Yahoo is stepping up its online advertising program with the launch of SmartAds, a behavioral targeting ad campaign which display ads that are tailored for the customers who are more likely to buy the advertised products. Combining Yahoo’s demographic, geographic and behavioral targeting capabilities with a new patent pending creative ad assembly, Yahoo SmartAds will allow the company’s ad system to create customized ads in real-time.
CNet News.com’s Ellinor Mills gives a good example of how Yahoo SmartAds works:
For instance, instead of just seeing a generic ad for a Toyota Prius, a woman in San Francisco who conducts research on hybrid cars on Yahoo Autos could be served an ad for a local San Francisco dealer with information on the types of Priuses that are in stock and the purchase price. The ad, which is configured on the fly, could also feature a background color targeted for women in her age range, as well as a Golden Gate Bridge logo.
NYT reports that SmartAds is Yahoo’s attempt to catch up with Google in search advertising with a simple goal of showing the right advertisement to the right person. Simple goal indeed and yet takes a lot to accomplish. One question comes into my mind right now. First, Yahoo SmartAds would use consumer data coming from previous transactions they had with a retailer, does this not violate any “consumer privacy rights”?
If Yahoo SmartAds would not violate any privacy rights and provided that Yahoo is able to match ads with consumer behavior, then this could probably give the company a head on from Google in terms of behavioral ad targeting. And this might actually be what Yahoo needs to ante up its search advertising campaign. That is hoping that Google does not come up with a better program later on.