InfluAds.com a New Advertising network – Interview with Founder CEO Anibal Damiao

InfluAds is a publisher and advertisement network that works to make the publishing side of the web a place where people actually want to see advertising, not block it.  An ad network that monetises Web and Email ads by maximising the value existing in one single ad, while promoting less clutter. Influads believe that great advertising is just another way to learn about new products and services, not an annoyance, and they are bold to work on changing it, and disrupt the present mainstream approach to ads.  On this platform publishers own 100% of their quality, audience and value and they work to remove the obstacles that previously cannibalised their earnings.

Anibal Damiao is the Founder CEO, a software engineer with and MBA education based in Denmark that has a vision to shift the advertisement / publishing industry through quality, right approach and technology.

Q:  Can you tell us about you and your background?

Anibal: I was a software engineer that got bored with too much work in a windowless office without being able to affect and contribute to the concept part of software. I decided to move abroad and live in Denmark where I took an MBA and later became responsible for a small digital department in an local advertising agency.
The financial crisis led to layoffs worldwide but it had a different impact on me: I was dead bored (again) with lack of cool projects, since marketing budgets were reduced. So i resigned and started InfluAds.

Q:   What is influads.com?

Anibal:  I thought that audiences get exposed to advertising value that is too often diluted by a large quantity of ads (clutter) and a large quantity of BAD ads. The net outcome of marketing/advertising seems to be averaged down and often lost since one good campaign fights against so much clutter and crappy ads. Why couldn’t TV breaks be always as cool as the Superbowl breaks, where a bunch of awesome ads are displayed? There must be a better way of delivering advertising without spamming users with irrelevancy! When looking at online advertising, this translates into a bad user experience and low payout to publishers so we launched an ad network for sites (publishers), advertisers and audiences that care about quality and that hate clutter. We are an Ad network monetizing Web and Email ads by maximizing the value existing in one single ad, while promoting less clutter. 

Q:    How does it works?

Anibal:  We carefully curate advertisers and sites (publishers), based on grounds of common relevancy. Our advertiser products and services must be valuable to our audiences and our publishers must be focused on quality, building a circle of relevancy where the sum of the parts is bigger. Our publishers can monetize their Email and Web Ads complementing their sources of revenue, which allow them to fight clutter (a war that the Web in general lost). Our advertisers perform substantially better since they are placed in contexts of Influence, without ads competing for the user’s attention. The end user get ads that they want to see and less clutter, ie a better user experience.

Q: What is the main differential for publishers and advertisers in influads.com?

Anibal:  We care about quality. Advertisers and Publishers that also care win since we promote and care about their brand. As an example could you imagine a quality brand (say American Express Black) advertising their products on a degraded suburb? Google and others democratized online advertising but they removed a lot of control to both advertisers and publishers while doing so: if you look at the big picture, they effectively started selling AMEX Black in crappy neighborhoods without AMEX knowing it.

Now, AMEX only pays for clicks or “actions” and maybe they have a good ROI but the clients they they get from ads on a degraded suburb are substantially different from the ones acquired on an international airport for instance. Advertisers in general don’t control how their brand is affected by the place where their ads are shown. The same goes for publishers. They can’t control which ads show on their site and how that affects their quality and their audience. Since online ads tend to loose relevancy with lack of quality, publishers earn less which is an incentive to put even more ads. Ie, clutter. This drives even less performance into a vicious cycle that promotes a downward spiral that we’re not happy about..

Q:  Google has been getting most of the source of ads and publishers. What are the competitive advantages of you publishing network versus Google network?

Anibal:  Google is a fully automated solution with democratized access. Anyone can join and put multiple ads anywhere. There lies part of the problem. By working with people that care about quality, we create a context where value is consistent. Google has the scale to allow a lot of flexibility but we focus on providing ROI to advertisers that are interested in reaching core audiences through core value. You could say that we complement direct response (click performance and measurable ROI) with brand value. 

Q:  Small and medium websites are becoming key for premium advertisers and publishers can you tell us you view on that?

Anibal:   We focus on Quality. Did i said that before? Quality is independent of size. Actually, high quality is often found on small and medium-sized websites that are not hostage of building impressions. For instance, an entrepreneur like Andrew Chen is a thought leader in his industry. Big sites use guys like those to write content or write about the same weeks/months after they do. Audiences on publishers like him are highly intelligent and engaged. Being there, in relative terms, is more valuable than being with big publishers. InfluAds tries to build a solution that offers quality-only to both small and big publishers alike.

Q:You have various categories and verticals on the portal, what are the key ones for you?

Anibal:  We focus on digital audiences since they’re more early adopter. Startups & Entrepreneurs, Marketeers,  Designers, Web Developers are a few of them.

Q: How do you see social media interacting in publishing networks?

Anibal:  Engagement builds a strong link between content and audiences. That’s key for quality. There’s actually a new discussion around how advertising must focus on  engagement-based drivers/metrics to properly reflect the brand value coming out of the new web, a web strongly founded on publishers engaging with their audiences.
Putting it from a different perspective: can you build engagement without quality? Are existing ad networks like Google hurting your engagement with your audience when you offer their (often crappy and irrelevant) ads?

Q: How do you see your project going forward? What is your ambition?

Anibal:  There’s too much awesome stuff coming. So much that I can’t discuss it here. The main question is how can we massively enable quality ads for everyone that cares. Our objective is to make the current advertising models obsolete by making them look like crap, a bit like Apple did with their design focus. More on that soon.

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