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11 minute read | May 3, 2023

Partner Spotlight: Active Agent

Written By: Emma Motha

In this month's partner spotlight, we caught up with Stefan B. Müller, Senior Vice President Sales at Active Agent, a DSP which is part of Virtual Minds programmatic full stack.

Read the blog below to find out more about their growth across the DACH market, their connection with data partners such as Adsquare and Cynapsis and how they work together to build data-based campaigns with internationally recognised brands such as Vodafone and TikTok.


1. Tell us about Active Agent and your role there?

Active Agent is an omnichannel DSP in the DACH market that enables automated and cross-campaign programmatic buying of ad space across all channels. Our offers numerous features, such as CPC, CPL, and CPO optimisation, integration of pre-bid partners for campaign optimisation, and data-driven targeting.

I have been working at Virtual Minds GmbH since 2014 and in my role as Senior Vice President Sales - with the support of a team of ten account and technical solutions managers -  I am responsible for the monetisation of our technologies, focussing on our adserver and DSP products.

2. Can you tell us about your platform and how brands can benefit from it?

We are currently focusing our entire full stack on the DACH market, which leads to international companies also opting for global solutions in global DSP pitches. It is precisely this focus on the DACH market that allows us to concentrate very specifically on the needs of our customers in Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, as well as other corresponding advertising markets, and offer the best possible technical solution for programmatic campaigns there. 

In addition, a pioneering role has always been important to us, ensuring that we can always stand by our customers and partners in the best possible way on new paths and when opening up with new channels. For example, Active Agent was involved in Germany's first programmatic digital OOH (pDOOH) campaign. In the meantime, pDOOH has become one of the top-selling channels of our Active Agent DSP. 


3. How does including programmatic digital OOH in a cross-channel campaign help brands? 

For me, pDOOH is one of the most important channels in cross-channel campaigns. The possibility of using data has turned the one-to-many medium OOH into a one-to-many-selected medium. In this way, we offer brands the opportunity to play out their advertising media only if their target group has exceeded a certain index in front of the digital advertising spaces, or to use DCO logic to tailor their advertising messages to the respective target groups before sending to the digital advertising space. 

The areas of Addressable TV and the still fairly new channel programmatic linear TV are also very relevant for us and our customers. This is where our customers have the opportunity to book linear TV campaigns on the channel inventories of Pro7Sat1, exclusively via Active Agent, on a data-based basis. In addition to classic banner advertising, pDOOH and TV, Active Agent, as a true omnichannel DSP, also offers our customers the option of playing out campaigns via Cinema and Print. One of the biggest benefits of the Active Agent DSP is the live data that can be delivered, as all channels can be reported and compared equally.

Adressable TV, Connected TV and DOOH also have one thing in common – it can be displayed regionally through to the possibility of a postal code or location targeting. In addition, other targetings can be used, in order to reach you target group in the right place and at the right time.

The Active Agent DSP can be used to implement retargeting approaches in the area of ​​audio, which means that users, for example, receive special audio spots after they have seen certain pDOOH campaigns.

Another exciting aspect is the possibility of automatically increasing various KPIs of linear TV campaigns via Active Agent by adding further channels. For example, through regional reference, where pDOOH is highly suitable due to its high net reach.

4. Active Agent is a very strong programmatic digital OOH partner in the German market, can you tell us what attributes to this?

As an innovation driver, we developed pDOOH in Germany together with publishers, working closely with the DMI (now: IDOOH) and defining standards for the market. In contrast to other countries, the German pDOOH market is also very broad and extensive. 

To name just a few points, we developed our own line item type for DOOH at an early stage and, of course, took into account DOOH-specific characteristics such as one-to-many channels, steel-level targeting or long-lat targeting.

Active Agent has a map (DOOH locations) in which customers can see all programmatically available steels in the DACH market, including marketers, reach, deal types and other KPIs, and can also very easily play out campaigns with a regional reference. DCO campaigns can also be easily implemented via Active Agent with the help of our partners such as NFQ or Cynapsis. 

5. How does Active Agent use data to drive impactful campaigns? 

In the DACH market, we were the first to implement data-based pDOOH campaigns together with our customers and partners with Active Agent DSP. As for our data partners, we have connected Adsquare or Cynapsis, for example. In the past, we were thus already able to implement a large number of data-based campaigns with customers such as Lufthansa, Vodafone, Kinetic, TikTok, Unilever, Rewe and their agencies. 

In addition, we were the first DSP to deeply integrate footfall measurement, an Adsquare product, into our algorithms, allowing us to prove the success of pDOOH campaigns based on visitor traffic. This gives our customers the opportunity to optimise their campaigns in real-time to best reach their target audiences. A good example of this is the first mover campaign "Machbar", which we played out on the VIOOH inventory for Obi in Cologne in 2022.

6. What projects are you most excited about working with VIOOH on?

We have already implemented many great projects in collaboration with VIOOH in the past. These include numerous exciting first-mover campaigns, such as on the inventory of Frankfurt Airport with area solutions for SEAT or also with Matterkind AT for Hutchinson Drei on the Gewista inventories in Austria.

In addition, there are a number of campaigns on the WallDecaux inventory in Germany, including the previously mentioned one for OBI or the campaign for easyJet with a DCO approach based on the results of the German national soccer team, as well as various campaigns for Lichtblick, AIDA, Klarna and Netflix. 

At this point, however, I would like to highlight one campaign in particular, which we carried out together with VIOOH: For Facebook, we jointly executed the largest pDOOH campaign in Germany to date in terms of budget and DSP setup. At the same time, it was also the first programmatic campaign on the WallDecaux inventory via Active Agent. Using a multi-publisher approach and DCO-based delivery, a total of six target groups were addressed in the top 15 cities, disproportionately ahead of the digital advertising spaces. To ensure a smooth execution and a fast go-to-market strategy, we worked very closely with VIOOH.

Even with innovations such as the footfall measurement or the DOOH location map, we were always happy to have VIOOH as a reliable partner on our side. We at Virtual Minds are definitely looking forward to further cooperation with VIOOH and the upcoming developments in the field of DOOH.


You can learn more about Active Agent by visiting their website here.

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