Yahoo launches SmartAds

Yahoo today launched SmartAds, a new advertising platform that gives marketers a way to deliver tailored display ads to targeted audiences. SmartAds works by connecting users with their expressed interests. For example, if a user is looking for hybrid cars in Yahoo Autos and had previously selected San Francisco as his or her default location in Yahoo Weather, Yahoo’s SmartAds platform can assemble and deliver a display ad in real time that showcases a hybrid vehicle, along with local dealer information for SF.

Relying on “behavioral targeting” to display more relevant ads, SmartAds combines rich media capabilities with new ad serving technology to automatically convert a marketers creative campaigns into relevant ads. When advertisers and agencies design a single set of creative components and provide Yahoo with the artwork and a feed to their offer database, Yahoo will use this to generate unique ad combinations.

Testing conducted on Yahoo FareChase has resulted in clickthrough rates of 2x to 3x higher than for static, non-customized ads. SmartAds is initially available to travel industry advertisers on Yahoo! properties. Yahoo will expand to additional vertical industries in the coming months.

All I have to ask is “What took Yahoo! sooo long?” They have so many vertical properties, so Yahoo! is in a competitively advantageous position, say over Google, to mine data on individual tastes across these sites.

Interestingly, when searching Google for “SmartAds” results in the following correction/suggestion from Google:

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