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How Well Do You Know Where Your Ads Appear: Decoding the Difference Between Brand Safety vs. Brand Suitability

Today’s media buyers are facing a crucial task: understanding the difference between brand safety vs. brand suitability. Salsify’s 2023 Consumer Research Report reveals that 55% of consumers refrain from making online product purchases due to subpar product content. This spans from insufficient product descriptions and uninspiring visuals to the peril of ads appearing alongside inappropriate content on social media. 

The distinction between brand safety and brand suitability has now become essential in determining how your ads resonate with your audience. To protect your brand from potential pitfalls, there’s a need to comprehend and strike the right balance.

Striking the Right Balance of Brand Safety vs. Brand Suitability in Ad Placements

Our post-Thanksgiving report indicates that social media continues to reign as the primary channel for consumers discovering new products and services. When it comes to digital advertising, first impressions matter most. Thus, it’s a non-negotiable to make sure your ads appear with brand-safe and suitable content.

In this article, we aim to uncover the distinction between brand safety vs. brand suitability. Our focus is to explore the problems that may arise if these aspects are not studied carefully, and underscore why this knowledge is indispensable for media buyers.  Moreover, get an exclusive look at the tools utilized by Strike Social to uphold brand safety and brand suitability. 

Differentiating Brand Safety vs. Brand Suitability

Understanding the difference between brand safety vs. brand suitability is crucial for effective digital advertising. While these two concepts may not be contrasting, they work hand in hand, and a closer analysis reveals the factors that set them apart.

Brand Safety

Paid social advertising platforms, YouTube for instance, bear the responsibility of upholding brand safety for businesses venturing into digital marketing spaces. YouTube, maintaining a 99% effectiveness accreditation from the Media Rating Council, adheres to GARM brand safety standards across in-stream, livestream, Shorts, and Watch Next/Home feed content.

Brand safety in YouTube advertising involves ensuring that content violating community guidelines, promoting violence, or containing graphic material, doesn’t infiltrate the platform. Leveraging machine learning, automation processes, and a manual review system, YouTube meticulously filters out unsuitable content, maintaining a secure platform for both viewers and brands.

Third-party partners contribute to YouTube’s brand safety efforts, providing tools designed to meet stringent standards. This collaborative approach provides advertisers a trusted and reliable solution.

To further fortify brand safety, media buyers can fine-tune ad placement by choosing from different inventory types on YouTube:

Expanded inventory

Ad placements across all YouTube and Google video partners meeting monetization standards

Standard inventory

Ad placements on content that strictly adheres to YouTube’s advertiser-friendly content guidelines

Limited inventory

Advertisements are excluded from appearing on select high-traffic content categories, including YouTube’s most popular music videos and widely consumed pop culture content

Brand Suitability

The proficiency of media buyers play a significant role in brand suitability, which involves aligning video ads with contextually relevant content suitable for the target audience. As YouTube hosts diverse content, ranging from educational to entertaining, it becomes imperative to match ads with the appropriate content.

Upon selecting the inventory type within YouTube, the responsibility shifts to media buyers to implement more stringent measures, ensuring ads avoid unwanted placements and impressions. This active involvement becomes crucial for maintaining brand suitability in YouTube advertising. 

To achieve optimal brand suitability, advertisers can employ various strategies before launching campaigns on YouTube, including:

Keyword Targeting

  • Approach: Using keywords relevant to the video content triggers ads, ensuring alignment with the intended message and target audience.
  • Benefits: Enhances the precision of ad placement, ensuring content relevance and resonance.

Contextual Targeting

  • Approach: Delivering ads within the right context increases viewer attention, leading to higher engagement and conversions in the customer journey.
  • Benefits: Aligns ads with the surrounding content, maximizing relevance and impact.

Content Theme Exclusions

  • Approach: Allows advertisers to prevent ad display on videos related to specific themes deemed unsuitable for the brand.
  • Benefits: Provides nuanced control by opting out of content themes like Kids Channels or sensitive news topics, ensuring brand alignment.

Why Advertisers Need to Know the Difference Between Brand Safety vs. Brand Suitability

Brand safety and brand suitability in digital advertising are two different concepts that require different strategies and goals. By discerning these differences, advertisers can tailor their campaigns more precisely, aligning them with the core values of the brand.

While brand safety shields the brand from potential harm, brand suitability ensures a harmonious alignment with the brand’s identity and the expectations of the audience.

Here’s a table summarizing the key differences:

FeatureBrand SafetyBrand Suitability
FocusAvoiding harmful contentAligning with brand values and target audience
ExamplesExcluding ads from hate speech websites, violent contentAvoiding content that contradicts brand message, targeting ads to relevant platforms and audiences
BenefitsProtects brand reputation, avoids negative associationsEnhances brand perception, strengthens audience connection

How Can Strike Social Help Achieve the Right Balance Between Brand Safety and Brand Suitability

Strike Social stands as a beacon for achieving the delicate equilibrium between brand safety vs. brand suitability. Our unique approach combines the precision of machine algorithms with the nuanced decisions made by our adept manpower. We meticulously structure campaigns, factoring in platform restrictions, campaign pacing, budget allocations, and various parameters that shape the trajectory of our advertising endeavors.

Key Components of Strike Social’s Brand Safety and Suitability Solutions

  • Negative Keyword Targeting

    An extensive list of 5000+ keywords, covering sensitive topics, continuously updated through social media monitoring of global events.

  • Topic Exclusions

    Proactively preventing ads from appearing on content related to news, politics, religion, controversial regions, drugs, crime, mature content, and more.

  • Trending Negative Keywords

    Regular additions of new keywords to align with current events and evolving trends.

  • Category Exclusions

    Utilizing Google’s brand safety functionality to exclude content in categories such as Mature Audiences, Tragedy & Conflict, and Sensitive Social Issues.

  • Video & Channel Placements

    Excluding controversial personalities and channels to ensure ads are placed in suitable environments.

Strike Social’s Brand Safety Tools And Unique Expertise Combined

Beyond the services offered by platforms like YouTube during campaign setup, Strike Social brings over 9 years of invaluable expertise to the table. Our commitment to client success is augmented by proprietary tools that aid in careful channel and video selection. 

These tools leverage years of data, allowing us to reach the most relevant audiences at the lowest cost-per-action. This meticulous approach extends to the extraction of similarities between channels and videos, ensuring that ads are strategically placed in the most suitable and effective environments.

Is There A Standard Approach to Brand Safety and Brand Suitability?

Contrary to a one-size-fits-all model, Strike Social recognizes the uniqueness of each brand. Our dedicated media buyers oversee each campaign individually, establishing a customized approach tailored to the specific target audience and brand message. While technology plays a crucial role, the human touch remains equally essential in navigating through brand safety and brand suitability solutions.

Strike Social One Pager - Mastering Brand Suitability On YouTube

Strike Social’s blend of technology and expertise guarantees a bespoke approach for each campaign, aligning seamlessly with both brand safety and brand suitability across the board.

For a visual walkthrough of Strike Social’s brand safety and suitability controls, click here.

Enter an Era of Safe and Suitable Ads With Strike Social

Brand safety and brand suitability presents real challenges, emphasizing the need for media buyers to be proactive in safeguarding their brands. First impressions wield significant power, requiring brands to align with content that is not just brand-safe but also perfectly suitable.

Strike Social is committed to guide media buyers through the complexities with expertise and tailored solutions. Our team is poised to offer personalized consultations, addressing your specific challenges and aligning strategies with your unique brand goals.

Our tools and expertise are at your disposal—a testament to our commitment to empowering media buyers. Partnering with Strike Social means more than gaining insights; it means having a team that understands the delicate balance between brand safety and brand suitability.

Schedule a meeting today, fortify your brand against potential challenges, and let your brand shine in the digital space with the reliable support of Strike Social.

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