From contextual targeting, in-game ads and web series to privacy issues

Forecasts for the media market last year were, to put it mildly, disappointing. And many of them came true: only one niche managed to escape the impact of the pandemic — digital, which in 2020 grew by 0.6%.

According to WARC experts, this year the global media market will reach $591 billion, which is 4.9% more than the previous year. What will bring profit to the industry and what niches to bet on this time? Let’s see what awaits us in 2021.

Development of digital formats

The past year has shown that this is the most promising and popular media channel. Moreover, despite the crisis, brands of various categories of FMCG and banking sectors, as well as IT companies plan to invest significantly in digital. According to a study by IAB Ukraine and Admixer, the largest budgets will be put into lead generation, multi-channel promo and integrated content.


5G is a creative driver

High speed internet will revolutionize mobile advertising formats. You can use 3D models for augmented reality, which was previously impossible due to traffic restrictions.

Last year, Media First Ukraine already implemented a similar project for the Daikin climate technology brand.

This is an example of how you can use augmented reality without third-party applications as part of regular banner advertising. When the user clicks on the banner, a camera opens, with which you can try the air conditioner on the wall, after which the user gets to the product site.

Contextual targeting

Contextual advertising is no longer just banners on Google, but effective advertisements that are placed in the right environment and context. For example, advertising for flights will be relevant in travel and entertainment blogs or on the websites of tour operators and hotels.

Of course, you do not have to choose the sites yourself — adtech-technologies provide automatic analysis of the content of web pages.

In-app & in-game advertising

Games are no longer just games. They are on a par with television and cinema in the entertainment sector. More than 50% of Internet users worldwide use smartphones. And the owner of a mobile phone has an average of 40 applications on his smartphone. That is why in-game advertising will receive a new wave of popularity.

We are talking about static banners, small & full-screen formats, and pop-ups. ECPM is growing in commercials, rewarded video works well. Native advertising is also gaining momentum and is easily integrated into in-app and in-game advertising.

New media for brand integration

Looking for new ways to communicate with the buyer is a normal practice. There are more and more new integrated media formats for brands. TV channels that used to generate on-air content now go online with a unique product — web series. The videos are published on YouTube or their own sites.

For example, last year Media First Ukraine in collaboration with colleagues from the group TWIGA Ukraine implemented the successful integration of the women’s hygiene brand Bella Teens in the new youth web series “Fake”.


This is a kind of symbiosis of sponsorship of the series and work with bloggers, which is many times more effective than the usual product placement. This format has its advantages:

  • Availability for more brands due to lower cost compared to television.
  • Interactivity, thanks to which the brand interacts faster and better with the target audience.
  • Longevity. Such formats remain online for a long time, and communication with the audience can last a year or two or three, until interest in the series fades.

Interactive video

We are talking about interactive forms that appear on the screen right while watching videos and offer viewers to leave some information or feedback. And not at all as we are used to: when you click on the video and “teleport” to the landing page, where you fill out the questionnaire.

No third party data

Even more privacy. As part of the Privacy Sandbox initiative, Google Chrome, Safari and Firefox will ban the use of third-party cookies from 2022. On the one hand, it will help make the Internet a safe place where you do not care about personal data protection. On the other hand, such a step is like finding the middle ground between maintaining the privacy of users and the desire of advertisers to know everything.


It is important that you can use “your” cookies. In addition, the policy on mobile IDs has hardly changed. And this is the main source for collecting data of all users who are looking for information from a smartphone.

Changes in advertising buying models

First of all, the changes concern digital formats, which are dictated by updates in the privacy policy. Everyone knows the story of the GDPR (EU Data Protection Regulation) and the CCPA (California Consumer Protection Act). Both regulators set specific rules for the storage of users’ personal data. As Ukraine does not have an appropriate legal framework, we rely on international experience.

To avoid problems, digital marketers have updated their backend systems and contracts with third-party contractors, reviewed their companies’ privacy guarantees, and audited user lists to confirm relevant contacts.

Transparency in procurement

There are already several solutions on the market that allow you to buy better quality traffic. IAB Tech Lab presented Sellers.json — a mechanism for identifying direct sellers by buyers.

Another important element in the fight against fraudulent traffic is the OpenRTB 3.0 protocol. It requires all intermediaries in the supply chain to provide an authenticated signature. These algorithms guarantee the quality of the audiences involved.

Digitalization of outdoor advertising

Outdoor advertising has long gone beyond the usual statics — around a huge number of digital screens. With the development of technology, we will even be able to buy traffic, target a specific audience and take into account external circumstances.


McDonald’s DOOH. Traffic affects the essence of the message. Source: Adweek

In addition, Digital Out Of Home is actively integrated into the programmer ecosystem, which opens up new opportunities for buying advertising. In particular, through the RTB model.