April 30, 2007, 12:00 AM

We know who you are—and you like green tea

To get more effective use of contextual online advertising, beverage brand Snapple worked with the Tacoda advertising network. While its ad campaign for green tea worked well as expected with health-conscious consumers, it also produced unexpectedly high results with other consumer groups.

While some marketers grumble about limited inventory for effective contextual ad placement, beverage brand Snapple Green Tea has found out there’s plenty-for those willing to look beyond the obvious.

Snapple turned to behavioral ad targeting in launching an online campaign for its new Good for You green tea, working with targeted advertising network Tacoda Inc. The tea has high levels of a key antioxidant, making a health-conscious audience a natural target. But contextual inventory relevant to this segment-content and sites where it would make sense to place ads for the new product-was limited, and ad placement was expensive.

Tacoda’s network serves online ads to and tracks the response from about 80% of all U.S. Internet browser users, says chairman Dave Morgan. To identify additional audience segments, and potential ad venues for the new tea product, Tacoda mapped characteristics of 364 different behavioral segments and tracked how the segments responded to the ads by the number of clicks the ads received from those groups. Because Snapple wasn’t actually selling the tea on its site, click-throughs from ads to get more information from the site was the key metric.

As expected, initial results showed the ad campaign fared well with health-conscious consumers. Unexpectedly, it also did well with other segments, including consumers interested in arts and literature, business, travel, and news. It did poorly with consumer segments defined as playing sports, sports fans, family, shopping, gaming and I.T.

During the two-month campaign, the product site’s index of health-conscious consumers increased by 30%, meaning that relative to all web users, the likelihood that consumers from the health-conscious segment would visit Snapple sites increased by 30%, Tacoda says.

Snapple Green Tea’s experience demonstrates the use of advanced behavioral targeting in an online campaign can yield media planning sights that may become even more important than the results generated by the campaign itself, Morgan says, with the likelihood that those insights apply to media planning offline as well.

mary@verticalwebmedia.com

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