accessible, parameters like Bluetooth connectivity, headset attachment, and battery level aren’t always helpful when it comes to getting the right ad in front of the right consumers.

That’s where Vungle’s secret weapon comes in. In early 2021, Vungle acquired leading mobile gaming analytics company GameRefinery with contextual targeting and creative intelligence in mind. When it comes to contextual data, GameRefinery can’t be beat; their Creative Intelligence platform uses millions of data points from hundreds of thousands of mobile games. This scalable solution provides in-depth insights on genres, demographics, player motivations, visual elements, and so much more, eliminating the guesswork that most mobile gaming marketers are facing in a post-IDFA landscape.

The power of GameRefinery data

In mobile advertising, data is power — and GameRefinery’s solution is among the most powerful. Over 10,000 manual analyses and 5 years of effort went into creating a patented AI machine learning model that can automatically analyze hundreds of data points from games and ad creative. Not only does this allow GameRefinery to differentiate games in a more meaningful way, but this taxonomy evolves along with the mobile market — it always reflects the current environment. With this kind of creative intelligence, marketers don’t have to worry about sudden policy changes forcing them to rethink long-held strategies.

Here’s how it works: GameRefinery’s creative ad intelligence solution breaks down every mobile game into around 700 (or more) data points. Here are just a few categories:

  • Genre: Get accurate segmentation with a three-level category/genre/subgenre hierarchy built with industry experts. This way, an RPG isn’t just an RPG; it’s a puzzle RPG for a midcore audience.
  • Features: By analyzing a game’s special features, such as subscription plans or social aspects, we can further determine the type of player and what ads they’ll respond to. But that’s just the start; there’s also avatar customization, player clans, PvP, and so much more.
  • Demographics: Knowing the age of the playerbase and other core demographic information is critical for marketers. It’s much easier to target a specific audience when you know a game is mainly played, say, by men ages 25-44 or women over 45.
  • Visual elements: A game’s visual style can reveal a lot about who’s playing it. Further, finding a game with aesthetics that match your ad creative is a good way to engage the audience. Looking for an animated fantasy starring a stylish female protagonist? Not a problem.
  • Motivations: Why are people playing a game? Is it because they like to compete against others? They enjoy collecting? Is it the strategic planning that makes it interesting? Analyzing player motivations determines the right tone for who to show an ad to; those looking for excitement and thrills may not respond as well to an ad that’s more geared toward players trying to improve their skills.

Vungle connects marketers with relevant audiences

The end of IDFA isn’t the end of the world. GameRefinery’s one-of-a-kind data set and advanced machine learning tools are leading the way on the next generation of mobile ad targeting. Combined with Vungle’s own proprietary technology and Creative Labs, we’re able to help mobile marketers overcome modern privacy challenges and reach their desired audiences with more data and deeper analysis than anyone else can offer.

Want to know more? Get in touch! Our mobile ad experts are standing by.