Meet Our Partners

Q&A with Origin Media Chief Business Officer, Stephen Strong

Q&A with Origin Media Chief Business Officer, Stephen Strong

June 29, 2021

Tru Optik, a TransUnion company, works with many of the world’s leading brands, agencies, media companies, platforms and data providers to engage consumers. across the streaming media ecosystem with unmatched scale and accuracy. In this series, we will introduce our partners and explore the benefits of our partnerships.

Who is Origin Media and what is your role there?

Origin is a pioneering media and advertising company whose first to market native content solutions focus exclusively on elevating brand success on Connected TV. A number of our solutions today feature 15-second native content assets called Toppers, which are engineered to play directly before a brand's ad.  With over 1,000 unique Toppers in our native content library (and growing everyday,) there’s a Topper series for every major industry vertical.  Alternatively, advertisers can design a series of fully customized Toppers through our in-house creative studio and flagship solution, Origin Prime.

We have found that coupling a standard CTV advertisement with an Origin Topper increases brand awareness and impact from the campaign by upwards of 40% than if the ad was viewed alone, and 140% when leveraging a topper that has seasonal content.  My core responsibilities at Origin are managing the sales operations, and data and product side of the business.

How are you leveraging Tru Optik’s solutions?

We leverage the Tru Optik Data Marketplace and data management platform (DMP) in two key ways: forecasting and in-flight optimization on campaigns.  

We access third-party data through Tru Optik which allows us to enhance Origin’s offering and make it feel more relevant to specific advertisers we are pitching. For example, we can go to an auto company and tell them what percentage of our audience is in the market for a new car. We do this through Tru Optik’s DMP by searching for relevant segments, creating combinations of segments from the vast data marketplace and then seamlessly matching them against our audience and exporting segments into our ad server. When we export a segment into our ad server, the segment data is refreshed continuously throughout the campaign flight.

In-flight, we use Tru Optik’s DMP to check match rates with target segments. For those not performing well, we can easily swap out segments and perform in-flight optimizations to improve performance.

Being privacy-conscious is also really important to us and the campaigns we run for brands, so working with a DMP that honors that consumer opt-out is critical.

What trends are you seeing with usage of first party data on CTV?

We’re seeing more brands than ever activating first-party data on CTV. This is a big change from a few years ago, where clients either didn’t have first-party data, or weren’t able to execute against it. Through our integration with Tru Optik we can seamlessly pull data into our systems in order to forecast and take action against it.

Most commonly, we have brands share category specific shopping and purchase data with us. We use this data to customize solutions geared toward different shopper groups or we create exclusion segments that remove users (such as existing customers) from the targeting pool.  

What do you think is most important when it comes to data targeting on CTV?

Because CTV is cookie-less, we’re reaching viewers based on data like device IDs, IP addresses, and other non-cookie based data.  A portion of the digital marketing industry is moving into this space cautiously, but it's a place that we’re super comfortable with and it’s how the Tru Optik Household Graph and Data Marketplace were built.

Household level targeting is a continued challenge in CTV targeting, because brand’s must address co-viewing and develop one to many messages. Tru Optik’s household graph can help here, by leveraging IP addresses and devices that match to a household graph of over 80 million households. Thanks to the household graph, we’re able to achieve scale when targeting our client’s campaigns.  

How are you addressing viewer engagement and attention?

There are a lot of instances where there are more impressions than eyeballs looking at the screen, and that’s a fundamental problem that people are not talking about in the industry.   Reaching the right audience is one huge piece of the puzzle, and Tru Optik helps us do that.  Beyond targeting though, it’s up to Origin to deliver CTV marketing creatives that work, and so our Native CTV content library and our custom Native CTV solutions are proven to do that.

The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the policy or position of Tru Optik, a TransUnion company. The information contained in this blog is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal or financial advice.  You should consult your own attorney or financial adviser regarding your particular situation.  Tru Opitk does not guarantee the accuracy or completeness of the information provided.  The appearance of external hyperlinks does not constitute an endorsement by Tru Optik.  Trans Union LLC and its affiliates (“TransUnion”) make no endorsement, recommendation, or representation with respect to the information provided herein. For complete details of TransUnion products, visit


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