Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

Context, creativity and attention time: GumGum puts its best foot forward in Europe

As European high impact ad specialist JustPremium is absorbed into the brand of new US owner GumGum, we caught up with Harmen Tjaarda, Managing Director, EMEA, at GumGum to discuss why a new mindset and rethinking advertising are crucial for success in 2022.

Congratulations on becoming Managing Director EMEA for GumGum. What does your new position entail?

I’m responsible for Belgium, the Nordics, The Netherlands, and Spain. My focus is on building our business in the markets we already operate in, expanding into new ones, and establishing in-market teams to deliver our goals.

With JustPremium rebranding as GumGum, building our market profile is critical as we tell our story and champion the potential of our contextual and creative solution.

Personally, it’s exciting to be back in Europe after working in the US for the past few years leading JustPremium’s business in North and Latin America. I’ll certainly apply my strategic and tactical learnings from my time there to the European markets, especially around delivering customer success.

How will your combined focus change now JustPremium has been fully integrated into GumGum?

For the last ten years as JustPremium, we’ve been championing creativity in digital advertising, and its ability to help brands build awareness through impactful, engaging advertising. As GumGum, we’ll expand on this mission by bringing to our markets an enhanced contextual solution that delivers creativity and marketing success in a privacy-compliant manner.

In this sense, GumGum is the perfect home for JustPremium, because our technologies complement each other. By combining them, we’ve created a more powerful solution that is in sync with the needs of the industry today and in the future. With the seismic shifts in digital advertising and the removal of the ecosystem’s building blocks, we offer an alternative for the approaching privacy-first era. And we’re here to ensure companies can prosper in the new environment.

In this changing landscape, what’s needed to succeed in the future?

It’s critical that advertisers focus on the fundamental marketing truth that a single variable doesn’t drive campaign success. It’s built on integrating multiple elements and aligning them to the campaign goal. When it comes to success, the whole is greater than the sum of the parts. And it’s this philosophy we’re bringing to market by offering a single proposition that’s built on the three pillars of campaign success through the framework we call The Mindset Matrix.

The first is context. Our technology understands the true context of any digital environment. And I’m not talking just keywords, the traditional perception of context. It understands every signal – words, images, video, audio and other metadata – to interpret the real meaning of every environment to allow precision targeting.

The second is creativity, and ensuring every message is delivered through a dynamic, engaging and memorable ad that enhances the environment in which it appears.

And finally, there’s measurement, or more specifically, understanding if an ad captures a consumer’s attention. It’s the advent of attention time – the length of time, in seconds, that an ad is looked at – that allows marketers to prove contextual advertising’s relevance and effectiveness by capturing a person’s interest in the ad at that moment.

These three components comprise our Mindset Matrix framework. We’re introducing this so advertisers can offer consumers relevant, valuable experiences in their digital environments without using personal data. ​​As the current environment evolves, success will be about tapping into people’s mindset based on what they’re actively viewing at that moment, rather than relying on past behaviours.  

As digital advertising evolves, how should companies consider how they approach it going forward?

For me, these changes are an opportunity to reset our approaches and attitudes. Many of today’s advertising issues stem from the fact that people don’t want to be tracked online. And while multiple approaches are being developed to help brands navigate the changes, one of the key ones – ID identifiers – still has an element of tracking individuals at its heart.

We need to be mindful of the environment we operate in, and brands, agencies and tech companies should ask themselves this critical question: is what I’m doing helping deliver ethical and acceptable targeting in line with consumers’ needs?

This is why contextual targeting is so relevant. Matching the context of a webpage to the content of an ad delivers the targeted advertising brands want. It removes their brand safety fears by focusing on environments supportive to their values, while protecting consumer privacy by avoiding the use of behavioural data.

To save advertising, we all must make a fundamental shift away from the current way of doing business, be sensitive to consumers’ needs, and adopt privacy-first solutions. Although change is difficult, these are exciting times. With growing data privacy regulations and the deprecation of the cookie, the industry has a real opportunity to refocus its whole advertising approach to make it more relevant and engaging, and to rebuild consumer trust at the same time.