Home News Beyond the Cookie: How Hybrid’s AI-Driven Platform is Shaping the Future of Ad Tech

Beyond the Cookie: How Hybrid’s AI-Driven Platform is Shaping the Future of Ad Tech

by Redakce
Adam Iwinski

AI Crunch Voice | In this interview, Adam Iwinski, CEO of Hybrid Europe, delves into how cutting-edge AI technologies are propelling the ad tech industry forward. Adam Iwinski sheds light on Hybrid’s unique approach to navigating the upcoming post-cookie era, their innovative ad solutions that ensure brand safety, and their ambitious global expansion plans. Discover how Hybrid is setting new standards in digital advertising through technological innovation.

Adam, could you elaborate on the specific AI technologies that power Hybrid's platform, and how they enhance the effectiveness of digital advertising?

In Hybrid, AI powers most of our technologies, such as VOX AI-Vision. When we launched VOX five years ago, it was solely based on Computer Vision, enabling object recognition in website images. Last year, we introduced contextual targeting, significantly broadening the possibilities. Now, it can recognize objects not only in images but also in videos and in some markets – audios, and it understands both the content and the context of the text.

VOX AI-Vision. Author: Hybrid Europe

Who is the primary target audience for your platform, and how do you tailor your services to meet their specific needs?

We primarily collaborate with advertising agencies, including both franchises and local entities across various markets, whose clients are predominantly large, renowned brands. However, we occasionally run campaigns directly for clients as well. Our core offering is a full-service model, which means we handle all aspects of a campaign—including preparation, launch, and analysis—within Hybrid’s integrated ecosystem. We excel at satisfying our clients by focusing on innovation and unique solutions that are not available elsewhere.

Can you name the benefits of VOX for the publishers?

The VOX technology is a great and innovative tool not only for the advertisers, but also for publishers. It introduces an entirely new placement, from which the publishers can have additional revenue that they did not have until now, without the risk that their page will be overcrowded with ads, thanks to the user-friendly, In-Image format.

In addition, the publishers can decide for themselves how often the ads are going to appear on their website. Also, the ads that appear on the images are always closely related to the context of the page, which makes them even less intrusive and more integrated with the content. All of this is confirmed by the extremely low Close Rate of the In-Image ads, which is below 1%.

How does Hybrid differentiate itself from other players in the ad tech market?

I think the most important aspect is that we have managed to create and implement our own comprehensive ecosystem. We function as an SSP (Supply Side Platform), DSP (Demand Side Platform, or DMP (Data Management Platform), and we have our own creative platform and reporting system. This enables us to oversee a campaign from start to finish. Moreover, the AI systems we use are not only built but also trained by us, which sets us apart from competitors and allows us to tailor our solutions individually for each client. Additionally, we are pioneers in the In-Image format used by VOX, which enhances the visibility and memorability of our campaigns.

In terms of brand safety, how do you ensure compliance when deploying programmatic advertising solutions?

When ensuring brand safety, we employ a technology similar to that used in VOX. Our AI is designed to recognize website elements and identify those that might be inappropriate or harmful to the campaign and client. If it detects any potentially dangerous objects on a page, the system will prevent ad placement there. Additionally, human reviewers double-check placements to ensure complete safety for the client. We also partner exclusively with the most trustworthy publishers, adding an extra layer of protection against ads appearing in inappropriate environments.

With the shift towards a cookieless future, how is Hybrid adapting its technology to maintain effective targeting and personalization in its ad campaigns?

Actually, we moved away from using cookies nearly six years ago and have since based our campaigns on context rather than cookies. In Poland alone, we run about 100 cookieless campaigns every month, and across Central Europe, the total reaches around 300 campaigns monthly. The ‚cookieless future‘ is already a reality for us. Our experience shows that contextual advertising is significantly more effective; in 2023, our campaigns achieved an average click-through rate (CTR) of 1%, which is more than triple the Central Eastern Europe (CEE) average of about 0.3%. Contextual targeting allows for more precise campaign direction than cookies ever did. We’re excited to see what new challenges the future holds and to discover ways to address them.

Ukázka reklamy. Autor: Hybrid Europe

How do you foresee the elimination of third-party cookies affecting the overall programmatic advertising landscape, and what role will you play in shaping this new paradigm?

To be honest, it’s hard to predict the future direction of digital marketing. Several solutions are already available, and it’s likely that more will emerge. As previously mentioned, Hybrid primarily focuses on contextual advertising using image and content recognition. In addition to this, we’ve developed our own PIXEL code for identifying look-alikes, our own ID tracking system, and Hybrid Triggers—a product that leverages environmental campaign triggers. The shift away from cookies doesn’t pose a threat to us; on the contrary, we believe it will revolutionize the advertising market in a very positive way.

Can you share a success story where Hybrid’s platform significantly impacted a client's advertising campaign results?

There are numerous examples, but a recent one involved a campaign for Under Armour, which launched a new pair of sports shoes and aimed to draw customers into their stores to try them. We displayed advertisements that showed the address and distance to the nearest showroom for smartphone users within a 10 km radius. We then measured the number of users who visited the locations after seeing the ad. The client said that “Advanced analytics, made possible by the combination of geolocation and AdTech technology, allowed us to optimise activities aimed at encouraging customers to visit our stores. This is important in an industry as competitive as ours.”

What new geographical markets are you considering for Hybrid's expansion, and what factors influence these decisions?

Over the past six years, we have expanded across the Central European market and now operate in Poland, Germany, Romania, the Czech Republic, Croatia, and Slovakia. Additionally, we’ve established several offices in Asia—in countries such as Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, and India—and we have an office in New York, USA. Recently, we’ve begun exploring the Latin American market; we created a new branch dedicated to this region on January 1st and are currently in negotiations with Mexico. In essence, we are expanding rapidly, and we hope to soon conduct campaigns globally.

This content is part of the AI Crunch Voice series and was produced in collaboration with Hybrid Europe.

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