What is First Look?

First Look is an advertising term that describes a situation when certain advertisers are offered a prioritized access to a publisher’s ad inventory.

In programmatic advertising, the first look deal guarantees that the advertiser who was granted the First Look priority will win, even if their bid wasn’t the highest.

In standard advertising – for example, with selling billboard space – the publisher would first offer the billboard to their preferred advertiser. If the first advertiser doesn’t buy the ad space, the publisher would then go to other advertisers.

While the First Look advertising approach can potentially hurt the publishers’ revenue, it can also be a good way to raise the price of ad inventory by emphasizing its exclusivity. It allows for more content control. On the advertisers’ side, they can also benefit from the exclusivity and the de-facto partnership, while potentially buying ad inventory at a lower price. Buyers like trading desks can also create unique deals that serve their placement and pricing preferences.

It’s important for buyers and sellers to mutually determine rates and a minimum spend. If First Party Data is unavailable, header bidding can be used to reduce risk for both parties.