Brand Safety, Monetization

MAX Pro Tips 1: Brand Safety

Doug Borghese
Nov 8, 2022

MAX — AppLovin’s mediation platform — helps publishers enhance and optimize their monetization efforts through the largest, most diverse demand sources in the industry and a suite of robust features. MAX also helps protect brands and publishers from serving bad ad experiences to its users. That is why today’s MAX Pro Tips will be focused on brand safety.

The challenge

The publisher of a top-ranking messaging app is deeply invested in ensuring their primarily young audience enjoys a brand-safe ad experience. Age-appropriate ads are a major focus for these efforts, and they’ve rightfully devoted considerable resources to their mission.

They’ve been tackling their challenge by leveraging a remote QA team to regularly test and escalate problematic ads to network partners. While this approach has worked well, they are ultimately looking for ways to streamline their internal processes and reduce time spent on resolving ad-related issues.

Here’s how they chose to work with MAX to solve these and all of their other brand safety concerns.

The approach

The messaging app publisher incorporated MAX’s suite of brand safety tools into both their testing environment and their support ticket systems. They did so to create a more efficient, less time-consuming process for their quality assurance, while simultaneously protecting their users from risky content.

These are the tools they used in MAX, and the results of their 3-pronged strategy.

Ads monitored and flagged efficiently with Ad Review

The team used MAX’s Ad Review to monitor all ads from partners mediated through MAX. Additionally, they set specific rules to flag ads containing violence, gambling, and other kinds of mature content. This created a personalized gallery of ad creative they could easily review. They could then email networks about problematic ads right from the MAX UI.

Quick and easy creative reporting with Creative Debugger

Additionally, the publisher integrated the Creative Debugger into their team’s QA process to capture and report ad issues with all creative details included. 

Creative Debugger allows publishers to find problematic ads in tests by completing a special gesture — in this case, quickly waving their phone — that prompts the “Creative Debugger” button to be displayed. When they push the button, detailed ad information — including the name of the ad network and the creative ID — is displayed. Publishers can then click the “Report” button, which will automatically generate a report for the problematic ad that can be sent to their ad network partner.

MAX’s User Journey feature is used to address any user complaints about ad content reported from the app. The proprietary app-generated user IDs for anyone using it could now be programmatically added into MAX to see a timeline of impressions specific to that user. With that, all relevant details needed to successfully address those problematic ads are included. As a result, any bad ads that might be served in-app are more quickly identified and reported, and the user experience is preserved through direct insight into their unique user journey.

The brand safety results

Incorporating these brand safety tools enabled the publisher to find, report, and keep track of problematic ads, saving them valuable time and manual labor. The user experience in their popular app remains protected as well, and the resolution process has necessarily become more efficient. Additionally, manual sifting of Charles logs and blind blocking of advertisers — or even entire networks — has been made obsolete.

To learn more about how MAX addresses brand safety and other needs for your app business: 

  1. See how MAX’s brand safety tools work HERE and HERE
  2. Read more about MAX
  3. Stay tuned for future MAX Pro Tips
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