xAd + FIA: Real-Time Accuracy When It Matters Most

You know the feeling in the pit of your stomach when you can’t find something important. Maybe it’s your house keys or your wedding band or your cellphone. Whatever it is that’s missing, it sets you off down a trail of questions. “Where is it?” “What was I last doing?” “Where would I have put it?” Until you find what you’re missing –you’re tormented. Now try to imagine what that feeling of torment and panic would be like if it wasn’t an object missing – it was your child. In this type of situation, nothing matters more than finding your child, and now the latest in mobile technology can help you do just that.

When a child goes missing, the most important time to find them is within the first 48 hours. From then on, the odds are against you. Given this short window for successful recovery, the ability to reach those around the abduction site and local community are crucial. We know that speed and accuracy matters in a recovery situation like this and xAd can help: in less than half the time it takes to blink an eye (80 milliseconds), xAd can provide tailored messages to audiences in a distinct local area within an accuracy of up to 50m.

AMBER Alerts have used geographically targeted information to reach people through the radio, TV, road signs, and online. However, abductions often take place when the child is out of the home. As a result, these media have limited ability to reach individuals who are nearby the abduction site. xAd can reach individuals on their mobile devices, differentiating whether someone was at the location of interest, designated area during the incident or within the search vicinity perimeter. xAd enables AMBER alerts to provide the most accurate messages to people who can help recover a child during the time that matters most.

The AMBER Alerts (America’s Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response) system was created in 1996 in Texas, and became a national effort in 2002.

As consumers’ behavior shifted, AMBER alerts expanded to online advertising, thanks in part to Federation for Internet Alerts (FIA). Since launching in May 2011, FIA, in partnership with NCMEC, has delivered almost 400 million dynamic AMBER Alert impressions, served to millions of people in the designated areas.

As members of FIA, xAd will leverage its location technology platform to reach two-thirds of the smartphone users in the U.S. monthly, through 30,000+ apps and across up to 300 billion available impressions. With the scale of mobile device penetration and precision of location data, xAd enables AMBER Alerts to automatically reach people in the targeted areas.

On behalf of xAd, we’re proud to be a partner of FIA and NCMEC to help prevent and recover abducted children – doing important work for years to come.

Contributed by Monica Ho, Head of Marketing Infrastructure at xAd

What Would You Do?

When I was a kid, a friend’s little brother was abducted by a stranger. A group of us were playing in the park after school and suddenly Keith wasn’t there. Instead, Keith got into the back of a van idling nearby and drove off with a stranger. We ran home and told the grown ups what happened, “Keith got into a car with a stranger and they drove away.” Police were called, a search took place, and fortunately the ending of the story was a happy one for Keith and his parents.

Years later, I’m the grown up and there’s nothing more important to me than my kids. I do as much as I can to make them happy, help them succeed, and most importantly, keep them safe. I can’t imagine hearing a more terrifying sentence than the one we delivered to Keith’s parents. As terrifying as it is to think about my child being abducted, I know I wouldn’t want to rely on milk cartons or phone trees to get them back. I’d want to utilize the most technologically advanced resources possible, send messages to anyone who might have seen them, and find people where they’d have no choice but to look. If you’re a parent, and reading this, imagine how you’d feel and what you’d do.

Thankfully, there is technology that can help in these frightening situations where minutes count, and it’s sitting on most desks, or residing on most persons in America. According to a Kleiner-Perkins study published last year, Americans spend an average of over three hours a day on their smartphones, plus another hour and a half on their personal computers. So if you want to get an important message through to someone, catching them in front of one of these devices is the way to do it.

According to a recent Interactive Advertising Bureau study, advertisers spent $12.4 Billion in the third quarter of 2014 alone. The number keeps growing quarter over quarter, year after year, because digital advertising is an incredibly effective way for brands to reach the right customer, in the right place, at the right time. The billions prove it. FIA is how we can put this same, effective technology to work for as important a cause as I can imagine – our kids.

By partnering with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, Internet technology companies use their resources to do what they’re best at – getting important messages out to the right people. The NCMEC provides a picture of the missing child, and information about a vehicle that might be involved in their abduction, and ad technology companies spread the word. This timely messaging increases the chances of finding someone’s child and returning them home to their parents.

The fact that business rivals put healthy competition aside to help reunite parents with missing children demonstrates the difference FIA makes in our communities. Our collective efforts and donations of our technology and ingenuity make the world a better and safer place everyday.


Contributed by Ari Levenfeld, Sr. Director of Privacy and Inventory Quality at Rocket Fuel Inc.