Cliques Introduces Outdoor-Focused Digital Ad Exchange


BOSTON, Ma – Cliques Labs Inc. announced today the official launch of the Cliques ad exchange concurrent with the upcoming Outdoor Retailer Summer Market. Cliques is a content-focused, transparent ad platform dedicated to the outdoor industry. Built from ground up, Cliques is an innovative ad exchange and provides a more effective platform for outdoor retail marketers to reach a core audience.

“Coming from the ad tech industry and understanding just how tough it was for brands like those in outdoor with very focused markets, it was clear nothing existed as a turn-key solution for advertising online,” explained Ben Liang, Cliques co-founder and CEO. “There really didn’t exist a good option for outdoor brands to reach outdoor publications short of direct buys across every possible media outlet, or navigating through a sea of middlemen and tech solutions to buy on open exchanges.”

Hence, Liang created a software solution to help organize ads into relevant categories, cliques of the outdoor world.

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Outdoor Cliques

“Essentially, we group together skiing brands or bike brands or climbing brands into ‘Cliques’ and give them first access the most relevant publications through a real time bidding exchange, a super-fast auction,” explained Andrew Gardner, co-founder and CMO, “If no one in a Clique bids on an impression, it kicks over to a related clique and a new auction occurs.”

It’s a process called Bottom-Up Bidding, and the effect of the proprietary ad organization is greater targeting to the customer. A successful beta test in the late winter of 2015 demonstrated click through rates 5x higher than the industry standard, while giving advertisers exposure through reasonably priced ads and publishers a proper pay out relative to their audience.

“[Cliques] is like a surgical strike,” described Keith Anderson, Ibex Outdoor Clothing CMO and an early Cliques user. “It’s an easy way to target the culture we’re aiming at.” Publications for the winter beta test included Teton Gravity ResearchSKI, and Skiing.

Cliques will offer a dashboard interface, full analytics and the options to fully customize ad placements and publication selection.