Gimbal / TrueX to reveal the reason they merged: a new targeting tool for CTV

Illustration of fingers pointed to an "opt-in" object.

Almost two years after the two ad-tech companies merged, TrueX and Gimbal will roll out a new ad-marketplace product that essentially blends the signature elements of each company, Digiday has learned.

Called TrueTargeting, the new tool, (which will be announced next week) also aims to deliver insight up and down the entire purchase funnel by blending TrueX’s attention-focused, targeted-ad product for video publishers with Gimbal’s data-driven programmatic tool that incorporates its consumer and location data.

The clear target is the connected TV business, which continues to grow ad revenue at a dizzying rate. 

Part of TrueTargeting’s secret sauce is its ability to incorporates what Gimbal/TrueX’s CMO Laurel Rossi describes as “true human behavior,” since the data collected comes directly from consumer first-party surveys, footfall behavior, cross-device interactions and media/viewership habits. It sidesteps cookie-related issues and, the company insists, is completely privacy-compliant because consumers opt in to share their data. 

“Our ultimate vision is, we will be able to sell through the funnel, right, all the way from attention or awareness through to a transaction and the delivery seamlessly — because that’s really what customers want,” said Rossi, who joined the company in late 2021 and is working closely with president Christa Carone, who also joined the privately-held parent company Gimbal last fall. “That’s what consumers are looking for. They’re looking for a frictionless opportunity to be acknowledged for their commerce or their shopping behavior, and also for their media behavior. We can bring those two things together.”

“We’re developing one company that sells a portfolio of advertising products that ultimately will be able to address every KPI in the funnel,” added Carone.

Carone noted that by concentrating on the CTV space, TrueTargeting is working to innovate its ad and data offerings, including voice-controlled interaction, layering in AR and VR innovations into into the ad experience, and enabling easy toggling between English and Spanish. 

Part of the appeal to advertisers and media agencies, said Carone, is how TrueTargeting gives viewers an active choice, which plays into the attention consumers pay to those served ads. “When we talk about a value exchange, we literally are saying, ‘Give us your attention’,” said Carone. “And in return for that we’re valuing your time, because we’re going to fast forward you through the rest of the ad break…And the advertiser only pays us if the viewer has engaged with the ad.”

“Everybody says they’re in the CTV business, so we want to [get ahead of that marketplace], to be aggressively leading the targeting conversation, because that is truly the next level of sophistication,” added Rossi.

Tom Rothenberg, Initiative/IPG’s president and global business lead for Amazon, which is one of TrueX/Gimbal’s bigger clients, along with Monster Energy and Panera, said he had been working with TrueX long before the merger with Gimbal, but he’s interested to see how the merged company will innovate.

“We plan to continue to support the development of the two companies together this year, as they turn out new products that bring their positioning to life,” said Rothenberg. “Because when we work with them on new formats and innovation, we get good results.” 

That track record includes work TrueX did for Amazon’s Alexa, building an interactive unit that simulated letting people experience having Alexa run their households. “We do lots of other digital stuff that is more of a volume game, but the TrueX stuff is good when we really need that high-impact [effect] or a marketing message that we want people to spend time with.”

“We like the focus they have on real attention from real people,” he added.

Though he was unable to speak with Digiday, client Kyle Maurer, Monster Energy’s vp of global digital marketing, responded via email that “Insightful data through solutions like TrueTargeting optimizes our media spend and helps us ensure consumers receive the messaging from Monster that means the most to them.”

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