With new funding, AdRoll eyes Hollywood

Chances are, you’ve had an experience like this: you check out a product on a retailer’s site and then an ad for it follows you around the Web for what feels like the next few months. But, with $15 million in new funding announced Wednesday, San Francisco-based Adroll wants to make a bigger push in entertainment and events.

Aaron Bell, the company’s CEO, said the new financing is meant to help Adroll “step on the gas pedal,” by expanding and opening new offices in the U.S. and overseas.

While the industry has traditionally focused on retail, he said, they see big opportunities in expanding retargeting for movies, gaming, sporting events and business-to-business marketing.

In entertainment, he said, gaming companies are leading the pack by targeting ads for new titles to people who have purchased other games. But he said he expects activity to pick up among other traditional entertainment verticals, like movie studios. Right now, he said, less than half of the company’s roughly 5,000 customers are not retail companies.

If a person watches a trailer of movie at one point in time, the studio could target them again later when the movie has hit the theaters to prompt them to buy tickets.

“These companies have the opportunity to make the promotion of new releases much more targeted, and also sustain a more engaging conversation with die-hard fans of a specific movie franchise,” he said.

As of now, the studios are just scratching the surface of what’s possible, the company said, but it’s a major growth area for the industry and one AdRoll is zeroing in on.

Another vertical the company is eyeing is business-to-business marketing, Bell said.

For businesses trying to reach decision makers who could purchase their services, retargeted ads can make a company look even bigger in the eyes of a potential client, he said.

The company, which said it’s adding 500 new customers a month and growing revenue by double digits every month, is one of Facebook’s partners in its recently-announced real-time bidding exchange. With the new exchange, Facebook will be able to help advertisers target ads to users based on their behavior elsewhere on the Web.