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From the 15th Annual Shorty Awards

Reticle: Technology with all the feels

Finalist in Creative Use of Technology


Imagine if you will, your favorite brand, favorite commercial. What does it feel like, smell like, look like? Why do you love it? Is it connected to an important memory in your life? Did it help you navigate a difficult time in your life or is it simply a brand you love because it makes you feel good? 90% of the decisions we make everyday are based on emotion whether conscious or subconscious. The most effective advertising creative uses emotion to connect with consumers yet there isn't a way to activate great, tug at the heart strings types of creative within digital media in an innovative way that truly allows for connection and engagement with the brand. Brand marketers spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on research each year to understand their consumer, how they feel about the brand, what motivates them to buy and so on. It was time that brand marketers had the opportunity to take all of these amazing insights and ensure they can be brought to life both in the creative execution but also the media execution. Reticle wanted to find a way to connect creative and media. It needed to be user friendly, outcomes driven and be able to  provide brand optimal ad placements for advertisers that would help deliver better mental availability and brand love. The idea was to focus on what truly makes us human, emotion, and using technology to help us do it.


Strategy and Execution

Reticle set out to address the lack of emotional connection in media by using technology and the power of programmatic advertising to create a product that aligns advertisers’ creative with emotionally congruent digital content. 


Our solution implements our deep understanding of cognitive behavioral science, and a globally validated, proprietary  emotional framework adopted by over 100 leading global brands. Our technology leverages a language model that has been trained to understand human emotion. We've created a product that provides the ability to activate brand insights and emotional sentiment by contextually aligning the creative message within emotionally congruent content. There are currently 19 emotional categories that use embeddings produced from our model  that are used to classify web content that corresponds to the semantic representation of the emotion we are trying to identify. Initially developed for managed service programmatic buys only, we discovered that the product needed to be available on a self-serve basis so that programmatic traders could access any of the 19 emotional categories as additional tactics, in addition to their traditional targeting, while still maintaining control of activation, optimization and reporting. Our model processes 5mm+ URLs and videos daily and classifies records into any of our 19 emotional categories to ensure that we are continuously refreshing our repository of available ad placements, offering the most relevant URLs that emotionally align with the advertisers' creative message. Reticle is a real time, programmatic bidding solution that does not rely on audience data given that it is classifying content and not audiences. Our solution is completely cookie-less which has filled a need in the market for advertisers who have been reliant on third party data in their digital advertising strategies. There are a number of contextual competitors that focus on IAB categorization, keywords, sentiment and image analysis. Our solution is uniquely positioned to help advertisers impact their brand awareness and consideration driven media by delivering more brand optimal ad viewing experiences. Through the use of programmatic deal ID’s, our product can be activated through open market, programmatic advertising with the click of button within the buying DSP.


By aligning the emotional intent of the ad campaign/creative message within emotionally congruent digital content, our technology has been adopted by agencies who represent some of the largest global brands in the country. The ease of use and ability to connect creative strategy with media strategy  has helped to drive increased brand lift, incremental attention and higher CTR, VCR front end media metrics relative to other forms of contextual bidding. 


Our technology has helped to deliver +21% awareness and recall for a very high profile financial brand, +23% in brand consideration for a well known active-wear retailer and +50% conversion lift for a well known CPG brand. Reticle has  been compared to other forms of contextual bidding that use keyword and category contextual alignment and our emotional AI technology solution has delivered a difference of +50% increase in click through rate proving that focusing on emotion and aligning creative within emotionally congruent digital content is more effective than standard contextual targeting.


With the advances in technology, particularly in the advertising industry, Reticle has been adopted by some of the largest agency holding companies in the business because we were able to find a way to bring emotion to life in media through the use of technology.


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