Universal Inclusion is advertising tech built for eliminating bias
Universal Inclusion is a new programmatic advertising platform built on some esoteric technologies in service of making marketing more inclusive.
The company said its new platform uses neuro-programmatic technology—its patented context resonance software—to identify deeper neurocognitive and anthropological frameworks that better match individuals’ motivations and beliefs and allow advertising messages and subsequent placements to better resonate with target audiences.
Reset Digital CEO Charles Cantu told FierceVideo that Universal Inclusion is aimed at eliminating bias and improving representation for people of all identities, specifically BIPOC communities.
“But quite frankly all communities, starting with a humanity first approach in advertising. It’s about providing brands with the opportunity to create inclusive content and reach audiences at scale in ways that they haven’t before,” he said.
Reset Digital is partnering with the American Association of Advertising Agencies (4A’s) along with MilkPEP, dentsu, Horizon Media, Comcast’s FreeWheel and Amazon Web Services on the launch. As the company and its partners continue their work on Universal Inclusion, we spoke with Cantu about how the platform works and who it could benefit.
FierceVideo: How did the 4A’s and the other partners get involved?
Charles Cantu: The 4A’s, I would say Marla [Kaplowitz] is the maven and the maverick. She brought together a little over a year ago a lot of the diverse-owned and diverse-targeted media leadership in the industry and her agenda was to find ways to cut through some of the problems in the industry. During that meeting, I pointed to some research that was done in the 1960s by Black Enterprise’s Earl Graves Sr. and we gravitated toward, “How can we create tools and rules that are more measurable, that have greater impact and drive short- and long-term cash flow for the businesses involved?” That’s where the idea stemmed from and then we went on the journey of putting together and building it out.
FierceVideo: Can you talk more about what problem or problems Universal Inclusion is intended to solve within the advertising industry?
Cantu: Right now, neuro-programmatic technology resets the framework of audience segmentation, creative development and buying algorithms. The way that things have always worked in our industry is things have transacted based on gross ratings points based on demography. Demography, what most people don’t focus on, was invented in the 1600s by a guy named John Graunt and things were a little biased back then. So, instead of starting with demography—and it doesn’t mean eliminating it or completely abandoning it—it means, “Let’s start with human psychology. Let’s start with our humanity first, and then layer on demography and layer on anthropological components like culture, creeds, races and preferences.”
When you start with the humanity first, A, you get a better outcome, and B, you’re more representative, you’re actually bringing human agency and oracle to the equation.
FierceVideo: Where is the more representative data coming from?
Cantu: A lot of different places. What we don’t do is force anyone to use one set of research and/or dataset other than the proprietary dataset that we have that’s on a cognitive level…In the case of Horizon Media or MilkPEP, they have their own data research teams and they have their own preferred vendors. We’re happy to work with those research vendors and data providers. What we’re saying is none of those data providers have a cognitive dataset that allows you to activate, in which case we can layer our stuff on as the base plate, the foundation, and then you essentially build the pizza on top of that.
Then there’s the ongoing research, in which case you can survey individuals and say, “Is this ad for you or not for you?” That question is what we’re getting to on a conscious and/or subconscious level, and we want that feedback loop because that’s what really brings human agency to the table.
FierceVideo: Can you talk a little bit about what Universal Inclusion will look like in action for consumers?
Cantu: Today, you’ve got brilliant creatives designing creatives and the example that I use is, when I met my wife, I was the dancing bear on the unicycle, juggling and spinning the plates. I didn’t know what was going to make her smile or be happy but I really wanted to figure it out. So, it’s kind of the same thing for creatives; they get a persona from a brand based on millions of dollars of research in some cases, and then ultimately it’s sent to a strategy team and these wonderful people with insights intuitively do a thing. But they don’t certainly know if this creative that they made will resonate with human beings based on love and connection and belonging signals, or achievement, leadership and self-knowledge signals. So, we’re able to essentially extrapolate that, share that with them and create a feedback loop that allows marketers, agencies and their brands to make some decisions. Do they want to create new creative in places where they may be able to find opportunity, or do they just want to be really, really good at where to place that creative?
Then, in the wild, we’re also doing research in real-time to find out if this at is for you or not for you, are you in agreement with how we think this is going to make you feel?
In the future, we get into being able to make digital twins. Boeing doesn’t launch a multi-billion-dollar plane without doing simulated research in advance. I think there’s a future state for us to be doing that in partnership with companies like AWS. So, starting even smarter on the front-end and I think that’s the future state so people can actually know that we have a very high likelihood that this is going to be the kind of creative that everybody likes and wants.
FierceVideo: How will Universal Inclusion affect distributors and platforms?
Cantu: What’s interesting about Reset Digital in general is we happen to be a cognitive data company disguised as ad tech. We just finished some integrations for The Trade Desk, we’re finalizing the last leg of their review now. So, what you’re going to find is we’re a bolt-on to people with scale, publishers at scale especially. We’re the only demand-side platform that can transact linear TV with Comcast FreeWheel right now. We’re pretty excited about that. Why are they willing to do that? Because instead of buying on demography, instead of a marketer looking at old ways of cherry picking programming, now you’re looking at fit and match between human beings and individuals. It’s an entirely different way of buying that opens up better performance and incrementality.
So, in this way with platforms, MVPDs and content providers, these folks have a tremendous opportunity especially when you layer in their first-party data.
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August 16, 2021 at 07:34AM