A New DONN of Advertising
Mins Read
July 9, 2020

It’s 1962. You step into your office at one of a hundred ad agencies in Manhattan. You know you have a deadline for your client. This client sells cereal and their margins are low. In a crowded marketplace, the need to get kids (and mothers who buy the groceries) excited about trying this new cereal must be a hit. If it’s not, they could go under.

With the pressure that your ideas will possibly help make or break their sales, you grab your favorite pencil and start drawing out ideas and phrases. Radio ads, magazine inserts, and if you’re lucky even television will be used to deliver your ideas. By the afternoon, creative inspiration has been fueled by cups of coffee, followed later on by glasses of watered-down scotch and a pack of cigarettes. You now have some ideas that should go to the artists down the hall.

Will your ideas save their company’s balance sheet? You’ll never really know, but you’ll certainly charge the client full price…

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Today’s Reality

The days where the success of the entire campaign rested on the next clever idea and raw luck has long gone. In fact, the days where “creative is king” is quickly passing as well. Smart advertisers are no longer interested in ads that shout louder than their competitors or even show up in more places and get more “eyeballs”. The days where the more impressions you pump out equate to a positive campaign because “more=better” is also over. Today’s modern CEOs know enough about what’s possible in marketing. If their advertising cannot directly deliver sales, then they will move on. And so does the CMO. Quickly.

Instead, to stay with current expectations, all marketers, from advertisers to publishers, automate as much as possible to ensure the right message goes to the right audience. Most have fully embraced this new dynamic and have reasonable success. Those that haven’t, won’t be able to fool their customers much longer. In fact, great marketers send it precisely to the person at the right time in the right format, all while trying not to piss the customer off.

Unfortunately, there’s that last part. Even with all the advances in marketing automation and rudimentary AI logic trees, that part still hasn’t been solved. Try as we might, interrupting someone’s entertainment or education for an ad is rarely the way into someone’s heart. Or wallet. What sycophant turns up the radio when that terrible Kars-for-Kids jingle starts?

So, without a technological solution, what is the fallback? Right now, it’s the 1960’s solution. Make it funny, make it interesting, make it loud, make them cry, but by-God make them see it. Roll the dice and maybe they will hate us less? How about cutting a 30-second ad to 15 seconds so they will have to endure it less? How about 6 seconds? Only 6 seconds of hate is practically love!

Dump Don and Hire DONN

Perhaps there is another way. Let’s call it a Dynamic Ordination Neural Network or DONN. Let’s have DONN watch not only the user but also the content the user is watching: and really watch it. For example, knowing what’s about to happen in the video and knowing the viewer is a coffee lover, at the end of this scene, where the actor sips coffee at a coffee shop, there is an opportunity to show the latest flavors from Starbucks or announce a new opening for a French café around the corner. DONN looks at the probability that this viewer will respond positively, places an offer out on the exchange, and milliseconds later, accepts an offer, and grabs their best creative for this video type. DONN then places the ads in areas where the user is fully engaged. And instead of making a mess of the user experience, DONN slides it in perfectly so that the users’ content continues but the advertiser can push a CTA. And then again 5 minutes later, another strategic placement for another opportunity.

Advertising that doesn’t get in the way

If one of the advertisements piques the interest of the viewer to find out more, but not while the video is still playing. After all, it’s getting to the good part. So instead of clicking on the ad and being whisked away to some other world (so early 2000’s!), the user taps the ad and the advertiser sends the user an email, or better yet, the offer goes to the customers personal “offer” cue. There the potential customer can learn more about the offer but after the video ends or when the user has time, the same way Amazon allows shoppers to put something on the list for later.

Today it is possible to know who to advertise to and what to advertise, but DONN will take it to the next level, being smart enough to know when to advertise so that it’s actively complementing the content playing currently in the video. Dynamically searching for the perfect place (ordination) and using neural networking to find the right ad that would work at that precise moment, without stopping the action. If the advertiser is clever with DONN, why not make the ad a part of the action? The result could be different every time for every user.

The technology exists. It’s time to get DONN to work. Minus the scotch.

Founded in 2019, CatapultX is an AI-based platform at the forefront of innovative video marketing. Serving contextually relevant video ads that don’t interfere with consumer experience, CatapultX brings a profitable, engaging and enjoyable experience to publishers, advertisers and audiences. If you are interested in expanding the profitability of your content or building a more robust advertising portfolio, reach out to us at or set up a meeting with someone from our sales team.

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