Images - ever a staple of the web and still worth a thousand words - have taken on increased significance due in large part to the explosion of cameras on mobile devices and the popularity of social imaging sites like Pinterest
. Yet, with seemingly every inch of web page real estate already monetized, it is surprising that most publishers haven’t unlocked the revenue potential of images.
However, thanks to the advent of image-based advertising and the efforts of a few IAB member companies, including GumGum
and Vibrant Media
that is changing, and quickly. Growing interest in the revolutionary advertising format led these four category leaders to form an exploratory Image-Based Advertising Task Force as part of the IAB Networks & Exchanges Committee
Image-based advertising, also known as in-image advertising
, uses image recognition and contextual advertising technology to identify image content and context, thereby allowing advertisers to serve relevant ads and embedded links to more information or e-commerce opportunities directly over a related image. Early indications from advertisers are that engagement and brand metrics exceed those of standard ad formats, and publishers are happy to generate incremental revenue that coincides with a good user experience.
The primary goals of the Image-Based Advertising Task Force are to quantify the market size and potential and to educate advertisers and publishers about guidelines for using the new format. In the coming weeks, look for the group to publish an image-based advertising buyer’s guide that will include definitions and distinctions between the providers. In the coming months, the task force plans to host training events and webinars to better acquaint the industry with this exciting new display advertising format. Who knows? Perhaps an IAB standard for image-based advertising isn’t far behind.
About the Author
Tony Winders is a member of the IAB Networks & Exchanges Committee and Senior Vice President of Marketing for GumGum, the premium in-image advertising platform for publishers and brands, where he leads the company’s positioning strategy, product marketing and communications. He can be reached on Twitter @tonywinders.