Advertising Technology

Solve Media’s Ari Jacoby on Increasing Digital Ad Effectiveness


Ari Jacoby is CEO and Co-Founder of Solve Media, a performance-based online advertising platform promoting online branding. Ari previously co-founded VoiceStar, which was acquired in Sept 2007 by Marchex. He also served as a senior consultant in the Business-to-Business division at Google. Ari is a graduate of Georgetown University with a BA in Government. The Makegood recently spoke with Ari about Solve Media’s mobile advertising platform.

The Makegood: Solve Media guarantees brand message delivery, brand lift and return on investment for advertisers. How can you keep these promises on native advertising at scale?

Our Native TYPE-IN™ solution is measurably effective across multiple platforms: display, video, and mobile.  Users are served TYPE-IN™ ads and type in brand messages on their computers, tablets, or phones.  This action is immersive and guarantees memorability and substantial brand lift from awareness to purchase intent.

Since we started in 2010, we’ve built our network to over 6,500 publishers (exclusive deals), serving over 230 million solves (engagements) per month.  Most native advertising doesn’t scale, but the work we’re doing at Solve Media is very different.  By Q4 we’ll be delivering ~300m engagements per month.

The Makegood: In late June, you launched the mobile advertising platform TYPE-IN™, that is now used by early adopters including Unilever and Songza. How does it work, how will marketers benefit, and what is the user experience? 

In 2010, we released the CAPTCHA TYPE-IN™ and were really excited to see how well it worked.  Since then, we have expanded to pre-roll video formats and we are pleased to extend the effectiveness to mobile devices.  Our Mobile TYPE-IN™ unit is optimized for any sized screen (responsive design) and we’re seeing the same levels of effectiveness as we do on desktop (ComScore).  In fact, Unilever’s campaign with our mobile network saw an 87% lift in purchase intent and 122% lift in awareness for their Wish-Bone salad dressing.


Unilever’s ad for Wish-Bone Italian salad dressing using Solve Media’s “type-in” mobile ad network

With music apps like Songza, users select a playlist to match their mood or activity, like shopping or cooking with friends.  In this particular campaign, users were asked to type in a phrase about Wish-Bone Italian dressing, like “Sassy” or “Wishbone Italian”, before the playlist started.  The focus is on user experience with a really great value exchange: a user types in a message and get 24 hours of continuous music, without interruption or additional advertising.  Brands like Unilever deliver an act of brand kindness and consumers embrace their messaging in exchange.

The Makegood: You did an extensive study of the market place; surveying 800 stakeholders, agencies, brands, investors, publishers in the ecosystem. What are your top three key messages for marketers and publishers?

  1. We work in an era where a majority of ads aren’t even viewed and many clicks are accidental or bot-driven.  True online branding effectiveness comes with measurable cognition through engagement.  Very few companies in our space offer that.
  2. On all fronts – advertisers, publishers, brands, and investors – user experience is becoming more and more important.  Less is more.  And we need to give in order to get.  Under-pixilated banner ads and fat-finger, accidental clicks are not going to cut it.
  3. Targeting and measurability are critically important in mobile advertising and our ability to guarantee both has paid real dividends.

4. 50% of agency buyers say they’ll allocate money to the customized online ad formats, 14% of online publishers will add native advertising. How will that work and how does it affect the different stakeholders in the market? 

These kinds of growth numbers aren’t surprising and we expect them to be bigger next year.  Marketers are constantly trying to stand out from the pack and put innovative, valuable content in front of consumers.  Publishers have responded to the demand for native inventory by offering solutions like Solve Media.  Native advertising will continue to grow as CMO’s push for more effectiveness and efficiencies in their digital programs.

The Makegood:You are fast growing, working with 6500 publishers, and managing 40+ people. How do you keep your top performers? 

Our fantastic team works with more than 6,500 publishers and 100 advertisers.  This is a competitive, fast-paced industry, and our team loves being part of it.  As a small company, we wear multiple hats and put a lot of pressure on our team members to achieve both their personal and professional goals.  The result is a very dedicated group of men and women who are totally committed to Solve Media’s mission to deliver the most effective brand advertising the world has ever seen.

The Makegood: Thanks, Ari.