Attention firm Adelaide penetrates holding company media agencies with new tool

In the never-ending quest to understand which part of advertising investments deliver the best results, attention metrics have pushed themselves to the forefront of consideration by brands and media agencies.

Digiday has learned that Adelaide, one of several attention firms trying to get the, umm, attention of those brands and media agencies, is rolling out a new planning tool and dashboard called Flight Control that’s surprisingly being adopted across a wide array of media agencies, programmatic vendors and other ad-tech firms. 

Using Adelaide’s fundamental AU metric, which gauges how much attention an ad delivers in a given placement, Flight Control’s dashboard lets users enter or input three criteria: Outcome type (as in, upper, middle, or lower-funnel outcomes); ad category (CPG, auto, etc.) and channel or media: (display, online video).

From that, Flight Control produces a target AU and determines how to adjust the media plan. Media below the recommended AU floor can be reduced or avoided altogether to increase campaign efficiency. 

Adelaide CEO Marc Guldimann said that when implementing minimum AU thresholds, advertisers have increased conversion metrics by 59% and brand lift metrics by 50% on average. 

Agencies that have signed on to use Flight Control include Havas Media Network, GroupM, IPG Mediabrands, Omnicom Media Group and Publicis Media. Meanwhile, programmatic platforms and other ad-tech partners that have signed up to Flight Control include Adobe Advertising, InMobi, Kargo, Magnite, OpenX, PubMatic, Sharethrough, Teads, TripleLift and others.

GroupM Nexus was instrumental in helping to develop the tool, explained Ash Mahajan, its global head of video solutions, who noted one big payoff for advertisers is to be able to optimize campaigns before they go to market to ensure a “warm start,” as he described it. 

“If I start a new campaign with a client, I want to have a warm start to it, and I should know what is the inventory that I should remove beforehand to make sure that we are hitting the goals straightaway,” said Mahajan. “Beyond that, optimizing around using all the tools that we have from [GroupM’s data arm] Choreograph, all the data science tools that we use internally, bring those into play into optimization, and work with third-party providers to then correlate business outcomes … and feed it back into the activation planning. Closing the loop is very important.”

Mahajan pointed out that the pressure marketers/clients feel to not waste any of their ad spend is driving the need to find alternatives like Flight Control. “It’s about trying to find the right level of investment per campaign and being very, very effective and efficient about it because you know, at the end of the day, we are in charge of the client’s investment and we are aligning the goals to the way we are running media.”

Mike Evans, svp of demand facilitation at Magnite, noted that using the AU metric in its auction packages has helped some global brand advertisers reach 77% awareness lift and 49% higher consideration. 

John Sheehy, operating partner at New Road Capital Partners, looked at some of the players in the attention space for possible investment opportunities. “There is proven validity in this helping clients and helping agencies get to better outcomes,” said Sheehy, who spent decades within Publicis running Starcom and helping to assemble what is Publicis Media today. “And in a world that is less and less certain, here’s something that over the last four years in a very predictive way has some certainty to it.”

Sheehy paraphrased an old Publicis colleague, media expert Rishad Tobaccowala, in describing Adelaide’s efforts at getting past the plumbing and a bit closer to the poetry of media investment.

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