Brand suitability is more nuanced than brand safety and focused on finding suitable content based on its context rather than keyword blacklists.

Blacklisting is very commonly used for brand safety to ensure advertisements are not paired with headlines or topics which may not align with a brand’s image or reputation.  Blacklisting looks at digital content to scan for certain keywords, topics or high-level categories to determine which ads should or should not be paired with the content.

Blacklisting is a less expensive, blanket approach with strict filtering which only views content in black and white.  It’s an all or nothing approach precluding any opportunity to fine tune the filtering for the actual context of digital content.  There are, however, more advanced tools which use sophisticated algorithms to scan content for context allowing the content to be viewed as either negative or positive based on a number of data points including language, sentiment, reputation, mentions of entities (persons, places and things), connections of said entities, etc.  These advanced tools allow for contextual targeting and enable brands the control and flexibility to determine if, when, how, and where it is appropriate to engage different audiences based on a deeper understanding of the topics and trends.  Contextual targeting is what enables the Ad Tech companies to establish a better balance between protection and reach for improved brand safety.


Contextual Intelligence

Recent studies show the next generation of advertising, focused on contextual intelligence, is poised to eclipse behavioral targeting. Contextual intelligence allows advertisers to combine the relevancy of contextual targeting with key first-party data to serve the right digital ad, to the right person, at a time/place which is relevant to the other information being consumed — maximizing the opportunity for engagement and memorability.