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Ron Gutman, of Wurl, on the power of contextually relevant, emotionally resonant CTV advertisements

Ron Gutman is CEO at Wurl, a Palo Alto-based company whose data-driven technologies help publishers and streamers maximize revenues, grow CTV viewership, and strengthen brand value.

This month, Wurl launched a new product, BrandDiscovery, which it describes as a ”GenAI-powered contextual targeting solution for CTV that helps marketers reap the rewards of finding the right programming for their ads.” Campaigns targeted with BrandDiscovery let advertisers present ads within the programming that contextually aligns with their creatives based on emotions, genres, and brand safety.

I was eager to speak with Ron about how AI is used in BrandDiscovery, the powerful role that emotion, and emotional context, plays in effective advertising, and about the evolution of CTV, including its potential to function as a fully-addressable medium permitting unparalleled levels of ad targeting. We cover numerous topics along the way, including:

  • The inefficiency of traditional TV advertising, with attention spans decreasing and ad skipping becoming more common.
  • How the shift to CTV provides an opportunity for more storytelling-style video ads, as viewers have more time to engage with content.
  • Why advertisements tailored to a viewer’s emotional state show much better results.
  • How AI can measure emotional dissonance in CTV ads and avoid negative associations for brands.
  • How creating ad variants for different emotions can unlock unsold inventory and lower CPMs.
  • The importance of understanding the customer journey and tailoring marketing strategies accordingly.
  • The value of brand recognition and long-term emotional resonance in building a successful brand.
  • The evolution of CTV, with a focus on discoverability and educating viewers about the content available to them.
  • How, in the next 5 years, CTV will complete its transition to a more seamless and personalized viewing experience, with AI playing a key role in content discovery and recommendation.
  • How AI will produce significant improvements in content production efficiency, making it easier and less expensive to create high-quality content.

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