The Automation of Advertising

Macleay College’s advertising students were recently treated to a guest presentation from Chris Waterman from the Rubicon Project on the automation of advertising. Patrick Rutkowski reports.


Chris Waterman from the Rubicon Project with Patrick Rutkowski

After automation has revolutionised the accommodation (AirBnB), Taxi (UBER) and content broadcast (Facebook) sectors, the Rubicon Project is an industry leading technology company focused on automating the process of buying and selling online advertising space. Chris described how up to 127,000 auctions are performed on their platform each day. This process of buying online media space is completed in real time in only 0.80 milliseconds, which they are still trying to decrease. After about 30 seconds of posting and ad the space opens up to be re-bid.

This form of media purchasing is also highly personalised, with Rubicon selling space based on the type of user who is currently on a specific site. The company uses the profiles of users, determined though their browser cookies, to collect information about users’ search and user habits.

Chris believes that advertising agencies need to better adapt to the future of mobile media consumption. He described that marketers should start thinking mobile first, as it is the largest growing medium with an expected 66% of global digital spend of media budgets by 2018.

Although the process of Rubicon project appears to be highly effective by heavily streamlining the media and advertising space buying and selling it does have some drawbacks. The major one being as advertisers get better at targeting, consumers get better at resisting specified advertising. Adblocker software and cookie blockers on mobile devices are preventing the accurate targeting and consumption of online and mobile advertising, which actually facilitates for a lot of content creation on these sites. The Rubicon Project also face large competitors in Google and Facebook, both with a much larger reach in the industry and with large budgets to back them up.

Regardless of these hurdles Rubicon Project are still pushing to be on the forefront of advertising automation technology in order to best place online ads and communications in an accurately targeted and streamlined way.

By advertising student, Patrick Rutkowski

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