Programmatic Goes Beyond Display Ads, Opening Up New Creative Possibilities

Home Page Takeovers, Pushdowns Will Soon Be Automated

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Undertone pushdown ad on Popular Science
Undertone pushdown ad on Popular Science

Programmatic isn't just for banner ads anymore-- soon some of the most prominent sites on the internet will be employing automated buying for homepage takeovers and pushdowns.

These splashier ad units are being made available by ad network Undertone which sells space on sites owned by Gannett, American Media, USAToday Sports, Accuweather, Bonnier Corp. and more.

"We anticipate this being able to unlock a lot of programmatic budgets for brands," said Undertone Co-Founder Eric Franchi in an interview.

Many brands today are looking to increase their programmatic spending, but are limited by the unspectacular selection of available ad units. It's difficult to spend 100% of your display ad budget through automated channels -- as American Express, for instance, said it intends -- when you can only purchase banner ads. Mr. Franchi said Undertone's new offering will help eliminate the problem.

The ad units will run across Undertone's entire publisher network, though brands won't be able to select which individual publishers they want to place their ads on. The first iteration will also only be sold via "programmatic direct" deals, meaning a set price for the ads will be agreed upon at the outset, leaving bidding out of the equation.

The programmatic direct market Undertone is targeting with this offering is a juicy one. eMarketer predicts it will grow from less than $1 billion last year, to $3.8 billion this year and $8.5 billion next year.

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