Facebook Extends Ad Network To Mobile Web

What Happened
Facebook is broadening the reach of its ad network by allowing publishers to sell ads on their mobile websites with its Audience Network, which previously only sold mobile in-app ads. The social network has been reportedly testing the new ad network with media partners including Hearst, Slate, USA Today, and TIME over the last few months.

What Brands Need To Do
With this expansion, brands will be able to use Facebook’s data-rich platform to target consumers outside Facebook and third-party apps, making Audience Network a serious contender to rival mobile ad networks from Google, Apple, and AOL. Brands that are already using Facebook’s ad network to reach mobile consumers should branch out to the mobile web to see if it helps increase reach, while brands currently using other mobile ad networks should consider giving the new Audience Network a try to take advantage of Facebook’s rich user data for better targeting.


Source: Wall Street Journal

Instagram Beefs Up Its Ads With 41 New Tech Partners

What Happened
In a bid to improve its ad products, Instagram announced new partnerships with 41 new ad and marketing tech vendors, hoping to leverage their diverse offerings to complement its existing ad tools. For instance, the list of new partners includes popular mobile ad networks such as Nanigans, Adaptly, and SocialCode, which can help boost spending from advertisers that are used to planning and measuring campaigns through these platforms. Meanwhile, vendors that provide content management solutions, such as Tongal and Percolate, can help brands on Instagram ramp up their content marketing capabilities.

What Brands Need To Do
Instagram already launched its ad API this summer for ad tech firms to easily plug into its ad products, and this new partnership program will no doubt further improve its ad products and encourage more ad spending. Moreover, some tech vendors can provide new targeting options, such as a House of Blues campaign that targeted people with similar musical tastes using CitizenNet’s ad tools. If your brand is advertising or plan to advertise on Instagram, it would be smart to tap into the proprietary tools by those third-party tech vendors to figure out the most efficient ways to spend your ad dollars.


Source: AdWeek

AOL Buys Millennial Media For Better Mobile Ads

What Happened
AOL announced on Thursday morning that it is acquiring mobile ad platform Millennial Media for $238 million, granting the now Verizon-owned ad tech and content company greater programmatic reach into mobile ads.

What Brands Should Do
This acquisition marks Verizon’s official entry into mobile advertising business, something the company was unable to achieve on its own. As more and more consumers get online through mobile devices, so does the ad spending shifts to mobile. According to eMarketer, mobile ad spending will surpass PC spending by the end of this year, reaching just over $30 billion. Therefore, brands and marketers alike need to keep up with the trend, be mindful of new players in this fast expanding space, and adjust their ad spending accordingly.


Source: TechCrunch

Lab’s Take On Cannes Lions Festival 2015

Last week, selected members of the Lab descended into Cannes, France to attend the ad industry’s annual Mediterranean celebration. More so than the years past, we felt a strong presence of tech startups and ad technology. Much like how brands are flocking to Austin every year and co-opting the SXSW festivals, more and more ad tech companies are now travelling to Cannes to get in direct contact with the numerous brands in attendance.

The same observation was echoed by Philip Thomas, CEO of Lions Festivals, in his interview with AdAge. “Startups have not been to Cannes before in any numbers,” he commented, “The early adopters are here and I think they’ll go back and spread the word.”

The increasing presence of tech startups was most evident near the Palais, where, for the first time in Cannes history, festival organizers set up a designated “yacht row” for tech startups and established digital media agencies to rent out yachts for client entertainment and meetings. In some cases, the costs of renting the yachts were shared among multiple startups within similar product categories, which made the tech scene in Cannes less adjunct and more organized this year, according to the observation of a Lab member.

Moreover, the ad tech companies did not just come to shake hands with clients. This year, their involvement also seems more legitimate by working with known consulting groups, as well as some big-name brands. Unilever, for example, hosted a two-day Lions Innovation event where 50 top-notch tech startups were selected to meet and demo their business to brands and agencies, which includes the Lab. Bank of America also inked a deal with Pinterest to promote its brand-sponsored Vice videos on its social platform to reach the campaign’s target audience of millennials.

All in all, the Cannes festival has evolved into a full-fledge industry event where all players come together, be it brands, agencies, or tech startups. From what the Lab members experienced first-hand, technology is undeniably at the center of conversation this year, which the New York Times seconded with a report titled Cannes Lions Festival Shifts Focus Toward Ad Technology”. It seems safe to conclude that Cannes is quickly becoming the SXSW for ad tech, and all players in this space need to be aware.



Why Verizon Acquired AOL For $4.4 Billion

Read original story on: Re/code

Verizon, the second biggest telecom company in the States, has acquired mass media conglomerate AOL for a whopping $4.4 billon. Verizon is expecting the deal to be close by the end of summer, which will hopefully help with its “video and OTT strategy”.

AOL currently consists of two main business operations: the digital media properties that includes sites like Huffington Post and TechCrunch, and the ad tech platform that it has been rapidly developing in recent years. Given that AOL is already in talks with German media company Axel Springer to spin off its Huffington Post content unit, it is safe to conclude that AOL’s ad tech platform, especially video ad units, are what Verizon is really after.

With this acquisition, Verizon officially enters the media and ad tech sectors, which would give it a triple-screen opportunity to reach consumers across desktop, mobile, and television, helping the mobile network operator to tap into bountiful potential as the media market shifts towards digital content and targeted advertising.



How Twitter Appeals To Small Businesses With “Quick Promote”

Read original story on: AdExchanger

Twitter has developed ad products for big budgets, but it’s also trying to appeal to the small and mid-sized advertisers. Earlier this week, Twitter started rolling out “Quick Promote”, making it easy for small business owners to amplify selected tweets without knowing the intricacies of digital ad tech. Overall, this rollout marks another product off Twitter’s Tailored Audiences feature, which enables advertisers to use Twitter’s congregated user data to better target their branded content.

In related news, Twitter has struck a deal with Google to make its 140-character updates more searchable online, which would grant branded content on Twitter even more exposure by showing up in search results.