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Challenge: In March 2022, the world’s attention was drawn to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. While news coverage was ubiquitous in the beginning days and weeks of the war, and people’s attention across the globe turned to televisions, mobile phones, and laptops for daily and hourly updates, many brands rightly shied away from association with such horrific news. Amidst these challenging times, advertisers who continued their campaigns looked to media partners for solutions to guarantee brand safety.

A large national insurance brand running with Nexstar Digital in Q1 2022 sought to keep their campaign live, while ensuring peace of mind and confidence that their display, pre-roll, and high impact ads wouldn’t run alongside sensitive content about the war.

Solution: Nexstar Digital leverages Double Verify to improve ad delivery, enhance inventory quality, and drive performance of its ad campaigns. While the DV Publisher Suite does a good job identifying sensitive keywords and passing that data to a publisher’s ad server, the process takes time, in many cases multiple weeks to learn new combinations of words and phrases. This is where Nexstar Digital’s internal Natural Language Processing technology entered the picture and enhanced brand safety for the insurance brand.

The Data Science team at Nexstar Digital developed its own advanced NLP-based technology for keyword anti-targeting. This technology can pre-vet articles before they’re even published, adding an additional layer of brand safety for advertisers like the insurance brand by offering near real-time identification – and ability to target away from – sensitive content like coverage of the war in Ukraine.

Specifically, regarding the Ukraine war, it took Double Verify several weeks to filter out terms like “Zelinsky,” while Nexstar Digital’s own NLP-based keyword anti-targeting was able to do this much quicker. This led to less error and ultimately a safer environment for the insurance brand.

Results: Amidst the backdrop of news coverage of the burgeoning war in Ukraine, Nexstar Digital was able to continue to drive efficient and qualified leads for the insurance brand. Nexstar Digital’s advanced Natural Language Processing technology was a vital tool in ensuring optimal brand-safety for the insurance brand, giving the brand peace of mind that their ads would only appear alongside content that was premium and most importantly brand safe.

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