Building GumGum Overseas

image (3)John Donovan, leader of the GumGum U.K. team, gives a peek into how our business is blooming abroad.

It’s incredible to know that across the sea, there is a team of five incredibly skilled people navigating GumGum’s expansion in the United Kingdom. A small team of passionate people who mirror our beginning in the U.S., actively pushing our product into a new market while overcoming the obstacles and successes together. We opened the doors to our U.K. office less than six months ago and the team has been killing it. U.K. Sales Director John Donovan leads the team from our office in London’s vibrant Soho district. He filled us in on business abroad, and what we can expect in 2016.

Why did you join GumGum?

In an over-complicated and often confusing ad tech market, GumGum’s products have a value proposition that is easy to understand, not to mention proven results in driving strong brand engagement. Our leadership team and investors have a strong vision for the U.K. market, and it’s exciting to be a part of that. In-image advertising had been on my radar for a few months before I came across GumGum’s in-image recognition technology (a patent technology!) and learnt of their recent investment and International growth. I am excited by our products and how we are overcoming continued industry issues such as banner blindness, ad blocking, and users’ short attention spans! Bringing a new form of advertising to the U.K. market is an exciting challenge and something I am looking forward to in the coming months. As a business, we are already seeing traction in the U.K. market, and are working hard to establish ourself as the number one provider of in-image for all the major brands and agencies.

What are the similarities and differences you are seeing in the U.K. market versus the U.S. market?

The U.K. advertising market is highly centralized in London. As a result, the market here has been able to shift more quickly to adopting new technologies than its stateside counterpart. Most of the major agencies are located within a 10-minute walk of our London office. This certainly makes it easier and faster to educate the market and get everyone aligned regarding a new offering. As in the U.S., U.K. brands and agencies are embracing native advertising and are looking to shift more budget into highly visible advertising executions that are integrated into content.

Are there specific needs or requests by your clients?

From a U.K. note, the market wants video, viewability, and premium sites. Brands and agencies are looking for innovative ways to distribute video that is less interruptive and more user initiated than much of what’s out there now. There is also strong demand for aligning contextually with relevant content around key sporting event images as these drive massive engagement in the U.K.

Biggest challenges and successes?

In image, although a saturated market in the U.S., is very new to the U.K. and European markets. This has meant the biggest challenge to date is not showing how the product (GumGum) works, but more the educational pitch/sell around In image and how it can benefit brands and campaign. Another challenge is simply time management, because with so many top agencies in London, we’re constantly in back-to-back meetings educating clients about GumGum’s capabilities! Our biggest wins so far have been building a fantastic team, in which all of the members are all aligned to drive success for GumGum in the U.K., as well as launching successful campaigns for top FMCG, automotive and entertainment clients.

What’s on the agenda for the next few months?

Meetings, growth, exposure and IO’s! More meetings, making key hires (sales, operations, design and marketing), industry conferences, thought leadership, and more successful campaigns!

Cruising Through The Holidays

Bike riding is big at GumGum, so we decided to design some custom beach cruisers for the holidays and share them with some of our friends, clients, and supporters. Although we were only expecting thank-you’s, we were also sent a few action shots and selfies of everyone enjoying their bikes. Success! We want our supporters to cruise through the holiday season and the New Year, so what better way to help them do so than by giving them a custom cruiser by Villy Customs.

Delivering the bikes was fun, too. Faces lit up, and few recipients could resist hopping on these cruisers and taking a spin around their offices. Watching the reaction was exhilarating.

We want our clients to know how much we appreciate them for their support. Without them, GumGum would not exist and continue to succeed. This year has been a monumental one and we will continue to spread the good vibes throughout 2016.

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year from the GumGum family to you and your loved ones. On to 2016!


GumGum Holiday Celebrations

We celebrated our annual holiday party at The Blind Dragon in West Hollywood. Upon entering the small, exclusive nightclub, there was an overwhelming sensation. Our Los Angeles office alone has doubled in size since our holiday party at The Magic Castle exactly one year ago. CEO, Ophir Tanz took the stage to make a short speech and to explain his one million dollar dream for GumGum that he had just a year ago. Fast forward to today and we have not only surpassed his goal, but we have become a multinational company.

Enough with all of the sentiments! The party was a blast at The Blind Dragon, where speakeasy meets an asian vibe. Being one of the newer, celebrity frequented nightclubs in West Hollywood, guests enter through a steel door after being escorted through the back of a restaurant. The club itself was a very dim, intimate space with two karaoke rooms, two bars and a dance floor.

We were greeted by waitresses dressed in kimonos who presented an assortment of delicious asian-inspired appetizers. Dinner was served shortly after, courtesy of Sushi Roku. The majority of the night was spent dancing and drinking and it ended with a third of our team singing to Journey’s, Don’t Stop Believin’. The night was a great way to end the year and to celebrate what 2016 has in store.

Happy Holidays from GumGum!


What Social Media Can Tell Us About the 2016 Political Candidates

If you’re curious about the visual web or image recognition, you may be intrigued by this infographic about social media sentiments surrounding the 2016 political candidates.

Although 80% of social posts lack surrounding text, Mantii scanned social media for all images of Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Ben Carson and Bernie Sanders during the October 2015 debates. We then analyzed overall sentiment and characteristics of top influencers.

Mantii-political-infographicCheck out the full infographic. If you’re curiosity is still piqued, The Meme Election discusses how the rise of the visual web is impacting the 2016 presidential race.

GumGum at the Tech Zulu Tech Crawl

GumGum loves being social and we will always make an effort to do so for a good cause. That’s why we signed up to be a hosting company at Tech Zulu’s Tech Crawl on November 26.

With over 70 people in attendance, it was both an exciting and tiring night. And when we say tiring, we mean from all the food and drinks we had to consume. (Let’s not forget we had our office potluck earlier that day as well!) A self inflicted food coma, indeed, but was all worth it because we all mingled with many fascinating folks from across the Silicon Beach landscape.

Visitors were greeted with a churro cart before being pulled into our bar area for drinks and appetizers. Sliders and skewers linked our tables while beer and wine was served at our bar – a place that became the meeting hub for visitors and executives, including attendees from big name companies such as Uber and Northrop Grumman.

The Tech Crawl mirrors a bar crawl in which people sign up to visit different tech companies in a surrounding area. In this case, it was companies located in and around the Santa Monica promenade. Each stop is 30 minutes long and the tour is guided by a Tech Zulu leader. It’s essentially a quick chance to say hello, have a bite, and grab a business card –a relaxed environment for overall networking.

We can’t wait to host again next year!


Gumsgiving 2015

Sharing is caring on Thanksgiving, so what better way to celebrate than by hosting a massive potluck competition? This is the GumGum way! Delicious trays of homemade and other delectable foods — everything from Swedish meatballs to pumpkin pie — lined our tables last week, leaving us all in a much anticipated food coma. We did it to ourselves, we kept saying.

First place prize went to designer Lauren DeFranza for her mouthwatering spinach dip. Second place went to designer Dan McKenna for his smoky pulled pork. (We are starting to think the designers have a secret recipe club going on!) Third place went to our VP of Product, Brian Kim, for his dangerous yet succulent Korean BBQ “Kalbi” sliders.

GumGum Thanksgiving potluck

Besides being a chance to celebrate our obsession with food, this was a time for all 85 of our LA office team to come together and give thanks for some amazing things: to work at a successful company where we are appreciated, to have the opportunity to grow and meet some amazing friends along the way, and to come into an awesome office in such a beautiful city every day — the list goes on. This time next year will bring new things to be grateful for, and we can’t wait.

Happy Thanksgiving from GumGum!

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

GumGum Film Debut: The Intern


Roll out the red carpet and champagne because we are excited to announce our small yet exciting film debut in The Intern opening this Friday, September 25th. Directed by Nancy Meyers and starring Robert De Niro and Anne Hathaway, The Intern is a story that will hit home for anyone working in the startup world. Hathaway plays the young CEO of an e-commerce fashion company who reluctantly hires a retired De Niro as an intern. GumGum’s logo and a few office sound bites are featured in the film. Not too bad for our first film! Now, where is our Oscar?

For more information on The Intern film, visit

GumGum & Cassandra: A Match Made in Data Heaven

GumGum loves Cassandra and we want everyone to know. Since adopting the database along with other big names like Netflix and Apple, Cassandra has made life at GumGum much easier. That’s why we are sending Big Data Engineer, Mario Lazaro to share what some may call a data love story at the 2015 Cassandra Summit on September 24th.

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For those who are unfamiliar, Apache Cassandra otherwise known as Cassandra, is the project child of Facebook originally intended for their own use before releasing to the public in 2010. It has since become the top data management system and for GumGum, as Mario puts it, “easier to play with.” Simply put, Cassandra’s operational simplicity fits our data universe of images, pages, visitors and ad performance data.

Mario has been in the front seat at GumGum as we implemented Cassandra worldwide. It’s currently in four of our datacenters so far: San Francisco, Ireland and two in Virginia. Global domination here we come! This is also Mario’s third time speaking at a Cassandra event. His goal this time is to explain how we went about using the database globally. With over 3,500 people expected to attend, this will be their largest gathering to date. Here at GumGum, it’s all about spreading the good word.

The 2015 Cassandra Summit is held on September 22nd – 24th in Santa Clara, CA. For more information on the summit and how to attend visit,

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, 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.