Contextual advertising is having a renaissance but those of us in the know realise that it never really completely disappeared. It was just overshadowed by the a propensity to pursue hyper-targeting at scale and the single-minded race to only measure the last click.  

As a result digital ads looked far more effective than they actually were because the reality is most people would probably have bought the product anyway, creating a confusion between correlation and causation.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and machine learning have accelerated over the last few years meaning large-scale content analysis is now an automated and seamless task. We now have access to contextual AI as a choice for marketing teams to use, without the requirement of any user data, blending the power of machines with the skills of a human.

AI will allow advertising to transition from what is seen by many as an intrusive practice to something that benefits brands, publishers, and most importantly, consumers.

Privacy regulations have also become a stumbling block that will limit the ability of programmatic and cookie-based advertising. 

Contextual targeting on the other hand - which doesn’t rely on third-party data - leverages artificial intelligence (AI) to understand which ads to serve for different publishers, providing human-like understanding of content to place relevant ads for optimised audiences.

Contextual targeting avoids  issues with audiences. such as being served too many ads, or the ads being irrelevant - or both and it helps to create a user-friendly experience through multiple techniques, such as dynamically configuring creatives that complement the context in which they are served, or disappearing if the ad is not interacted with. 

We are now entering an era where Contextual AI will allow brands to modernise the advertising techniques that have worked for years - without compromising personal data - making campaigns more relevant, user friendly, effective, and ultimately trustworthy. 

Time to start experimenting!