Yahoo has launched a new SmartAds display ad unit that uses behavioral, demographic and geographic targeting capabilities to create ads from submitted elements based on the user.
SmartAds expand on the targeting capabilities of search ads, and make it easier for advertisers to customize ads for multiple users by allowing an advertiser or agency to submit art and provide a direct feed of offers to Yahoo, which will create an ad from the best combination of components based on the targeted user.
SmartAds makes heavy use of "customer insights" extracted from data Yahoo keeps on visitors, including their shopping, searching and Web surfing behaviors, as well as registration information and location data. Ads will be sold on both CPC and CPM pricing models, and will roll out first on Yahoo's travel sites. Retail and automotive are the next likely verticals, according to ClickZ.
If Yahoo can successfully match ads to users based on search and browsing behavior, and make the process scalable and easy to use, it should gain some traction from both search marketers looking for more inventory and richer ad units; and from display advertisers looking for better targeting.