Implementing ad-tech for social awareness with the City of Pittsburgh’s PGH Lab


AdSkate Inc is an ad tech firm based out of Pittsburgh, PA whose mission is to build AI and data driven tools that help brands and agencies of all sizes increase audience engagement throughout ad campaigns. To this end, we have developed a state-of-the-art self-service media analysis platform that helps clients both discover and vet prospective ad placements. Using this platform our clients have seen an increase in both contextually relevant ad viewer traffic as well as ad engagement

Fig. 1 AdSkate’s helps monitor various web media and track topics that are of interest to various audience segments

Working with The City of Pittsburgh

This year an exciting development in our journey was being selected to be part of the sixth cohort of PGH Lab, organized by The City of Pittsburgh’s Department of Innovation and Performance. As a part of this cohort, AdSkate will be working closely with the city’s Financial Empowerment Center (​FEC​), to help increase program awareness and enrollment. The FEC offers one-on-one, professional financial counseling as a free public service and works to help clients take control of their debt, deal with debt collectors, improve their credit, create a budget, build a savings, connect to safe and affordable financial products, and much more!

The Challenge

Over the course of the past year, the FEC has not seen significant engagement from residents of the city of Pittsburgh. Currently, the FEC does execute some marketing campaigns via various channels such as radio, live events etc. Budgets are limited and they are interested in exploring ways by which they can optimize their marketing spend to get the most out of their engagement dollars. So, this year they are looking for innovative technology solutions that can help them attract more residents and increase enrollment in the program.

“At FEC we know that our most successful client, regardless of the difficulty of their individual financial challenges, are our most motivated clients. That’s why we’re so excited to work with AdSkate to use their platform to find the places where people who want to improve their financial future hang out online” said Henry Horn-Pyatt, Economic Opportunity Manager from City of Pittsburgh’s Office of Equity. “AdSkate is helping the FEC use it’s limited, specialized resources efficiently by delivering content to the clients we’re positioned to serve well.”

Proposed solution by AdSkate

This is where AdSkate can add value to FEC’s marketing efforts. Given a brand and a target audience, AdSkate is able to keep track of content consumed by audiences across various mediums such as websites, YouTube, twitter, reddit and other social media platforms. AdSkate’s platform does this by analyzing content across media and, using the power of AI and deep learning, curates the content based on topics discussed, people mentioned, products reviewed, or even sentiments expressed (Fig. 1 illustrates our platform’s capabilities). This allows the platform keep a record of popular topics and topics that are most associated with specific audiences.

For the FEC’s use case, we plan to leverage the platform to implement the following solution pipeline (illustrated in the Fig. 2):

  1. Gather content from websites and YouTube
  2. Scan the content using AdSkate’s contextual relevance and brand safety scanner
  3. Curate content based on topics being discussed
  4. Propose YouTube channels and websites where FEC brand awareness ads can be placed
Fig. 2 AdSkate’s proposed approach to discover media where FEC can run awareness campaigns

Using the ad placements suggested by AdSkate’s platform, we will run awareness campaigns allowing us to monitor any changes in customer enquirers and customer sign-ons. An increase in either of the two would be a good indicator of the effectiveness of the suggested ad placements for the FEC. As the pilot moves forward, the plan to review our strategy every month with the FEC and iterate based on feedback to achieve a successful results by the end of a 4-month period.


AdSkate’s team consists of Akaash Ramakrishnan (LinkedIn), Shreyas Venugopalan (LinkedIn), and Salil Save(LinkedIn). Collectively the founders and the team members at AdSkate bring together experience in digital advertising, building technology platforms and business development.

Akaash Ramakrishnan
Shreyas Venugopalan
Salil Save



Akaash Ramakrishnan
Department of Innovation & Performance

Co-Founder at AdSkate. Passionate about soccer, running, advertising and technology