Display Ad Consolidation: Collective Acquires Tumri

The wave of a display ad space acquisitions shows no sign of slowing, and ad tech firm Collective has been one of the most active buyers lately. The New York company is acquiring creative ad tools provider Tumri as it seeks to broaden is “ad optimization” abilities.

While not a direct reaction to Google’s $400 million pending purchase of supply side platform AdMeld, which promises publishers better performance for their online ad inventory in addition to protecting prices within ad exchanges, it has forced all operators in the display space to take a closer look at the range of their offerings. As company’s review their services, even the smallest holes need filling and basic offerings need to cover all kinds of complexity, as advertisers and publishers demands have gone way past the standard banner ad over the past two years.

In essence, this deal, which was first reported by AdExchanger, is more similar to the Yahoo’s acquisition of Dapper, which lets advertisers automatically show ads that match a visitor’s behavior, location or interests.

The companies in the ad space, whether SSPs or ad networks, which is what Collective began as before evolving into a more general provider of services to publisher and advertisers, are all increasingly going head-to-head as the big names get bigger.

For example, Amazon (NSDQ: AMZN) recently began expanding its retargeting programs as it seeks to offer display ad services to outside publishers and advertisers. Retargeting is the latest area display companies like Collective have been concentrating on as well with its “lookalike” targeting. (With retargeting, consumers who go to a marketers’ website and check out merchandise without making a purchase, are sent ads from the marketer on other sites they visit in hopes of convincing them to come back and buy something. As for “lookalike” targeting, it’s based on the obvious notion that certain types of consumers who share specific characteristics — say, being a 29-year-old mother or a 40-year-old cycling enthusiast) are apt to engage in similar online activities that can serve as a basis for targeted ads.)

Collective’s acquisition of Tumri, terms of which were undisclosed, comes down to a basic need that publishers want from ad tech firms: better optimization of their ad inventory.

“A lot of companies can deliver impressions. At Collective, we help brand advertisers turn that impression into an expression,” Collective CEO Joe Apprendi said in a statement. “Tumri gives us the capability to target the right audience with the right messaging and ad format, dynamically based on data intelligence.”

Apprendi explained that Tumri’s value is that it expands the focus and changes the perspective in terms of the way ad optimization is marketed. Most optimization to date has focused on the “who,” which represents the data piece, and the “where” – the ad environment – while not enough emphasis has been placed on optimization of the creative, i.e., the “what.”

Overall, the addition of Tumri is designed to fit on top of recent Collective acquisitions in the video area, the UK-based WebTV Enterprise and Oggifinogi, as well as its recent partnership with ad exchange platform operator AppNexus.