Rubicon Project, the mobile ad marketplace provider, has announced the beta launch of Project Awesome – a solution that it hopes will give consumers some control over their digital ad experiences. Indeed, Rubicon Project has been busy trying to get the ad industry together to keep the Internet free and open by changing the way advertising is done.
Rubicon Project beta launches Project Awesome
Frank Addante, CEO and Founder of Rubicon Project explains that the company has a vision to change ads into something more informative and provide that information as a service to consumers. Indeed, boosting the growth of the Internet by turning ads into a money-making source for creators and content innovators sounds like an interesting idea. He adds:
“There have always been three participants involved in advertising and for too long our industry has focused on the buyers and sellers and ignored consumers and their experience. The increasing adoption of ad blockers, privacy concerns and general apathy for ads, are symptoms of this lack of focus on the consumer experience. People recently have been given a choice with ad blockers, but their choice has been limited to either see all ads or block all ads. That’s not ideal for consumers, advertisers or publishers and application developers. Today we’re offering a new option, the ability to choose the specific ads and interests that you want to see or don’t want to see.”
In answer to these issues, Rubicon Project has built a customer solution designed to tap the company’s machine learning technology and put people in control of data, privacy and interest.
Project Awesome was created in the company’s innovation lab, The Garage, and provides a user interface which lets consumer snooze or block ads, like ads, save ads, build taste profiles and search for specific categories.
Project Awesome aims to be adaptable and modifiable according to an individual user’s ad experience, interests, liked and disliked ad categories, creatives and of course real-time feedback. This effectively puts consumers in charge of which ads they’d like to see and which ones they’d like to block.
However, the question remains: do consumers want to see any advertising at all?
Rubicon Project doesn’t offer an answer to that. However, Project Awesome does sound like a step forward as it aims to create an environment that caters to what users wish to see. The company adds that advertisers are now spending over $500bn a year on adverts whilst at the same time usage of ad blockers has grown in popularity to over half a billion worldwide across mobile devices and desktops.
That’s a very clear threat to advertisers and publishers, but also an opportunity to change the way things are going and control the digital ad experience.
Current ad block solutions offer an all or nothing approach whereby users either block all ads or none. However, recent Adobe research highlights that 78% of customers liked personalised ads, with just under a third of respondent saying they believed ads were targeted enough.
Julie Brill, the former commissioner of the Federal Trade Commission has previously called on the industry to become more creative and innovative by using tools to address consumer privacy concerns.
“Not to find ways to work-around consumer choice, but provide consumers with something they clearly want: to see advertising that respects their privacy and that they can trust. Until that happens, more and more consumers will continue to take advantage of ad-blocking services.”