Memorable AI raises $2.75 million with a new approach to creative testing
For years, walled gardens have made it nearly impossible to create alternative ad analytics or launch creative testing startups.
What analytics startup could outperform Google or charge less than Google Analytics, which is free for most users? And why hire a dynamic creative engine when testing is an option in Facebook Ads Manager?
But times are changing. Walled gardens have been knocked down a peg or two, at least for now, and startups have an opportunity to come up with new ways for brands to get back to pre-ATT testing and attribution standards.
The latest entrant is Memorable AI, a creative testing startup that raised $2.75 million earlier this month, including participations from MediaLink CEO Michael Kassan and programmatic vet Brian O’Kelley, who recently launched a fresh start called Scope3 which marks online advertising. for carbon consumption.
Bertlesmann, a German media conglomerate, has also invested in Memorable’s fundraising.
The two founders of Memorable AI met while earning their masters in computer science at Harvard. But the startup actually grew out of Memorable CTO Camilo Fosco’s thesis work for a PhD program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the goal of which was to study how well people remember or don’t remember different forms of video over time.
It became clear that Fosco’s idea could be applied to create vendor software for marketers, said Memorable CEO Sebastien Acevedo. And so the two decided to launch their business in 2021.
Memorable’s list of early customers includes flagship brands: L’Oreal Spain, Unilever, plant-based food maker Upfield, and Coca-Cola’s Wabi unit, which is a data-driven group within Coke. Wabi is the app store owners and e-commerce sellers use to restock products.
To show creativity
Google and Meta effectively optimize within their channels, but only within their channels.
They don’t incorporate historical sales and ad data from any other channels where a brand distributes its product or ads, Acevedo said. This is why the sales attributed to Google, Meta and Amazon can sometimes total more than the number of purchases generated during a campaign.
The cost of A/B testing and dynamic mid-stream creation is also an issue, as it can consume anywhere from a fifth to as much as a half of a campaign’s budget, Acevedo said.
But brands want ways to test without having to spend so much on media as a precursor, he said.
Memorable’s approach is to analyze historical data from ad platforms, DSPs, and ad servers, using approximately 80% to train a creative model and the remaining 20% to test the model. Its software analyzes the data to see which media and creatives are responsible for driving the brand’s desired metrics.
The Platform Metrics Push
Click-through rate, brand recall, lead generation, or video viewability can be correlated to different creative strategies or formats.
“We’re metrics agnostic,” Acevedo said. “If someone comes to us and says the video view rate is what they care about and what they get back to their boss, we focus on the video view rate.”
At some point, however, it might make sense for Memorable to more actively suggest KPIs to its clients, he said.
But for now, Memorable continues to develop the main channels where its technology can be used, including apps from Meta and TikTok. It’s rolling out Amazon, with plans to add Google in the coming months.
“We try to focus on our customers’ biggest demands,” Acevedo said, “and lately everyone wants to crack the TikTok code.”
But new business is actually coming through the big platforms themselves.
Several recent account wins have come from Google leads, Acevedo said. Although the platforms have dynamic “brute-force” creative tools, including templates and basic A/B testing, he said, if advertisers can level up creatively, the ROI of the platform will improve and advertisers will end up spending more.
Creativity is a powerful and yet still underestimated performance lever. It’s also why longtime programmatic practitioners like O’Kelley and Kassan have invested in the startup, according to Acevedo.
Ad technology is often narrowly focused on targeting, reach, and bid-based decision making for each placement. Creative can help drive conversions, but isn’t typically considered in most programmatic systems.
“Anyone working on creation has been really under-empowered,” Acevedo said. “We try to give them data-driven solutions, because they are judged on the basis of data.”