The Story Behind: The Branded Takeover

August 27, 2019

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Scott Johnson

From digital billboards, to screens in elevators, exteriors of buses, and even airport jetways, we are targeted with ads in so many different ways that the vast majority of the time they go unnoticed. The industry has become so fragmented that advertisements have become noise. How does one stand out and break through the clutter? I am always looking for real life inspiration around me and it was on my daily commute into work that Kargo’s new-to-market Branded Takeover was born.

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I ride the subway daily. In between articles, texts and emails, I often quickly glance around at my surroundings. If I rack my brain, I am able to recall a handful of subway ads I have seen but the vast majority of them (and all ads for that matter) that I am exposed to, I view passively -- meaning not only do I not remember them but that I never even digested them to begin with.

But as I looked up at the twenty-some ad slots Seamless took over in order to effectively tell a cohesive story within the dimensions of a single subway car, I realized I was also able to remember other advertisers I had seen do the same, including Casper and In this fragmented economy, Seamless and these other brands earned my attention and it got me thinking, how could we replicate this powerful branding experience for the mobile phone?

Takeovers in advertising aren’t anything new. They have been part of the advertising ecosystem for decades - from newspapers and magazines in the ‘70s & ‘80s to desktop homepages in the ‘90s & ‘00s. Marketers are well aware of the value that high share-of-voice, low competitive distractions provide when reaching their target market. The problem is, that as media consumption shifts (mobile ad spend is projected to increase 21% in the next year compared to just 8% in desktop*) and ad tech automation evolves, there is currently no takeover solution on mobile due to several unique challenges, including:

  1. The traditional homepage takeover isn’t applicable to the mobile web because, unlike desktop, rarely are mobile users entering websites through the homepage. The majority of media consumption occurs by clicking on direct article links on social media or sharing via messaging platforms.
  2. The ability to execute at scale given the decentralized way publisher inventory is currently bought and sold across multiple exchanges.
  3. The physical real-estate. Site-skins simply don’t translate well on a 3x5 screen.

Considering all this, I knew Kargo was uniquely positioned to bring the market something they had never seen before and with a lot of research, determination, and testing, my colleagues and I are ecstatic to release, for the first time ever on mobile, the BRANDED TAKEOVER.



  • HIGH IMPACT: Build awareness with 100% SOV of the ad slots on a single article page load. Traditionally, each slot on a page load is auctioned off individually, but with Kargo’s advanced technology and direct publisher integrations, the Branded Takeover product allows a brand to win all of the slots on an eligible page load as a set.
  • TARGETED: Eliminate waste and reach your audience with this article-driven approach
  • SCALABLE: Served across multiple sites within Kargo’s trusted premium publisher network
  • ART IN AD TECH: Engage users with Kargo’s custom rich mobile-first creatives

We invite you to experience first-hand what the hype is all about. As we embark upon Q4, let the Branded Takeover allow your brand to stand out amongst the crowd and earn your audience’s coveted attention.

Learn more about how to add a branded takeover to your next campaign!

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