12.8.16 Marketing

How Solve Media is Cleaning Up the Web & Rethinking Online Advertising By Using Branded Type-In Captchas

By: Jon McDonald

The Crunch: Internet users are constantly typing in random words and phrases to prove they are not robots, but Solve Media, a digital advertising company, has built a better way. The company pioneered Type-In Captcha ads to boost brand engagement and awareness for retailers by having users type in an easy-to-read brand phrase instead. Retailers see a tangible brand lift because typing a phrase makes a bigger impression, while consumers benefit by getting to their desired content faster without having to decipher a jumble of letters. When advertising through Solve Media, costly non-human web traffic is easily cut out of the equation and brands can better engage with their target audiences. 

I am not a robot, and if you are reading this, neither are you. But sometimes, while browsing the internet, we have to prove it by typing in a few words or clicking on a series of pictures. Websites don’t trust that every visit is being made by a living, breathing human being, and with good reason: robots are responsible for a lot of online traffic.

This non-human traffic can be especially damaging to online advertisers because many are billed based on site visits or impressions. When bots inflate website traffic numbers, the advertisers foot the bill. According to an article in Inc. magazine, robot traffic can cost digital advertisers over $6 billion every year.

It is also the reason many websites put their content behind a Captcha, prompting the user to type in a word or two to prove their humanity and unlock the content behind it. Many times the words are from blurry images or text designed to make them impossible for a robot to read. But often, this strategy can make them difficult for a human to read, too.

Solve Media saw this digital advertising dilemma and came up with the idea to use Captchas to take robots completely out of the equation for advertisers, too. The revolutionary Type-In Captcha advertising model was born.

Ash Nashed, Founder and CEO of Solve Media’s parent company Adiant, spoke with us about Type-In Captcha technology.

With traditional Captchas, it could take a couple of attempts if the display words weren’t entirely clear. With Type-In advertising, the display contains an easily readable phrase to type in or answer a simple question to access the content.

“The typical Captcha was annoying to some people and hard for others to complete correctly,” said Ash Nashed, Founder and CEO of Adiant, Solve Media’s parent company. “It was also a lost opportunity. So Solve Media cleverly came up with the idea for Type-In Captchas.”

This innovation is a win-win. Website users win by getting fast access to the content they want. Digital advertisers and retailers win by getting a real person looking at, and engaging with, the brand.

Type-In Captchas can help retailers immensely with recognition and dramatically increases engagement, which Solve Media also finds exciting. Satisfying both consumers and digital advertisers is a difficult task, but Solve Media found a way to accomplish it.

Eliminating Missed Ad Opportunities by Capitalizing on Engagement

The birth of the banner ad was not too far behind the birth of the World Wide Web. In the early days, they were everywhere. At that point, they were also intriguing. Seeing them felt like a new experience and the products they sold benefited greatly from that.

Now, banner ads are still everywhere, but a majority of website visitors have developed banner blindness, a phenomenon where a person completely overlooks any of the banner ads on a site. The ads don’t even register on the consumer engagement scale, and this results in missed opportunities.

“With a standard banner ad, message recall is less than one percent,” Ash told us.

The original Captcha would have a person input random words while Type-In Captchas make those words brand-focused.

Solve Media can increase the engagement exponentially over banner ads. When people engage directly with an ad, typing in a brand slogan or marketing message, they become brand aware instead of banner blind. The strategy can also go a long way to decluttering the internet by taking ads out of our periphery and delivering them in locations where consumers can engage with them.

Perhaps the biggest benefit, though, is having confirmation that a real person not only saw the ad but typed in the brand message.

Ad Interaction Keeps Retailers Top Of Mind & Increases Brand Lift

Creating a memorable digital advertising campaign is hard enough, but creating one that improves brand recognition and user engagement can be a Herculean task. When using Type-In Captchas, a memorable experience is built-in — because of how our minds work.

Psychology tells us that if we write something down, we have a better chance of remembering it. More thought is used when writing information down than just listening to it. We have to transfer what is in our brains to our hands to write or type the information, making more of an impression than listening or watching alone.

The brand lift statistics associated with Type-In Captchas are impressive, especially with association and recall.

“The Type-In product works just like we used to study for tests in school: write things down, and you’ll remember them,” Ash said.

Type-In Captchas capitalize on the memory process for retailers, making their ads easier to recall because their message transfers from memory into keystrokes. This interaction leads directly to brand lift, which is a tangible increase in interaction.

“We can increase brand lift over 100 percent,” Ash said, “that is a typical result for us.”

That sentiment is reflected in some staggering statistics about Solve Media’s effectiveness with brand recall. With a 67 percent increase in recall, a 52 percent increase in brand association, and dramatic spikes in awareness and favorability, the Type-In Captcha strategy is proven to work.

Customize When & Where Type-In Ads Appear for Targeted Reach

Solve Media gives retailers options for the type of ads they can use and flexibility in timing and placement. A brand can even use the Type-In technology to increase its ability to market in the future.

A Type-In Captcha is presented in display, video, pre-roll, or mobile form. None can be skipped, and each user interacts with the ad to move on to the desired content. The display version has a visitor type in a phrase related to the brand, or, in some cases, they can give their own impression through a Brand Tag ad.

Solve Media offers display, video, and mobile Type-in Captchas as well as a pre-roll video version (center).

This strategy is how Walgreens used Solve Media to find out exactly what people thought about its brand. The campaign showed the Walgreens logo and included a simple prompt, like “Describe this brand in your own words.” Consumers typed in their impressions of everything from store layouts to thoughts about their logo.

The Solve Media campaign opened up feedback to a more diverse group than the Walgreens customer email list was reaching, and it provided actionable information for the company to use for improvement and even future marketing campaigns.

Solve Media has also made pre-roll ads more engaging, allowing a user to skip longer versions by typing in a brand message. Solve Media says more than 70 percent of pre-roll ads don’t hold the attention of their target audience because most viewers either tune them out or find something more interesting to do while the ads play. With the Type-In pre-roll ad, the audience can engage with the ad from the beginning, typing in a message to skip it or watching the whole ad and typing in the message after.

Engage and Convert with Tools from Solve Media and Parent Company Adiant

Solve Media has taken the Captcha, essentially a wall to keep robots out, and turned it into something more human and engaging. The Captchas that internet users came across were meaningless and devoid of value or depth. They were just another transactional interaction, like typing in a password. Now, instead of trying to decipher the text on two blurry street signs, users can get to know a brand, if even for a brief moment.

“It turns an annoying interaction into something that creates value,” said Ash.

Type-In Captcha solutions are meant to boost brand awareness, which is a difficult piece of the advertising puzzle. Solve Media’s parent company, Adiant, can then help retailers capitalize on that momentum with the power of its larger network.

Adiant is composed of products that provide publishers and advertisers with cutting-edge technology, whether a retailer wants to drive conversions or target ads to those who interact with their brand through Type-In Captchas. Adiant sees Solve Media and its innovative ads as a big piece of that puzzle.

Solve Media changed the way advertisers can engage with consumers through its innovative Type-In Captchas, and the results have been extremely positive. Retail partners have seen a dramatic increase in brand awareness and recall, which is a monumental step on the path to business success. And with backing from Adiant, retailers can continue on that path to future prosperity.

About The Author

Jon McDonald is a contributing editor for DealCrunch with over 15 years of experience editing, writing, and designing at numerous publications. His passions include digging into emerging trends and seeking out the companies making an impact on the retail industry.

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