Zefr will work in collaboration with Legoliss Inc., a subsidiary of Mitsui that supports data-driven marketing, as well as a number of agency partners to deliver brand suitable video advertising products for the market.
As part of the partnership, Mitsui is making a strategic investment in order to accelerate Zefr’s growth in the market.
According to Dentsu, the Japanese video advertising market in 2020 was 386.2 billion yen, an increase of more than 20% from the previous year, while the advertising market broadly shrank due to the coronavirus. With YouTube’s global growth in revenue reported at over $20 billion USD in 2020 and experiencing 30%+ growth, the digital video ad market has exploded, yet marketers lack sophisticated solutions to manage their brand suitability in video. Zefr’s patented video architecture solves this market need for transparent activation and verification. Zefr is a profitable technology company focused in digital media advertising, with over $100MM in annual revenue.
“Video is exploding in consumption globally, and Japan is an incredibly important market. With Mitsui’s expertise in the market, they knew partnering with Zefr was critical to ensure they brought a solution that was accurate in video, as legacy display and text-based solutions are ineffective for video,” said Richard Raddon, Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Zefr. “This partnership enables us to help advertisers accelerate incremental reach in emerging video channels while ensuring brand suitability in line with industry standards such as GARM, placing Zefr in a strong position for the next stage of its international expansion.”
Kiichiro Takanami, GM of Digital Marketing Business Division, Mitsui commented, “A worldwide trend to tighten restrictions on the handling of personal data and third-party cookies, means we need to consider new methods of ad targeting. We’re pleased to partner with Zefr, which has the technology to target ads across video without leveraging personal data and provides solutions for the new age. The video advertising market is growing steadily in Japan, with YouTube and Facebook in particular becoming major media, and we believe Zefr is the right data company to achieve effective and brand suitable ad distribution on both platforms.”
The partnership comes at a time when Zefr’s approach to brand suitability, for video, is gaining momentum across the world. Major blue-chip brands are looking to shift ad spend from television to video, and to accelerate investment in platforms such as YouTube and Facebook.
But they need transparent, video-level content control to ensure ad budgets are spent responsibly in brand suitable environments. Zefr’s patented “human-in-the-loop” tech process was architected for scaled video platforms and has been applied to key industry issues in video, including activation and verification based on the Global Alliance of Responsible Media (GARM) framework.
Zefr is currently developing brand safety and suitability reporting products with both YouTube and Facebook, with verification for end-to-end brand suitability in video expected to be made available for global brands in Q2 2021.