Smeg Retro ( pioneers semantic targeting)

The Communication Futures Award

What’s this?

Kitchen appliance specialist Smeg recognised that people were using the web to research products in their category and wanted to launch its first digital campaign in the UK. It built its first campaign site, featuring its Retro range of FAB products ( and decided to work with an online ad network to publicise it.

Smeg realised that if its ads were more relevant to web users, both performance-focused and brand-building campaigns benefit. Hitherto, the only way to identify the subject matter of page content have either been a reliance on publishers' page often inconsistent tagging systems or traditional contextual targeting which looks for keywords (and can misplace ads – e.g. cutlery ads alongside content about knife crime).

Smeg’s agency applied linguistic science and was first to market with ‘semantic targeting’ which now delivers over one billion ads per month across Europe, emulating the kind of relevance achievable as if the ads were hand placed. Ad Pepper Media’s iSense Network was used to precisely target web users interacting with entertainment, home & garden and food & drink content across a broad range of quality editorial-led sites.

The network relied on a “sense engine” developed by a professor of linguistics to instantly understand what an entire web page is about. This way Smeg ads were only placed in precisely relevant locations throughout the network. Since Q4 2008, campaigns have also been active in other languages and territories.

Uplifts in click-through performance reach more than 600% compared to conventional run of network display advertising campaigns.

Smeg Retro
Brand owner:
The Communication Futures Award
Oct 2008 - Jan 2009
Media Channel:
Online, search, semantic targeting
What’s this?

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