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What Does Tunnl Do? Pioneering Audience Intelligence for Issue-Based Advertising

August 10th, 2021 | 8 min. read

Sara Fagen

Sara Fagen is the Co-Founder and CEO of Tunnl.

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Updated October 2023

As an advertiser, you have a story to tell, and the environment you're tasked with navigating to get that story in front of the right people -- where they're most likely to engage with it -- isn't getting any simpler. 

Ever-increasing and difficult-to-predict media fragmentation complicates media buying and budget allocation for brands, trade associations, advocacy groups, nonprofits, and their agencies alike.

Now, everyone is expected to communicate about hot-button social issues

All while your budget is being squeezed and the pressure to maximize the effectiveness of every invested dollar has hardly ever seemed higher.

Tunnl is here to help, and this article tells you how.


What is Tunnl?

Tunnl delivers AI-powered prebuilt and custom audiences in an audience intelligence platform equipped with audience insights and real-time audience intelligence tools to help advertisers plan strategic media buys and buy against industry-leading audience data across the ad platforms and DSPs native to your process. 

Tunnl builds AI-powered prebuilt and custom audiences and insights for advertisers and their agencies that help them identify, understand, and connect with groups of people in America based on how they feel about different issues like gun control, big tech regulation, and corporate social responsibility.

At Tunnl, "audiences" are lists of identifiable adults grouped together based on how they feel about an issue.

"Audience insights" are the super-actionable information delivered about each audience in the form of an interactive dashboard. But what kind of information is included?A laptop screen shows the Overall Social Media Consumption media mix for Tunnl's Frequent TV Streamers prebuilt audience

Tunnl's audience insights cross the two most important types of audience insights for public affairs, issue advocacy, purpose-driven marketing, and cause marketing campaign success:

  • Demographic insights: who the group of people is that feels a particular way
  • Media consumption insights: where that group of people consumes media from social and streaming to linear TV

Audience insights come in different styles
for different advertisers and their agencies. Start with prebuilt audiences, advance to extra-niche custom audiences, and then venture onto solving the most complex challenges like linear optimization and paid and earned media measurement dashboards. All audience insights are accessible from inside the Tunnl platform. Activate your Tunnl data in your digital ad platforms to buy against seamlessly across digital campaigns


Who is Tunnl For?

Tunnl's audience insights are for advertisers and their agencies working on public affairs, issue advocacy, purpose-driven marketing, and cause marketing campaigns and spending money on one or more of these advertising mediums...

  • Social media
  • Programmatic digital
  • Advanced TV and streaming TV options like over-the-top (OTT), connected TV (CTV), and addressable TV
  • Linear TV including local broadcast and cable

Linear vs streaming TV breakdown for Tunnl's prebuilt Gig Economy Regulation Persuadables available in Tunnl PlusAdvertisers and their agencies who benefit from Tunnl's audience insights face challenges like...

  • Trying to reach influential figures like policymakers and staff, members of the media, and investors
  • Struggling to use consistent data across a variety of different platforms, including walled gardens, DSPs, and traditional television
  • Attempting to identify the ideal media mix for their campaign, especially between traditional linear TV and advanced TV or streaming
  • Looking to reach individuals who are persuadable on a particular topic, especially associated with issues and causes related to policy or politics
  • Trying to recruit advocates in support of a cause
  • Looking to identify individuals who are most reachable on specific platforms, from social media to broadcast television

Tunnl is not an agency.

Tunnl does not buy or place media. Instead, we work with advertisers' agencies to empower them with the best audience insights available so that they can do their best work for you. 


How Does Tunnl Help?

Tunnl's audience insights help advertisers and their agencies get their messaging in front of the right people. Built with the highest-quality data about the attitudes and behaviors of adults in the United States, advertisers and their agencies can trust Tunnl's insights to be up-to-date, accurate, and compliant. home-hero-v2-1

All of Tunnl's audience insights are built using machine learning that's informed by more than 20 years of proprietary data, including 
  • Routinely conducted surveys on topics like corporate social responsibility, purpose-driven marketing, issue advocacy, public affairs, and politics 
  • In-house national and consumer voter files
  • Thousands of behavioral variables
  • Observed data from devices like cable set-top boxes, smart TVs, connected devices, and TV guides

This peerless data library is the foundation for our audience modeling process, which combines advanced machine learning with by-hand human analysis to build highly accurate issue-based audiences for advertisers and agencies who need to reach the right people right away. 

And you get to fully harness the power of the data behind every audience with our in-depth audience insights.

Insights provided by Tunnl's audiences include...

  • What stance they take on your campaign issue
  • Where they're most likely to engage with your campaign ads across different platforms like social media, streaming TV, and linear TV
  • What paid and earned media they've seen from you, your allies, and your competitors


Where Can You Access Tunnl's Audience Insights?

Tunnl's audience insights are accessible inside the Tunnl platform. Match different Tunnl platform tiers with your particular audience insight needs. a map showing where members of Tunnl's Pro Flu Shot for All audience live

  • With Tunnl Plus for digital and streaming TV, get more granular, local media mix breakdowns and streaming TV insights. Build precise, layered audiences quickly with the Audience Builder that enables demographic filtering, targeting based on geographic radiuses, and enables advertisers to save their DIY custom audiences for future media planning and send them to colleagues for seamless collaboration. We built this tier for advertisers and agencies planning heavy digital and streaming campaigns with a light emphasis on linear TV.

  • With Tunnl Premium for linear TV, get all of Tunnl Plus in addition to audience-specific linear TV ratings for data-driven linear optimization as well as incremental reach and paid and earned media tracking dashboards for cross-screen planning. We built this tier for advertisers and agencies planning extensive linear TV campaigns, but since it includes all of Tunnl Plus' features as well, it's perfect for advertisers who plan campaigns across all channels.
Once you identify the right Tunnl audiences for your campaigns, you're able to push the data into your digital ad platforms to buy against directly. Activation workflows include automated delivery of your audiences into social media platforms; DSPs and managed service providers; and OTT, CTV, and addressable TV platforms.


Why Tunnl?

Advertisers and media buyers who use Tunnl's AI-powered audiences and insights are most likely to connect with the people who want to hear their message and are most likely to act on it.

Tunnl's audience insights paint a complete and easy-to-interpret picture of who in the United States feels a particular way about different issues + where those people consume media. Knowing both enables you to get your message in front of the right people, right away. 


Keep Learning and Get Started

Peruse Tunnl's Learning Center to keep learning from in-depth educational articles including the following:Women listening to a speaker

Done learning and ready to get started with Tunnl?

Schedule a demo to see Tunnl's audiences come alive with omnichannel insights and intelligence tools in the audience intelligence platform. Or, connect with sales to discuss tailored audience solutions for your campaign needs.


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