This Presidential Election Will Be Live Streamed

What Happened
Tuesday’s Democratic debate drew a record 15.3 million live viewers for CNN. More impressive, however, is the number of people that watched the debate via CNN’s live streaming feed via its mobile apps, website, and Apple TV channel. According to CNN, viewers peaked at 980,000 concurrent streams around 10:20 p.m., topping the 921,000 peak concurrent streams CNN had for the first GOP debate last month, and setting an all-time record for a live news event.

Industry Impact
Political campaign ad spending has been historically crucial for the media industry in election years. But this time around, we may be seeing a significant portion of the ad dollars shifting toward digital and mobile. In fact, according to expert estimations, ad spending will top $4.4 billion for the presidential race, of which digital spending could take up about $1 billion in 2016, a staggering 576% growth over 2012. As livestreaming continues to evolve as a legitimate alternative to live TV, we expect to see more brand opportunities and content formats arise.


Source: Variety

Event Recap: Ad Age Digital Conference 2015, Day Two

In case you missed it, check out our recap for day one here.

On Day 2 of the Ad Age Digital Conference, the panel discussions continued to dissect the impact of post-digital innovations on the advertising and media industry:

Mobile Leads Media Consumption Growth
Ezra Palmer, chief content officer for eMarketer, shared the newest research results on the future of media consumption and ad spending. As TV and desktop hit plateau in terms of media time, mobile has emerged as the only growing platform, whose average daily time spent skyrocketed from 48 minutes in 2011 to nearly 3 hours this year for U.S. users. As a result, ad spending in mobile media categories has been steadily catching up with the media consumption pattern, though major discrepancy in mobile video ads still exists.

Diversification Is The New Digital
Digital has evolved from “good enough” to being expected, and should be at the core of executions, aided by diversification to ramp up meaningful results. In a cross-platform era, its important to understand the power of multi-screen usage as we increasingly move towards one-to-one targeting. As Justin Smith, CEO of Bloomberg media put it, “niche is your friend,” and publishers should be fragmenting themselves to mesh with moments that matter in everyday lives.

Attention Metrics Emerge In Post-digital Transformation
As AT&T’s CMO David Christopher pointed out, “by definition, the social sphere is fractured and disjointed, so measurement is always challenging.” Therefore, the ideal common currency for digital ads should be attention-based metrics powered by unique IDs and unified views.

Technology Drives Co-Creation
Now more than ever, individuals have the opportunity to be a co-creator for every brand and product that they interact with, representing an important asset to digital agencies. As Tom Adamski, CEO of Razorfish Global, stated, “The advent of technology and its influence…is driving deeper levels of creativity”. More customer engagement encourages digital agencies to be more integrated, interactive, nimble, and innovation-oriented.

 Lead image taken from


Event Recap: Ad Age Digital Conference 2015, Day One

Top industry reporters and some of the biggest brand, technology, and media leaders—including the IPG Media Lab!— gathered for the annual Ad Age Digital Conference to discuss what the “post-digital” world means for advertisers. Some of the key takeaways from Day One included:

Time As The New Metric
According to an AdAge survey, over 80% of the industry is concerned about viewability, which was addressed head-on during the very first two panels. Rather than worry about pixel counting or frequency of exposure, time spent in front of an ad is emerging as the crucial metric. While CPMs have an unlimited inventory, there are only so many hours in a day, which limits inventory. This allows prices to rise, which is particularly exciting to quality-based publishers who have higher levels of engagement. As Lisa Valentino from Conde Nast pointed out, “The more value you can show, the more it should impact your pricing.”

Leverage Fan Engagement Into Story-Making
Authentic marketing requires a “relentless customer-centricity”, as Tressie Lieberman from Taco Bell called it. Tapping into the creativity of their fanbases, leading brands are shifting away from traditional storytelling models to a “story-making” approach, where they actively co-create engaging brand communications.

Brands Sneaking Into The Private Messaging Space
As Ben Huh, CEO of The Cheezburger Network, noted, brands have mostly been locked out of most chat apps—an ecosystem that today’s Millennials spent most of their time in. But with more and more messaging apps expanding into media platforms, brands now have a chance to enter that coveted space without being intrusive, as long as they adopt a “friend and explorer” mentality. In order to do so, Tami Bhaumik from Lyve recommended brands to serve content at the right time by taking the customer’s stage in the sales funnel into consideration.

4 P’s, 4 C’s
Customers have more choices than ever in terms of brands, content, and access: it’s estimated that by 2020, people will use 10 connected devices. As a result, the traditional 4 P’s of marketing—product, price, place, and promotion—have been replaced with a modified framework, the 4 C’s: choice, convenience, cross-device, and creative sequencing. 

Check back tomorrow for continuing coverage from the Ad Age Digital Conference.


SXSW 2015: The Six Most-Talked About Digital Brand Activations

As our time here at the legendary interactive festival winds down, here is a look back at the 10 most talked-about brand activations:

  1. Studio uses Tinder to promote Ex Machina
    Some festival-goers using Tinder were matched with Ava, a 25-year-old Tinder bot created to promote Alex Garland’s sci-fi thriller Ex Machina, which premiered at SXSW.
  1. Meerkat breaks out
    FOMO is never higher than during SXSW, making this live-streaming app the perfect way to instantly drop in on celebrities, founders, and brands during the festival.
  1. Mophie uses St. Bernards to search and rescue owners with near-dead devices
    Through a partnership with the St. Bernard Rescue Foundation, nine full-size dogs and three puppies were used to deliver Mophie chargers—stored inside brandy barrel necklaces—to attendees in dire need of a charge.
  1. Lyft integrates One Touch PayPal into its interface
    As part of a promotional campaign during SXSW, riders who paid with PayPal received a $5 discount on their first ten rides as well as a chance to hitch a ride in a Ferrari 458 Italia, 1963 Bentley, Tesla Model S, or another noteworthy ride.
  1. Game of Thrones allows attendees to create digital art
    GoT encouraged attendees step on a stage, grab a (wooden) sword, and then go nuts on digital targets.
  1. USA Networks leverages beacons at SXSW for the “Mr. Robot” premiere
    The network created custom beacon alerts at various locations through the official SXSW app, rewarding festival-goers with free food and drinks, courtesy of “Mr. Robot.”


Why Facebook Is Relaunching The Atlas Ad Platform

Kicking off Advertising Week here in New York, Facebook announced their plan to relaunch the Atlas ad platform next week. Updated with powerful new features like cross-device targeting and offline sales tracking, the Atlas platform is poised to give Google a run for its money on digital and mobile advertising.

Facebook also plans to pitch marketers on the concept of using Atlas to tie consumers’ offline behaviors to their online behavior—after all, more data equals more value. And while omnichannel shopping continues to take hold, it is about time that ad measuring tried to catch up.

DirecTV Invests in FreeWheel, Monetizes Online Content

DirecTV is making big moves towards the standardization of monetized online video content.  This week they announced their strategic investment in video ad company FreeWheel in an effort to improve monetization of its new digital platforms. FreeWheel dynamically inserts ads in on-demand and live video streams, and has already been used by such big names as AOL, ESPN, FOX, NBC and VEVO.  They also provide monetization rights management technology, ensuring the right content providers are paid for the monetization of their streamed shows.

Digital Storytelling: NYT’s ‘Snow Fall’

To see an example of a newspaper innovating their digital offering, check out the New York Times’ special Snow Fall project. Using interactive graphics, media and a well written narrative, snow fall details a freak avalanche in Washington State but more importantly demonstrates a new way of storytelling in the digital age. The piece has received 2.9 million visits and 3.5 page views to date.

IAB Report: Internet Ad Revenues Up 18%

According to a recent IAB report, marketers are grappling with newer platforms like mobile and digital out of home, but overall the online advertising industry is in great shape. Total online ad revenue reached 9.2 billion dollars in q3, up 18 percent from one year ago. Expect advertiser interest to spark new digital marketing solutions in the new year.