Leading the way for sustainable digital advertising

Consumers demand transparency, ethics and social-environmental responsibility, argues Yves-Michel Gabay at Gamned! MEA & SEA

A few months ago, I emphasized that regional advertisers should seize the opportunity presented by COP 28, scheduled for the end of November 2023 in the UAE.

They should start considering measures to reduce the carbon impact of their digital advertising campaigns.

At that time, I outlined the six key points advertisers should focus on to reduce the environmental footprint of their digital advertising campaigns.

1. Defining the right KPIs according to their objectives

2. Optimising digital ad formats for maximum effectiveness and efficiency

3. Preventing ad fraud and ensuring media quality

4. Choosing their target audience

5. Choosing responsible and sustainable ad tech tools

6. Data cleaning and archiving after a campaign

I announced that Gamned had already implemented many of the best practices we contributed to in the IAB (France Chapter) White Paper on this subject across our international network. Additionally, we were preparing to offer turnkey solutions for advertisers in the Middle Eastern market.

These days, COP 28 is taking place, and the increased focus on this subject is evident in the October issue of Campaign Middle East, which serves as a perfect illustration.

Beyond digital advertising

Today, according to some studies, 88 per cent of people prefer brands that support sustainable living over simply offering a service or product, and 64 per cent choose brands based on their stance on Corporate Social Responsibility. Consequently, CSR has become a fundamental aspect of business.

Engaging in CSR means companies commit to operating in ways that benefit society and the environment, rather than harming them.

This necessitates a strong commitment from companies to align their practices with principles of sustainability and ethical business conduct. The CSR landscape is evolving positively in the Middle East, with more companies embracing this idea.

Working towards CSR solutions

In today’s world, consumers demand transparency, ethics and social-environmental responsibility. At Gamned, we embrace this challenge. Responsible practices aren’t just a priority; they’re the essence of who we are.

Even in programmatic advertising, where electricity consumption and product manufacturing pose environmental concerns, we’ve pioneered innovative solutions.

These not only transform our business operations but also set the stage for a greener, more responsible future, shaping a new era of advertising that aligns with our values and meets consumer expectations.

The time has now come for us to reveal the upcoming solutions we will propose for all advertisers across the world and specifically in the Middle East. 

The first solution is the usage of a carbon footprint calculator to measure the emissions of the campaigns we have already managed in the past.
The second one is the deployment of a stack of proprietary tools to plan and run new campaigns, reducing drastically their carbon impact without compromising their performance. Notably focusing on:

  •  Devices mix
  •  Connection type
  •  Channels mix
  •  Publishers selection
  •  Formats mix
  •  Internet data consumption
  •  Day and week parting

This environmentally-conscious approach will be applied to all our campaigns moving forward. This means that all clients we collaborate with will benefit from this new service, as we continue to work towards a more sustainable and responsible advertising future.

The third and fourth solutions involves the utilization of an external partner using specific technologies:

 One to move from the video full download to adaptive streaming, to decrease the file size and make them more eco-friendly when displayed.

 And a second one to simplify the path and limit the electrical signals emitted between servers during the bidding process and when serving the ads, based on AI-powered solutions.

The innovative solutions implemented by Gamned! not only enhance campaign efficiency but also significantly reduce digital pollution and resource consumption.

For instance, during a one-month optimisation period for a European client, we successfully reduced overall electricity consumption by 37 per cent and 42 per cent in relation to media investment, all while maintaining media performance. 

Looking ahead, Gamned! remains committed to ongoing monitoring. We will assess the carbon footprint of each campaign and introduce new key performance indicators (KPIs) on reports and dashboards.

This approach empowers our clients to report their progress to internal compliance bodies and authorities, allowing them to transparently communicate the results to their consumers.

Our future plans

Gamned! is committed to keep implementing new solutions and tools, and to continue to evolve during the next months and years to improve the impact of the advertising activity on climate change. 

As we embark on this journey, we’re focusing on developing our skills and collaborating with the right partners and we are ready to change our approach to buying with the objective of reducing the carbon footprint consistently across all campaigns keeping the performance intact.

By Yves-Michel Gabay, Managing Director at Gamned! MEA & SEA