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New Study Shows 49% Of Marketers Say They Are Looking to Contextual Advertising to Replace Cookies

New research from GumGum and Brand Innovators underscores the need for more education on contextual advertising

London, UK 3rd Feb 2022 GumGum, a global media and technology leader, specialising in contextual intelligence, today published the results of a survey that found 49% of brand marketers are looking to use contextual advertising to replace cookies in their marketing efforts.

The study, sponsored in partnership with Brand Innovators and conducted by an independent third-party researcher, also showed that most marketing executive respondents expect to increase their digital and mobile ad spends as the advertising industry moves to a cookieless future. More than half (56%) of respondents are aware that “contextual advertising is often cited as a key solution to the upcoming post-cookie environment.”

“This study proves that while many advertisers are aware of contextual capabilities to address the cookieless-future, there is still a great deal of education needed around contextual of the past, technology based on keywords, and the next generation of contextual, which can fully understand all the signals in digital environments. This advancement in capabilities has proven that advertisers can use context as a proxy for intent, which is why GumGum has invested in building the leading next generation of contextual technology that can understand all the signals on the page, is accredited and continually proves to be just as, if not more, effective and has proven to increase brand favorability.”

Survey respondents confirmed that cookies have indeed been very important to their marketing efforts, with almost 90% agreeing that cookies had been either “very important” or “somewhat important.” While only 27% of respondents stated that they were “very familiar” with contextual advertising, with a whopping 41% admitting that they were somewhere in the middle, neither overly familiar or overly unfamiliar, highlighting the gap and need for deeper conversations around the next generation of contextual technology. Marketers that were well-versed in contextual advertising were hopeful at its potential to replace traditional cookie targeting, with 38% ranking the ability to find a brand suitable environment based on contextual targeting rather than keywords as the most attractive feature.

“Our research found that for the majority of the marketers, contextual advertising’s lack of privacy issues is an important feature, with many valuable benefits of getting marketing messages in front of the right consumer audiences,” said David Teicher, Chief Content Officer, Brand Innovators. “For many, privacy is a huge concern and they are all quite aware of the pushback they’ve been getting around tracking, both from consumers and from regulatory agencies.”

The study also collected insights on contextual from industry leaders:

“I think contextual advertising has a lot of promise in this new environment. It’s only a matter of time before we can turn around and make an at scale targeting mechanism that allows us to avoid the idea of always needing to have a behavioral target off of an ID. On a macro level, we as an industry will need to become more sophisticated in our analysis of contextual based advertising, especially as it relates to the outcome we want to drive.” – John Marshall, Head of North America Digital, HP

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“We’ve had decades of experience with contextual advertising and will continue to invest here where applicable. Our focus on media analytics and measurement supports an agile approach to investment whereby our mix and tactics are regularly optimized to deliver superior outcomes for Frito-Lay brands. Success in contextual advertising is less dependent on the brand being advertised and more so on the strength of alignment between messaging and creative with the surrounding environment in which the ad is placed.” – James Clarke, Sr. Director of Media Strategy & CRM, Frito Lay North America Inc.

To read the complete study, visit the report site. For more information about GumGum, please reach out to

About GumGum

GumGum is the leading contextual intelligence platform for online media. For over a decade, we have applied our proven machine learning expertise to promote more relevant and intentional advertising on the open web. Our proprietary contextual intelligence engine elevates the entire premise of context-driven advertising by applying computer vision and natural language processing to understand the interplay of text, images and videos that together constitute the real and relevant mindset of online engagement. Combining unrivaled contextual intelligence with proprietary high-impact ad formats, GumGum’s advertising solutions deliver industry-leading efficiency, accuracy and performance. We believe that a digital advertising ecosystem based on context is better for consumers, publishers, and advertisers alike – and for that reason, we believe it is the key to building a more equitable and less invasive future for the internet.

About Brand Innovators

Brand Innovators is the largest peer-to-peer community of Fortune 500 brand side marketers in the industry. To help their over 30,000 members learn, share and connect, they produce over 100 events annually across North America and Europe. The mission of Brand Innovators is to help brand marketers better understand how they may leverage emerging technology to more effectively engage with their consumers while accelerating the digital transformation of the marketing and media industry.

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