There's an old saying, "Timing is everything," and if Bloomberg has its way, advertisers will be able to capitalize on that like never before.

As detailed by AdAge, the financial software and media giant used its NewFronts event on Monday to unveil Trigr, a new offering that allows advertisers to deliver custom creative and content based on specific conditions in the financial markets.

"Advertisers are clamoring to reach the right audience with the right content," Derek Gatts, Bloomberg Media's global technology and product head, told AdAge. "But there isn't a lot of conversation aligned with the 'when'."

He further explained, "When markets are moving, our traffic booms. We saw that with the instability in Greece, Brexit, the US election – people come to Bloomberg when there is instability in the market because they want to know what the next steps are for their portfolio."

Markets, of course, move up and down, and the direction they're moving can dramatically influence the moods of the people who are involved in them.

As Bloomberg sees it, this creates an opportunity for advertisers to serve different messages that are appropriate in the context of what's happening in the markets. For example, Gatts says, "Luxury brands want to identify an audience that can spend $25,000 for a Rolex. What better time to advertise to an affluent audience than the moment they just made a ton of money?"

With Trigr, advertisers can set triggers to deliver different creative based on granular market-based criteria, such as the performance of broad and category-specific indexes like the S&P 500, various commodities, and stock exchanges in specific countries. Bloomberg will also give advertisers the ability to create triggers around a select number of specific companies.

Trigr ads will be sold on a CPM basis and the Trigr technology is based on Bloomberg's own ad server, so Bloomberg can integrate it into any of its offerings that contain advertising, although it did hint that Trigr might be applied to ads "beyond Bloomberg's walls" as well.

The rise of emotional advertising?

Interestingly, Bloomberg's unveiling of Trigr comes at a time when Facebook has sparked interest in the idea of advertising to consumers based on their emotions.

The world's largest social network is under fire after a leaked internal document obtained by The Australian revealed that Facebook had told advertisers it can identify when young users feel "stressed," "defeated," "overwhelmed," "anxious," "stupid," "useless" and like a "failure." That knowledge of users' emotional states could in turn be used to target these users with advertisements.

Facebook now claims that it doesn't allow advertisers to target users based on its analysis of their emotional states, but Antonio Garcia-Martinez, a former Facebook product manager, claims the company could do this and questions why it would mention the capability in a presentation for advertisers if it had no intention of allowing those advertisers to use it. According to Garcia-Martinez, "The hard reality is that Facebook will never try to limit such use of their data unless the public uproar reaches such a crescendo as to be un-mutable."

But while Facebook's capability might cast doubt on the concept of emotion-based advertising, Bloomberg's Trigr demonstrates that there are probably reasonable proxies for emotion that don't rely on mining user data and thus aren't so creepy for advertisers to use.

The real question, of course, is just how powerful this will be in the real world. There's no doubt that a major market move might make some individuals happy for a day or two, but will it be enough to convince them to shell out $25,000 for Rolex watches and other luxury goods that they wouldn't have purchased otherwise, or would have purchased well in the future instead? Thanks to Trigr, advertisers will soon have the ability to find out.

Patricio Robles

Published 4 May, 2017 by Patricio Robles

Patricio Robles is a tech reporter at Econsultancy. Follow him on Twitter.

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