Posted July 2, 2007 10:12 am by with 3 comments

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It didn’t take long for the newly organized Yahoo advertising group to launch their first major initiative. CNET has details of the launch of Yahoo SmartAds which combines demographic, geographic and behavioral targeting that allows customized “on the fly” ads.

How will it work?

…instead of just seeing a generic ad for a Toyota Prius, a woman in San Francisco who conducts research on hybrid cars on Yahoo Autos could be served an ad for a local San Francisco dealer, along with information on the types of Priuses in stock and their purchase price. The ad, which is configured on the fly, could also feature a background color targeted for women in her age range, as well as a Golden Gate Bridge logo.

Yahoo’s testing the new platform with two major airlines – who want to remain anonymous – and the ads are being testing on the Yahoo publisher network. Once the acquisition of Right Media is finalized, they’ll show up across that network too.

The company plans to extend the new offering to other industries later this year, but it will likely be many months before the average advertiser gets their hands on it.

More info via the NYT.

  • While nice in concept, I don’t see it doing that much given the dearth of results that Yahoo contextual has. Further, given Google’s huge advantage, it is almost too late for Y to roll out something like this.

  • The biggest thing they need is larger market share so people will quickly add on Yahoo advertising after setting up an AdWords account. No amount of improved targeting will help without enough market share to justify running a campaign.

  • Of course if these ads do perform better than AdWords people will use them more, increasing market share.

    I think it’s good to see Yahoo trying something different. Will the new ads work? We’ll see, but it’s better for them to try something new than it is to try to catch up doing the same thing Google is doing.