Event Recap: Three Themes From The 4A’s Transformation Conference 2015

Every year since 2009, ad agency leaders have gathered to discuss ongoing trends and the future of the ad industry in the annual 4A’s (American Association of Advertising Agencies) Transformation Conference. And at this year’s event, the spotlight was firmly on programmatic.

Programmatic Is The Future
The event kicked off with the release of a White Paper report on the transformative potential of programmatic buying, and throughout the event, the current industry practice and positioning of programmatic ads were discussed at length, with the general consensus being that programmatic is valuable both as an audience targeting tool and as an automation process for buying ads. As the White Paper concludes:

Advertisers and their agencies must align with technology providers here, as well, to promote greater visibility into the new infrastructure being created. Accountability, trust, quality and value are four key pillars on which the foundation of a programmatic future must be laid.

TV Will Continue To Be A Powerhouse
Many attendees still trust TV based on its 60-year track record and solid research. John Montgomery, GroupM’s COO, told 4As that traditional TV business will continue to deliver audience as a “real powerhouse” that is “100% viewable”. It offers volume and scale like no other medium, said Montgomery, and “video pales in comparison”.

Cross-platform Targeting Ties Everything Together
While TV advertising drives awareness and word-of-mouth, digital screens are more personal, and content is chosen very specifically, lending to a more direct engagement with users.  As advertisers continue to expand their campaigns across different screens, the full value of video advertising can be unleashed by shaping the messaging by platform.

A panel led by ESPN Research. for instance, highlighted some results from their “Valuing Video” study on the effectiveness of video ads across TV, digital, and mobile platforms. Digital video impressions combined with TV impressions drive performance—especially purchase intent, ESPN concluded.

Head image taken from www.aaaa.org

TechWreck: #TechnologyAndStuff In Connected Cars

Picture from @ChevyTrucks on Twitter

Every year Chevrolet gifts a new car to the MVP at the World Series. This year, however, an Internet meme was born out of an unexpected gaffe during the televised handover ceremony, as a nervous Chevy spokesman stumbled through his speech and described the new features of the 2015 Chevy Colorado as “class-winning and leading, um, you know, technology and stuff “.

While he did at least manage to point out the new truck comes with “WiFi powered by OnStar, sitting there on the screen”, the speech was unintentionally funny for all its awkwardness. Naturally, “#ChevyGuy,” “#TechnologyAndStuff” were among the top 10 national trending topics on Twitter within an hour. Besides the relatable nerves brought by public speaking, one crucial reason behind such instant virality is that the vaguely defined “technology and stuff” description struck a cord with US consumers, who are just as confused about the technological capabilities of connected cars as the Chevy Guy.

Unlike previous TechWrecks, however, Chevy quickly turned the situation around by embracing the “technology and stuff” line with a hashtag on Twitter and made it a campaign tagline, creating a very effective impromptu viral campaign. To avoid future mishap like this, though, automakers must do a better job at familiarizing the consumers with all the “stuff” connected cars have to offer. After all, no one wants to buy something they don’t understand.

For more in-depth analysis on the present and future of connected cars, stay tuned for our upcoming white paper.

Is TV Advertising About To Change Forever?

Read original story on: AdAge

As we reach the tipping point over whether broadcast ad budgets will start shifting to digital video, the answer seems to be a resounding yes. With cable companies gradually giving in to the pressure to unbundle — like CBS and HBO did last week — we’re on the cusp of entering a digital TV landscape where TV just becomes a homescreen to video, while TV channels become apps. In this new landscape, programmatic buying would become the norm. That would enable more targeted audience buying, more personalized cross-platform advertising, and more connected calls for real-time response. 


Event Recap: AdWeek — What Is Newsworthy?

On Monday, Michael Roth, the Chairman & CEO of IPG, moderated an Advertising Week panel with Rebecca Blumenstein, Deputy Editor-in-Chief, Wall Street Journal; David Pemsel, Deputy Chief Executive, The Guardian; Pete Cashmore, CEO & Founder, Mashable; and Greg Coleman, President, Buzzfeed; in which they discussed the future of the news and advertising’s role.

Trust and Mission

Throughout the event, panelists kept returning to the importance of trust—the need to consistently deliver timely but reliable information. Building and maintaining that trust with the audience is a challenge for both traditional publishers and digital upstarts; as Cashmore explained, “new media companies got the business model and distribution right and are now trying to get trust right; others got trust right and are trying to move into digital.”

If “trust” unites publishers, “mission” distinguishes them from each other: Mashable believes its community is an essential part of the platform, whereas The Guardian emphasized its 200-year history and commitment to independence.

Native Advertising

Of course, advertising remains a crucial (though sometimes controversial) revenue source for news publishers. Ideally, native advertising is simply a story about a brand. At Buzzfeed, in fact, “the creative team talks to the client… Sounds kind of like an agency,” according to Coleman. Brand sponsorship can translate into longer lead times and higher production budgets, resulting in high-quality content; Cashmore noted that some of the ads on Mashable are shared twice as much as original content. That said, panelists agreed that it’s important to maintain trust by making clear what’s sponsored content.

Organizational Culture

Attracting the best talent has always been difficult, but the popularity of startups has made it even more of a struggle.   Ultimately, though, it comes back to trust and mission: if people believe in what your organization stands for, they will be inspired to produce the high-quality content publishers seek to deliver.

IPG Media Lab & Peel Present Innovations In Cross-Screen Targeting: A Case Study

IPG Media Lab partnered with Peel — the remote control app that drives TV ratings.
Key questions of the study:

  • How does the effectiveness of TV and mobile advertising compare across branding metrics? Is either more successful at driving consumers to take action?
  • What’s the benefit, if any, of re-targeting consumers on mobile devices based on their past exposure to TV advertising?
  • Does frequency of exposure play a role?

Download The Study

Native Ads On Upworthy Outperform Editorials

As a nascent category, native advertising is still a territory most publishers and brands are struggling to map out. So it comes as a surprise when Upworthy, which just announced its entry back in April, reports that they have figured out the secret of effective native ads. The viral site claims that its branded content, from sponsors like Unilever, Skype and CoverGirl, have outperformed its regular posts. Besides the caveat that native ads typically receive more promotion from publishers, sources contribute this usual success to Upworthy’s specifically sharable, viral-worthy content and the comparatively high amount of effort poured into the creation of its native ads. However, given the site’s narrow topical focus that restricts it to only advertise with brands that meet its social good standards, this success story is very unlikely to be applied to every brand.

Yahoo To Charge For Ads By Views

Yahoo announced that it will begin charging only for display ads that actually come into view on someone’s screen. Advertisers have, for many years, paid for placements across the web regardless of whether or not they’re seen, and now advertisers will get precisely what they pay for as part of this program. It’s a shift towards accountability that should yield positive results for Yahoo’s relationship with the ad industry across its many social and multi-device platforms. 

Google Touts +Post Ads

Google has, for some time, wanted to make the entire web a part of their larger social scheme. Google is seeing this thought process through to fruition with +Post ads, which gives advertisers the ability to display advertising via Google+ posts throughout Google’s display network. The program is now available to any Google+ page with at least 1,000 followers. The posts are fully interactive, allowing users with G+ accounts to comment, share, and +1 without leaving the page. Google says that the ads have had incredibly high engagement numbers; Toyota USA experienced a 50% higher engagement rate than the industry standard for rich media ads, for instance. It’s a way to broaden horizons across the digital space for planners in the rich media space.  

Social Native Ads To Overtake Traditional Display Ads

Social native ads – that is, ads that appear in users’ streams like organic content – are poised to overtake traditional social display ads in terms of industry spend. According to a recent report published through Business Insider, as publishers, media outlets, and social networks themselves reorganize and redesign their platforms around the prospect of driving revenue through native ads, native will come to represent over 40% of the total $10 billion in social media ad spend by 2017. On networks like Facebook and Pinterest, in-stream native advertisements will come to work seamlessly across devices and platforms, making mobile campaigns nearly indistinguishable from others. Breaking the data down to specific social networks, the Business Insider report claims that Facebook ads in news feeds achieve a click through rate 49 times that of traditional placements on the right side of users’ pages. The big takeaway, though, comes with respect to photo sharing: 43% of global internet users have shared a photo in the past month, and Business Insider seems to think that native photo advertisements on platforms like Vine and Snapchat will go a long way in the near future. 

Google Introduces Unified Cookie

Google wants to do away with traditional cookies, and we’re finally getting an understanding of how that might happen. Google has developed a new type of technology that allows advertisers to target people who’ve visited their websites with ads on tablets and smartphones – while bridging the desktop and mobile gap. It works through something called a “hashed tag,” which allows advertisers to keep track of that individual person anonymously, without storing their email and phone data, an important caveat when consumers want continued emphasis on privacy. Once tagged, the advertiser can show ads to that tagged individual anywhere on Google’s network of third party sites and apps. It’s important to note that this works through tagging someone and targeting the tag, not targeting the person individually via a network of email addresses like Facebook has on file. Right now, Google is looking for advertisers that operate sites with registered user bases of over 100,000 or more to test the new hashed tags – but expect to see the technology in a fully fleshed version in the near future.