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Martini Media locks up $14M to target rich people with ads

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The digital advertising company Martini Media is taking $14 million (dry, with three olives, of course), closing its fourth round of funding today.

Martini Media serves ads on websites targeting the wealthy. A study from the American Affluence Research Center found that the top 10 percent of consumers by income account for more than half of consumer spending, and these people are ramping up their spending in 2013. Martini Media’s basic idea is that rich people spend more money than other people, and thus ads targeting them can make more money. It claims to reach 125 million “influential and affluent customers at work and play” and targets customers that have a household income over $100,000 or higher.

I’ll resist the urge to begin a diatribe about wealth disparity in this country and instead note that Martini Media takes an intelligent approach by only focusing on advertising on consumers that are likely to spend a lot of money.

People with disposable income are understandably more likely to buy nonessential products. Luxury brands in fashion, lifestyle, finance, retail, and travel work with Martini Media to reach people who can afford their wares. Lower and middle tier brands, such as Macy’s, Clinique, and Delta, use Martini Media to attract wealthier clients. It works with more than 1,000 publishers to deliver relevant display, video, mobile, and social ads.

The company said that one of the challenges of focusing on the rich is that they are “the least susceptible to simple advertising messages.” Martini Media factors this into its solution by helping brands create richer experiences that “resonate with the most valuable audience.” It also provides data analytics to build user profiles for more nuanced targeting.

Advertising clients include BMW, Porsche, Chanel, Ralph Lauren, Neiman Marcus, Bellagio, British Airways, and a slew of financial companies like Visa and Merrill Lynch. Martini Media was founded in 2007 and has offices in New York, Chicago, Detroit, Los Angeles, and London. The company said it has three-year sales growth of 1,177 percent and was recently included on the Inc 500. Venrock led this round, with participation from Granite Ventures, Reed Elsevier Ventures, and Silicon Valley Bank. It will support global expansion.


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