OpenSlate’s Mike Henry Explores How Contextual Ad Targeting Ensures Brand Safety

**Reshaping Contextual Advertising: Improving Ad Placements in the Fragmented Media Landscape**

In the ever-evolving media marketplace, advertisers are facing new challenges and opportunities with the rise of streaming video and social media platforms. The increased fragmentation of audiences across these platforms has made targeting more challenging, particularly with the recent focus on privacy issues. As a result, the importance of context, specifically the quality of content, in ad placements has regained prominence.

Mike Henry, the CEO of contextual analytics firm OpenSlate, emphasizes the growing significance of the content side of the advertising equation in an interview with Beet.TV. He explains that while advertisers previously focused on identifying their target audience, the deprecation of cookies and unique identifiers has made individual user targeting more difficult. This has led to a shift in focus towards identifying and leveraging high-quality content in ad placements.

OpenSlate initially focused on helping marketers identify quality content for ad placements on YouTube, but they have expanded their services to other platforms such as Facebook, TikTok, and Twitter. Advertisers want to reach consumers who are interested in influencers and creators, and OpenSlate has responded to this demand.

The company’s key principle remains the same: advertising will run in more places in the future than it has in the past. OpenSlate’s goal is to help advertisers compare the content on platforms like YouTube with traditional television content. They aim to measure all ad-supported content with the same set of metrics, giving advertisers the tools they need to make informed decisions about their cross-platform campaigns.

Furthermore, recent events such as the COVID-19 pandemic, protests against racism, and the spread of fake news have made advertisers more aware of their social responsibility. OpenSlate has shown that consumers are more likely to pay attention to ads that are within relevant content, further emphasizing the importance of context in advertising.

Algorithms alone cannot determine where ads should run, and advertisers need to be actively involved in deciding which content they support. OpenSlate helps advertisers navigate this process by providing analytical insights into content performance, brand suitability, and subject matter expertise. This involves considering factors like the nature of the content, the creator, and the way the content is consumed.

As OpenSlate continues to expand its services, they aim to develop a consistent model that aligns with the needs and values of advertisers. The company’s roadmap includes measuring content across various platforms and formats, including feed-based environments and non-video content.

Developing such a business requires time, passion, and a dedicated team. OpenSlate takes pride in their team’s shared vision and their commitment to taking contextual advertising into the future.

Watch “Reshaping Contextual Advertising,” a Beet.TV leadership series presented by OpenSlate, to gain insights into the evolving landscape of advertising and the importance of context in reaching and engaging target audiences.

For more information, visit OpenSlate’s website [OpenSlate]( and read the full transcript of the video interview on Beet.TV [Beet.TV](

[Source: Beet.TV](

[Source: OpenSlate](

The media marketplace has become more fragmented with the proliferation of streaming video and social media platforms, giving advertisers more ways to reach audiences. As targeting becomes more challenging amid greater awareness of privacy issues, the context of ad placements within quality content is regaining prominence.

‘The content side of the equation has become a lot more important in the last few years,” Mike Henry, chief executive of contextual analytics firm OpenSlate, said in this interview with Beet.TV. “Three or four years ago, people were primarily thinking about identifying the user that they want to get in front of. Content become more important as the opportunity to individually target users became under threat with the deprecation of cookies and unique identifiers in phones.”

His company started with a focus on helping marketers to identify quality content for ad placements on video-sharing site YouTube. OpenSlate has expanded to other platforms including Facebook, TikTok and Twitter as advertisers seek consumers whose media appetite includes influencers and creators. 

“The original idea remains the focus for the company, which is….advertising is going to run a lot more places in the future than it has in the past,” Henry said. “We started not with brand safety or suitability, but with quality – understanding that advertisers would try to compare the content that’s on a platform like YouTube with content that’s on television.”

Awareness of Social Responsibility

Many major companies have been mindful of their broader responsibilities to society for years. However, the past couple of years of the coronavirus pandemic, protests against racism and growing awareness of fake news have pushed more advertisers to scrutinize the digital content they support. OpenSlate has been able to show that consumers are much more likely to pay attention to ads that are within content that’s relevant to them.

“Advertisers can’t just let algorithms determine where they’re going to run,” Henry said. “They need to be involved in the decision about where their ads are running and what content they’re supporting.”

OpenSlate plans to expand to more media outlets to help its clientele to better track the effectiveness of their cross-platform campaigns.

“Ultimately, our goals is to measure all ad-supported content with the same set of metrics,” Henry said.

You are watching “Reshaping Contextual Advertising,” a Beet.TV leadership series presented by OpenSlate.

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