The First Contextual Ad Platform To Leverage Image and Video Recognition Technologies Launched Today
Eyealike, a visual-based search innovator, today announced Eyealike VisualAd, the world's first image and video-based contextual advertising platform for social networks and rich media websites. With a unique ability to recognize facial features, skin color, hair, gender and age, as well as objects like logos or product images, Eyealike VisualAd can serve highly targeted ads based on the context of online images and videos. The proprietary approach is similar to Google's AdWords model, but based solely on an automated method that quickly indexes, filters, and classifies images and videos rather than relying on keywords to place targeted ads alongside rich media.
"Online ad revenue drives the digital economy, and no one has a lock on that revenue stream today," said Sue Feldman, IDC's Vice President for Search and Digital Marketplace Technologies. "Online advertising — particularly contextual advertising — continues to soar. IDC believes that large publishers and ad networks can seize a significant share of this revenue. Eyealike's ability to automatically tag and classify images based on the image, not the keywords should result in matching more ads to images, and also improve the match based on the actual image. This approach could help increase the ad revenue for websites with visual assets."
Today's Online Advertising Approaches Built for Words and Profiles
Search-based marketing and advertising solutions from leaders like Google, Yahoo!, and Microsoft have established a text-based paradigm of placing ads in front of consumers via keywords. With the rise of semantic advertising, text-based models rely heavily on rich hyperlinks, anchor tags, metadata, path names, and page formatting to deliver results and are not designed to recognize images and videos. While social networking sites like MySpace and Facebook offer targeted ads based on age, gender, geography, marital status, educational levels, ethnicity and other factors, they mine profiles that are often incomplete or inaccurate, which leads to an inability to fully capitalize on the visual nature inherent to social networking sites.
With the introduction of Eyealike VisualAd, Eyealike believes the next paradigm shift in online advertising will enable marketers to go beyond keywords and profiles to actually "see" what is in users' publicly uploaded images or videos and serve corresponding contextually targeted ads. While many of the larger social networking sites suffer through market low CPM rates — ranging from $.08 – $.12 per one thousand views, the goal of the new Eyealike VisualAd solution is to ramp those dragging CPMs to well over 15 times their current rate — making the same exact page view now worth $2.00 – $20.00 and up.
"Keywords and profile data tell us a lot about users, but imagine being able to serve up relevant ads to consumers based on facial or physical attributes, or specific objects in images or videos such as Gucci sunglasses, or even logos like Nike," said Greg Heuss, president of Eyealike. "With the visual nature of the Internet coupled with the vast amount of user-generated content, Eyealike VisualAd delivers the first real solution that helps clients comprehend the context of images and videos and uses this intelligence to present relevant ads that reach targeted customers."
How it Works: An Image is Worth a Thousand Words
Eyealike VisualAd combines smart facial feature recognition and artificial intelligence matching technologies with 3D model-driven analysis. Using patent pending, multi-phase pruning technology — which clips short snippets of visual-based clues in images and videos to quickly, filter, sift and accurately identify images, motion, and facial features. This approach helps websites anonymously use publicly viewable images and videos in a persons' profile, regardless of whether they are tagged, to ascertain personal information in a private manner that can be used to serve up relevant advertisement.
For example, Eyealike VisualAd could be used to identify an infant's face in a user's profile image or photo gallery on a social networking website. The website could then reasonably make the assumption that the user has an infant and intelligently provide an ad from Pampers® or Gerber®, or an ad from a financial services company about setting up a college tuition fund. If a brand like BMW did a product placement in an online movie trailer for a James Bond film, Eyealike VisualAd could help a website serve a vehicle advertisement at the precise moment a car chase scene was shown in the clip.
Pricing, Availability and Compatibility
The Eyealike VisualAd solution is available immediately and easily augments existing search and online advertising investments to offer a fast and easy implementation. Architected to scale for the world's largest rich media-based websites, pricing is based on an annual licensing fee and varies depending on CPU and storage size, modules purchased, and frequency of utilization. Eyealike VisualAd has been built to operate as either an API or as a self-hosted solution and is compatible with any Windows or Linux server and optimized to support any type of client technology — anything from Java and .NET to iPhones and Smartphones.
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