Exclusive: bad advertisment and an entrepreneur’s struggle

We interviewed entrepreneur Amy Williams, Founder and MD of Good-Loop, to discuss her company’s stand against bad advertisement.

Good-Loop is an ethical video advertising platform whose mission is to ‘end badvertising’ by creating ‘a positive online economy that funds sustainable social change.’Although the company is only a year old, it has already received national recognition and positive responses.

For instance, earlier this year Williams was featured in the BBC article ‘Meet the female entrepreneurs using tech for good’ alongside two other women who have also started up ‘philtech’ (technology for social good) companies.
GoodLoop’s stand against bad advertisng is essential at this time when ad companies are being accused of: lacking transparency, not providing their clients value for money, using large networks that are not being sufficiently monitored, displaying online ads on irrelevant platforms, and alongside inappropriate content, as well as the use of click-through farms.

According to the AdContrarian blog, the WFA (World Federation of Advertisers) says that within the eight years ad fraud may become the second largest source of criminal revenue in the world, after drug trafficking.

What inspired Williams to set up GoodLoop?

Straight out of university, Williams entered a graduate scheme at a global advertising agency. Williams talked about the exciting creative, high-quality storytelling, and clever strategy be-hind the adverts that were being produced by the agency. However, Williams came to believe that the billions spent in advertising was being wasted. If consumers find the mode of advertising annoying and unpleasant, then advertisers’ money spent on developing a relationship with their consumers is defective.

After several years of experience at the ad agency, Williams decided to travel Argentina where she volunteered at a charity.

With insight into the ad industry and the perspective of it from a far, the idea of Good-Loop started to develop.

How did Williams set-up this company?

Williams posted on workinstartups.com with an opportunity for a Chief Technology Officer (CTO) to join an ‘exciting AdTech social enterprise’.

A week later Daniel Winterstein responded. Winterstein is a software developer with a PhD in artificial intelligence and over 4 years of experience developing advertising technology.

The pair went through the standard process of setting up a company such as buying the do-main, but they needed investors to progress further.

After talking with Collider at an exhibition Amy entered GoodLoop into their ‘UK Startup Ac-celerator Program’. Collider is an organisation that provides marketing and advertising start-ups the support and connections needed for entrepreneurs to prosper. After a competi-tive selection process, Good-Loop was selected to join the Collider Accelerator.

How does Good-Loop achieve their aim to end badvertising?

This video ad platform separates itself from bad advertisement by:

• Appearing as a non-obtrusive online banner on high quality sites
• Having users opt in to watch an advert, rather than interrupting or auto-playing
• Creating meaningful engagement between the user and the advertiser by having the viewer select a charity they wish to donate the advertiser’s money to
• After each high-quality video view, fifty percent of the advertiser’s money is donated to the viewers’ selected charity

How does Good-Loop ensure that clients’ adverts are displayed on publisher websites that they have agreed to?

Good-Loop works with a group of exclusive publishers. Therefore, the company can maintain a direct relationship with their publishers, creating a trustworthy and brand-safe environment.

Clients are also given the list of publishers for them to identify any they would not want to use.

How does Good-Loop address the issue of ads being positioned within inappropriate and offensive digital content?

As mentioned previously, Good-Loop has a close working relationship with their publishers, therefore they are able to identify quickly any inappropriate content that would jeopardise their clients’ brands.

When the user clicks on the banner, the advertiser’s video is displayed in full screen.

Do clients ever raise the question of why Good-Loop branding is on the initial advert?

Williams admitted that this topic has been raised before.

But Williams explained that Good-Loop originally did place clients’ brand on the initial ban-ner. However, they found that the click-through-rate was higher when a more emotional, cause-driven call-to-action was displayed on the initial banner.

Good-Loop is continually conducting research into their banner effectiveness and have found that consumers are more likely to respond to an advert promoting social change, rather than a commercial product. This provided insight as to why the click-through-rate was high-er for a Good-Loop banner.

Ad companies are being accused of lacking in transparency, and not providing their clients a strong ROI. With this in mind we asked Williams, what if the user is purely clicking on the advert to raise money for charity instead of engaging with the brand?

Good-Loop focuses on how long users watch an advert for. If the average viewing time was 15 seconds (when the option to donate to a charity is unlocked) then it would show that us-ers were watching with the sole intention to donate to charity. However, Good-Loop’s aver-age viewing length for a one-minute ad is 56 seconds, and for a 30 second ad it is 28 sec-onds. Therefore, a large majority of viewers decide to continue watching advertisers’ videos even after the free donation is given. This indicates a high level of genuine engagement with viewers.
Good-Loop is an ideal platform for companies that have video assets and are looking to im-prove viewability and ROI, as well as funding positive social projects.

For more information on how this ethical video platform works, and why advertisers would use Good-Loop as a channel to get their video content in front of their consumers, check out their website.

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