A Marketer’s Guide to the Visual Web

Without knowing it, we contribute to the visual web every day by uploading photos to our Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. With the incredible variety of image-centric data available online and updated daily, marketers are planning to fully utilize the power of images in their marketing efforts in the months and years ahead.

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So What is the Visual Web?

Visual web is used to describe everything from the rise of social platforms like Instagram and Twitter, to visual search on Google, video sharing via Snapchat and visual dating apps like Tinder. The term was first popularized in 2013, when photo-centric trends emerged: Facebook acquired Instagram, Pinterest received a multi-billion-dollar valuation, and selfies and memes gained in popularity.

Yet, despite a general familiarity of the term, until now no one has attempted to define the visual web, or to better understand its role in modern-day consumer marketing. We have made it our mission to do both of those things, by providing an overview of the visual web, and assessing the impact an image-centric culture on marketing and advertising.

What We Did

In partnership with Brand Innovators, we went directly to brands to see how they view the visual web (no pun intended), its impact on consumers, and the ways in which they expect it to transform the way they market, both today and in the years ahead. We surveyed 213 active members of the Brand Innovators community. Here are some of our findings:

  • More than half of those surveyed (51%) said they were somewhat familiar or very familiar with the term “visual web”.
  • 92% of them agreed that visual elements were somewhat important or very important to their delivering their consumer marketing initiatives.
  • 84% of marketers said further advancements in image recognition technology are needed to unlock the full marketing potential of the visual web.
  • When asked how spending on specific tactics pertaining to the visual web will change in the coming year, the highest anticipated increase will be in visual storytelling (54%) and social platforms (53%).
  • When we asked about the importance of the visual web for the future of digital marketing, nearly everyone surveyed (96%) said it would be either somewhat important or very important.

We put all of our findings in a report called, “The Rise of the Visual Web. And How It’s Changing Everything (Again) for Marketers“. We invite you to download it here.

Download The Study

Mantii Unveiled: Real-Time Image Recognition Comes To Social Media

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Did You Know: 1.8 billion social images are posted every day, but 80% of those posts lack associated text, therefore, they cannot be detected by standard social monitoring tools.

Enter Mantii (now GumGumVI) powered by GumGum. Mantii is a new image recognition tool that can find photos that are relevant to your brand, even if it isn’t mentioned in the image caption or with a hashtag. These missing images contain your brand’s logo(s), products and its competitors, or even general product categories.

We are incredibly excited to reveal this revolutionary tool because we believe it will change the way marketers monitor, understand and engage with their top influencers on social media.

To learn more about Mantii and to watch the tool detect some of your favorite brands on social media in real time, visit

You can also check out our awesome Advertising Age cover wrap, by picking up the August 24th issue of Ad Age.

Q & A with John Weisgerber: SVP Sales

John Weisgerber

We sat down with GumGum’s new Senior Vice President of Sales, John Weisgerber. John is a man as personally cultivated as his path to GumGum has shown. Formerly with Hearst Digital Media, he brings a sophisticated understanding and an aspiring approach to the sales sphere…with a good sense of humor to boot.

Q: Where did you hear about GumGum and what attracted you to the company?

A: I heard about GumGum when I was at Hearst overseeing the fashion & luxury sites. Hearst signed a publisher agreement with GumGum and I was highly focused on visual ad executions. The GumGum ad experiences were incredibly compelling due to the nature of the categories I served. Fashion, luxury, beauty and retail all love to tell stories through beautiful images and I felt that the GumGum ads were a complement to the most engaging part of our sites – editorial images!

Q: Can you tell us about your career path and how that manifested into becoming the head of sales for some major names?

A: My career path has been directed by interest. I’ve had many unique jobs within larger organizations and moved a lot based on an interest in something new that hadn’t been proven yet. The brands within which I’ve served all had a unique way of connecting with their audiences. I always felt uniquely qualified to tell those stories to advertisers and rally the sales and marketing teams around them.

Q: What excited you the most about leading the sales team for GumGum?

A: What excites me most is the ability to harness the power of editorial images for our advertising and marketing partners. Whether it’s our current in-image and in-screen ad experiences or the ability to recognize brand logos in social posts, GumGum has a unique offering in the digital image space. I love the balance of the art of creative along with the science of delivery through big data and image recognition – it is the only one-two punch for advertisers that I’ve had an opportunity to represent.

Q: Will you tell us a little about yourself? What are some of your interests personally?

A: My favorite food is a Dairy Queen Dilly bar – soft serve ice cream dipped in chocolate. My favorite movie is the Bill Murray comedy, Caddy Shack. I love biking, swimming, skiing, paddle boarding and sleeping!

To learn more about John and his roadmap for GumGum, see his official press release here.

Recognizing Our Incredible CTO Ken Weiner

ken_beach (1)Not enough effort is spent recognizing the engineers who make the workings of a business possible. We’re proud to report on some recent news around our very own Chief Technology Officer Ken Weiner.

Ken started as employee #1 at GumGum in 2008, and since then he has grown his engineering team from zero to 30. In addition to developing the company’s core In-Image Ads product, he helped GumGum create new products and revenue channels as well as headlined the evolution into offering programmatic capabilities over the past two years.

Ken continues to be a recognized tech community thought leader. He is involved in establishing standards for in-image and native advertising with the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB). He also hosts the ThursdayLunch networking group, wherein people from the Santa Monica startup community meet weekly to share ideas. Ken is a frequent speaker at local technology events, and he recently led a panel discussion during the LA Ad Tech meet-up.

We’re proud to announce that Ken is named one of the 2015 CIO Award honorees by the Los Angeles Business Journal. You can find Ken in the LABJ CIO’s of the Year Supplement.

If you are interested in learning more about Ken and GumGum you can read this PWC interview Scaling online ad innovations with the help of a NoSQL wide-column database and article How NoSQL key-value and wide-column stores make in-image advertising possible.

GumGum Raises $26 Million in Series C Funding

Screen Shot 2015-06-15 at 11.49.24 AMWe’re thrilled to announce that GumGum has raised $26 million in Series C funding led by Morgan Stanley. This is an exciting time for us as we enter into a new chapter of maturity and start building for the long term.

This funding is all about growth. GumGum plans to spend the new money on additional growth overseas, improved image recognition and computer vision, and product development for ad units.

As an engineering company, we plan to continue to introduce disruptive products based on our patented image recognition technology, including expansion into programmatic, native and social analytics solutions. In speaking about expanding beyond in-image ads, CEO Ophir Tanz said there’s an opportunity to apply the company’s technology more broadly. He characterized GumGum as “an engineering company focused on image recognition,” as opposed to the “common misconception … that we’re a marketing company that found this new ad unit.”

Tanz predicted that GumGum could be ready to go public by the end of 2017 — but he also emphasized, “It doesn’t mean we’re going to do that at the end of next year or the following year or the year after that.”

The announcement was originally released by The Wall Street Journal. Other media outlets include Dow Jones, VentureBeat, TechCrunch, SoCalTech, Los Angeles Business Journal (1), Los Angeles Business Journal (2), MediaPost, Social Media Analysis, FashInvest, BuiltinLA, MarTech Advisor and Re/Code, among others. To stay up-to-date on our latest announcements and products connect with us on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.

In-Image Advertising Goes Programmatic

As programmatic continues to dominate the advertising industry agenda, we recently unveiled GumGum’s strategy and announced our first major partnership. Having invented the in-image advertising category, it’s only fitting we’d be first to make this premium inventory available to brands programmatically.

Speaking at the AdAge Digital Conference in San Francisco, GumGum CEO Ophir Tanz outlined our new capabilities and Adweek published this article about how we’ve partnered with Xaxis to make in-image advertising available programmatically for the first time. You can read the full text of the press release here. In the coming weeks we’ll be making additional partnership announcements.

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This is an important milestone for GumGum and demonstrates our ability to walk in step with the ever-changing advertising industry landscape in order to best serve our advertiser and publisher partners. Equally important, it provides a small glimpse into what we think the future of advertising may look like as data and economic efficiency continue to inform media buying decisions.

Above all, what excites us most about our new programmatic capabilities is the huge untapped opportunity it represents for our advertisers. For the first time, advertisers on our platform will be able to combine the benefits of in-image with the power of their audience targeting data and the efficiency of programmatic.

We think this is a tremendous leap forward for premium programmatic and we look forward to working with our clients and partners to capitalize on the opportunity this represents for brands.

If you’d like to learn more about how to transact with GumGum programmatically, email or visit the contact page on our site. We’d love to discuss it with you!

GumGum Talks Advertising Week on Fox

Our founder and CEO Ophir Tanz made an appearance on Fox Business Channel’s Risk & Reward with Dierdre Bolton this week to discuss Advertising Week, the growth of GumGum and the role of in-image ads in the rapidly changing digital advertising industry.

In addition to lending his perspective on the news and industry buzz happening across hundreds of events taking place in New York this week, the interview highlighted GumGum’s role in Advertising Week as a sponsor of the annual IAB MIXX conference, the Mobile Media Summit and the Brand Innovators dinner.

Click here to watch the entire segment, which originally aired on Thursday, October 2, 2014.

GumGum Image Scientists Present at IPCV

In a testament to our deep understanding of images, GumGum’s image science team has co-authored a paper delving into the technology behind our recent hair color detection campaign for L’Oreal Paris. This image recognition technology was used by L’Oreal to dynamically target product ads based on hair color and hair volume identified in photos of faces for its Ombre campaign. Our image scientists, Cambron Carter and Dan Rosen, presented their “Automated Hair Color Determination” paper in Las Vegas at the Image Processing, Computer Vision conference this past week. The paper presents their approach and results when using the newly developed image recognition technology. If you are interested and/or scientifically inclined, you can read the full text of the paper here.

GumGum Leads Report on In-image Ads

Screen Shot 2014-03-20 at 3.31.32 PM We’re proud to announce the release of the “In-image Advertising Primer” by the Interactive Advertising Bureau, which we co-authored alongside other members of its Image-Based Advertising Working GroupThe first publication of its kind, the report details the benefits images hold for brand advertisers, publishers and consumers alike.

The announcement drew attention from some of our favorite advertising trade publications, including Mediapost and ClickZ. We’d especially like to thank Carl Kalapesi at the IAB for spearheading this effort, along with other members of the IAB Image-Based Advertising Working Group. Also, special thanks to our marketing colleagues Susan Chaika at Nielsen and Rachel Conforti at DoubleVerify.

To download a copy of the  paper, click here. To read the press release issued by the IAB go to

GumGum in Advertising Age

Today marks a first for GumGum, as our full-page ad appears on pg. 13 of the annual Digital Issue in Advertising Age’s print magazine.

This is the start of a year-long program with AdAge, designed to raise awareness of GumGum among agencies, brands and the digital advertising industry.

Kudos to our in-house design team for bringing the power of images and the benefit of in-image advertising to life in the industry’s most revered publication.

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Have you seen AdAge’s latest Digital Issue, yet? Grab a copy at your nearest newsstand and share your thoughts on our recent print ad by commenting below.