Is Contextual/Keyword Ad Targeting The Answer To Our Cookie-less Future?

Is Contextual/Keyword Ad Targeting The Answer To Our Cookie-less Future?

With the United States being the largest market for digital advertising, and the place where many global advertising standards are created, according to BeOp CEO, more and more tech companies are looking to the United States to see where the future of digital advertising is headed.

One of the top contenders, as to where digital advertising will head, is Contextual Advertising, or what we at Vici refer to as Keyword Targeting.  With a big focus on privacy, Contextual Advertising has undergone a major shift and giving end users more control over their personal data.

What is Contextual Advertising?

Contextual Advertising refers to the practice of placing ads on web pages based on the content of those pages.  For example, there may be an ad for a jeweler selling engagement rings on an article talking about the best way to finance them, or it could be an ad for a hotel when looking at pricing for airfare.  Typically, you see these opportunities based on parameters like keyword or website topic.

What’s the difference between Contextual Targeting and Behavioral Targeting?

Behavioral Targeting is based on actions the user has taken before they reach the web page.  This could include reading a certain article, clicking on a link, or any of the other factors below:

But Contextual/Keyword targeting doesn’t use cookies or previous behaviors to track users.  It is not based on previous actions but rather “in the moment” targeting.

How does this type of advertising work?

  1. Choose your parameters – Keywords can be used as a precise way of targeting. Using keywords gives the ad exchanges a good idea as to what type of content your ads should be placed in.
  2. Ad exchanges analyze the websites/apps in their networks.  Your ads will be eligible to appear only on pages that match your keywords.
  3. Your ad is placed along side the keywords and content you’ve selected.

How can I use keywords/contextual marketing in my advertising?

There are many products that utilize Keyword Targeting.  Here are just a few:

Social Mirror™ Ads – Social Mirror™ ads mimic the look and feel of top social media platforms and appear outside of those sites, across all devices.  Each ad has the ability to not only link back to the social platform, but also a second call to action button that links to the client’s website.  Ads also have unique social actions related back to the originating platform (like the heart icon, the pinning icon, the retweet icon, etc). The platforms we have integrated with are Facebook/Instagram, Twitter, Linked In, Pinterest, Tik Tok, Snap Chat, YouTube. Ads can be static, display, or video.

Keep in mind that you are reaching people who are on webpages and apps that feature YOUR keywords, and serving them a Social Mirror™ Ad.


Native Ads  Native display or video ads go across all devices and match the look, feel and context of the website or app where they are seen.

Your ads could be any of hundreds of formats depending on the device and website or app where it appears.  It’s created in real time to match the format of where it’s appearing.  Here are some examples of different native ads for the same business.

These ads are reaching people who go to webpages and apps that feature your keywords, and serve them your Native Ad.


Video Pre-Roll – 15 or 30-second video ads that appear across all devices and play before the content plays that you’re wanting to watch.

In this example, a jeweler is targeting keywords such as “engagement ring” and “jeweler”.

With Video Pre-Roll, we advise utilizing keyword in conjunction with a broader video pre-roll campaign.  The reason is that if you JUST did keyword, there might not be enough people typing in those keywords or enough inventory against those keywords to serve the full amount of impressions you order.  So, it would need to be just one part of an overall video pre-roll campaign.


Display Ads – Ads that go across all devices, appearing on websites or apps.  Again, these ads are being served on webpages and apps that contain keywords related to your business, across all devices.

So why should you use Contextual/Keyword Targeting?  How does it benefit your campaign?

  1. You can reach people who are searching for information. For example, you could reach someone who does a Google search and clicks on an organic listing on the search page landing the user on a website containing an ad widget, and if keywords you’ve chosen appear on that site, your ad could be shown.
  2. You are not constrained by privacy legislation. Contextual/Keyword advertising doesn’t rely on cookies or other tracking information to serve your ads.
  3. It is “Brand Safe.” You specify the keywords, which means your ad displays only on sites relevant to your selected keywords.
  4. Potentially your ad could have better relevancy. Behavioral targeting is targeting people, and sometimes can be based on past behavior.  Behaviors change.  So, seeing an ad for kitchenware on a cooking site could be more relevant because someone is interested in cooking in that moment.


When you are creating your advertising campaign, remember that there are many options available to you.  While we aren’t exactly sure what the future holds, we do know that Contextual/Keyword advertising isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.   And, with relevant content, there’s a good likelihood that your ad is in the right spot!

Share this post