IBM Watson give intelligent ads wider release, expands targeting

Watson Ads Omni, Media Optimizer and Predictive Audiences are now using Watson’s neural nets to create ads that better match viewers.

Chat with MarTechBot
Watson Ad

Watson-powered ads (right) are now available on any site or app, not just or the Weather Channel app.

It’s a good thing IBM’s Watson super-smart computer doesn’t need to sleep. Because his parent company is making him work all the time.

The Jeopardy winner now has three new job descriptions, announced this week:

Watson Ads Omni. In mid-2016, IBM unveiled Watson Ads, where Watson offered knowledge-based recommendations based on viewer input. They were originally available only for and the Weather Channel app, both IBM properties. But now IBM is launching Watson Ads Omni, which makes these intelligently interactive ads available for any site or app via a tag. IBM, however, has to create the ads, a process that includes ingesting all the relevant knowledge about a topic so Watson can act like his usual smarty self. The first Omni ad is for Lego, where parents and kids can ask and answer questions and receive product recommendations. At the top of this page is a similar ad for Behr paints, although this one is actually located on

IBM Media Optimizer, powered by ad tech provider MediaMath’s demand-side platform and data management platform, utilizes data from paid and owned media to optimize the bidding process via Watson AI technology, providing recommendations on when, where and for how much ads are purchased based on real-time assessments of each potential viewer’s conversion probability.

Predictive Audiences. Developed with customer identity provider LiveRamp, this product employs Watson AI to help process and match large third-party sets, brand’s own customer lists and IdentityLink data from LiveRamp.While this may sound like what LiveRamp already does, IBM Watson Advertising Head of Revenue Jeremy Hlavacek said that Predictive Audiences can offer new insights through the use of the Watson neural net, faster processing of large datasets, and the addition of weather and location data that only IBM’s has.

Why marketers should care. The new ad and targeting-focused efforts follows the general availability this week of Watson Assistant for Marketing, part of the Watson Campaign Automation platform. Taking the new announcements together, it’s clear that IBM envisions a real future for its most famous offspring in the art and science of creating demand.

These new announcements also raise the bar for AI-informed capabilities, given that intelligence is now or will soon infuse every tool. Watson is a leading member of top-level cloud-based platforms which can digest unlimited amounts of knowledge, develop independent insights, handle natural language and voice recognition, and generally move AI toward the goal of super-smart assistants that can do a lot more than just automate processes.


Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily MarTech. Staff authors are listed here.

About the author

Barry Levine
Barry Levine covers marketing technology for Third Door Media. Previously, he covered this space as a Senior Writer for VentureBeat, and he has written about these and other tech subjects for such publications as CMSWire and NewsFactor. He founded and led the web site/unit at PBS station Thirteen/WNET; worked as an online Senior Producer/writer for Viacom; created a successful interactive game, PLAY IT BY EAR: The First CD Game; founded and led an independent film showcase, CENTER SCREEN, based at Harvard and M.I.T.; and served over five years as a consultant to the M.I.T. Media Lab. You can find him at LinkedIn, and on Twitter at xBarryLevine.

Fuel for your marketing strategy.