Kiip undertakes ‘first’ blockchain-recorded mobile ad campaign
The mobile marketing firm is now writing an Anheuser-Busch audit trail to a public blockchain, where all stakeholders can view all the data.
More than a few blockchain startups have declared a goal of making the digital ad ecosystem transparent.
But mobile ad platform Kiip has now launched what it calls the “first-ever blockchain mobile ad campaign.”
The effort actually involves several separate campaigns for Anheuser-Busch InBev, the world’s largest brewer and maker of Bud Light, Budweiser, Michelob Ultra, Estrella Jalisco and Stella Artois.
Detailed data about the campaign is written in real time to a local file that, Kiip founder and CEO Brian Wong told me, is “not technically a blockchain,” but acts like a placeholder ledger. Once an hour the data is then batch-written in encrypted format from the local ledger to a public Ethereum blockchain, which is available for viewing and auditing as .csv files by every stakeholder via downloads to a wallet or to a distributed app (DApp).
Processing on Ethereum is relatively slow, but Wong said it is valuable because entries are virtually immutable, and because onboard smart contracts automatically resolve discrepancies.
Typically, he pointed out, a reconciliation is required at the end of many ad campaigns because of differences between data sources. The smart contract resolves those differences with rules, such as “take the average of any two numbers where the difference is greater than 10 percent.”
Wong said his company intends to make these reconciliation scripts open-source so others can use them.
He acknowledged that his company could make this data widely available without blockchain but added that blockchain’s difficulty in changing added data, the distributed ledger and the built-in availability of smart contract scripts for reconciliation makes the protocol useful for maintaining an audit trail.
More and more, he said, brands are requesting full data trails and employing analysts. But eventually, blockchain will lose its luster and become just one more assumed tech choice, he said, like the cloud has become.