Brand Safe Environments: Why That Matters and How to Find Them

It’s Monday on the Internet. Do you know where your ads are?

Imagine this scenario. You are running a paid digital advertising campaign that promotes your content, which outlines critical information about your brand. Based on your strategy and spend, your ad will be served up on a variety of sites that are supposed to target your identified audience.

Now, imagine you are checking a few sites online and stumble across your brand’s ad only to find out that your advertisement planted itself directly next to paid content featuring the headline, “WikiLeaks confirmed Hillary sold weapons to ISIS.”

And then the panic sets in – your brand is being promoted next to a fake news story. A controversial, unreal, sensationalized piece of content – promoted as news – that clicks through to a less than credible site. Much to your surprise and embarrassment, it becomes apparent that this unsafe brand environment is most likely not reaching your target audience, and it could actually hurt your brand and message. On top of that you’re wasting your digital ad dollars.


So is this scenario avoidable? Absolutely.

When strategizing a paid advertising campaign for your brand, it is essential to know where and how your brand will be presented. You must ensure that your ads are being served within a brand safe environment that targets your intended audience.

The overall efficacy of your campaign isn’t just about the ad creative and accompanying copy (the elements you can control). It is also about the actual placement on a page or within a site and the overall context in which the ad is served to the audience.

Therefore, prior to execution, you must confirm that your media buying strategy includes brand safe environments and that you understand the context of the placement. Your executed strategy should not include placements on sites that serve conflicting content or could result in placing your campaign messaging alongside a shockingly fake and fabricated news story that can hurt your brand’s credibility.

So how can you ensure a brand safe environment? Find the site data and know where your ads will be placed.

Unfortunately, the data needed to create this evaluation isn’t uncovered via a simple Google search. However, it does exist.

To ensure brand safety for all digital campaigns, Resonate uses a variety of resources.

Specifically, Resonate partners with Trustmetrics, a third party validation partner, who provides us with a list of top level domains verified and ranked for brand safety which then serves as our whitelist. We use this information to build a website-based fence around our powerful cookie audiences to reach our segments on website content that is classified as brand safe. This list is incredibly accurate and updated on a monthly basis.

Resonate also has partnerships with leading ad verification vendors such as IAS, DoubleVerify, MOAT, and White Ops across all of our media platforms that allow real-time, bid stream brand safety across all programmatic channels. These partners identify the pages where the platforms are serving and provide scores based on content. These scores are stored and made available to media partners to ensure all inventory is safe, effective, and brand-friendly.

In addition, Resonate uses proprietary survey data that shows the values, motivations, and beliefs of visitors to specific sites. By marrying this survey data with cookie data, a resulting site map shows the profile of site visitors and can be paired with a specific brand and message. The site list can also be paired with retargeting to provide scale for targeting audience segments that meet the needs of the media campaign.

The end story?

Digital advertising campaigns show your brand through a powerful and impactful online presentation designed to target and influence your intended audience and create optimal conversions and engagement. You must ensure your brand is being advertised in a brand safe environment and that the context of the ads do not conflict or negatively impact the reputation you’ve worked so hard to build.

Click here to learn how we can help you launch a successful, brand safe campaign or contact us at 571.266.3200