Ad Tech Goes Mainstream with Turn’s Mad Men TV Advert
A primetime commercial which screened Sunday during Mad Men’s U.S. season finale as part of a global online advertising campaign is set to illustrate how much advertising has changed since Don Draper’s heyday.
“The Moment of Decision”, shot by veteran director Michael Lehmann (of True Blood and iconic Heathers fame) makes cloud marketing platform Turn, who are in a battle with Google for supremacy within the ad tech sector, the first global B2B company of its kind to advertise in mainstream prime time broadcast media.
Set in the offices of a 1960s Madison Avenue agency, Turn’s advert features an impeccably groomed ad exec about to begin a tryst with a shapely young blonde from the secretarial pool when another woman walks in. The sense that this might be a preview for Mad Men’s upcoming season is broken when a gun is fired and the scene shifts to super slow motion with a voice-over likening the “ten milliseconds” required for the bullet to traverse the room to the speed of Turn’s digital advertising platform. Viewers are then directed to a microsite by Turn that will feature alternative endings to the ad, creating a muti-platform, user-engaging experience.
The campaign is by the San Francisco office of Gyro. After the television commercial runs Sunday, online ads that promote the microsite will appear on Web sites including those for Advertising Age, Adweek, Forbes and MediaPost. The budget of the campaign is estimated at just over $500,000.
Turn is one of the world’s leading online advertising companies and the prime time advertisement, coupled with a global advertising campaign powered by Turn’s technology, aims to be a graphic illustration of the power of multi-platform advertising. It’s a costly and ambitious move, yet in a lucrative and fast-growing sector.
Paul Alfieri, Turn Vice President, Global Marketing comments: “Turn delivers real-time data insights and amazing campaign performance for advertisers, but historically our sector as a whole has struggled to make itself understood by the wider business community. Our technology helps advertisers make smarter, more informed decisions and to take greater control of your cross-channel marketing activity. Turn’s advertising campaign aims to demystify the rapidly evolving real-time bidding sector.
“The latest generation of Mad Men and marketers in general need to be as comfortable with interpreting data as they are with slogans and visuals and our campaign brings to life how rapidly advertising is changing.”
Redefining Premium Content Towards CPM Zero
Jonathan Mendez, CEO at Yieldbot, is no stranger to controversial posts – as he often flies in the face of display advertising convention. Mendez is busy building a product that will leverage search data from publisher sites and deliver highly targeted display based on the intent created within the domain of the publisher. It could be an interesting product, and might well open a new revenue model that taps into keyword-hungry search buyers. In a recent post Mendez discusses the death of premium (particularly, the old world interpretation of it) and the power of relevancy. The post talks about how publishers might be able to reclaim revenues from third party vendors by tapping into their own rich seam of data to deliver more relevant ads. You can view the Yieldbot post here, or read it in its entirety down below.
That Mendez post in full then…
Say Goodbye to Hollywood
When Ari Emanuel, co-CEO of talent agency William Morris Endeavor said that Northern California is just pipes and needs Premium Content, it’s clear that he just doesn’t get it. There is no such thing as premium content. There are only two things premium on a mass scale anymore – distribution and devices.
There are only two things premium on a mass scale anymore – distribution and devices. Massive media fragmentation, fueled by the internet, has forever redefined what is “premium” content. The democratisation of media – the ability for a critical mass of people (now virtually the entire world) to create, distribute and find content, killed the old model of premium.
Since the web is the root cause of death for premium content, it makes sense that the effect is no better exemplified than in web publishing. Since its advent, display advertising publishers have sought to categorise and valuate their content in ways that were familiar to traditional media buyers. No media channel has promoted the idea of, or value for, premium content more than digital. Thus, print media’s inside front and back covers became the homepages and category pages on portals. Like print, these were areas where the most eyeballs could be reached.
But a funny thing happened in digital behavior. People skipped over the front inside cover and went right to content that was relevant to them. Search’s ability to fracture content hierarchies and deliver relevance not only became the most loved and valuable application of the web, it destroyed the idea of premium content all together. In reality, premium never really existed in a user-controlled medium, because it was never based on anything that had to do with what the user wanted. It was based on the traditional ad metric of “reach”, when in this medium decisions about what is premium are determined by on-demand ability and relevance.
Sinking of the Britannica
The beauty of this medium is in the measurement of it. Validation for the drowning of premium, beyond the fact that Wikipedia destroyed Encyclopedia Britannica, rests in the performance of digital media. A funny thing happened as advertising performance became more measured. Advertisers discovered premium didn’t matter nearly as much as they thought. There were better ways to drive performance that yielded better and more measurable results. The ability to match messaging to people on-request and in a relevant way was more valuable in this medium than some content provider idea of what was “premium”. The public not the publisher determines what is premium.
As real time rules-based matching technology continues to improve performance, advertising and marketing itself continues to grow at the expense of premium advertising. Today, despite those trying to hold on to the past, premium is little more than an exercise in brand borrowing and little else. Despite the best efforts of the IAB to bring Brand advertising to Digital, it has fallen as a percentage of ad spend for five straight years. In the world we live in today, Mr. Emanuel’s $9bn dollar upfront for network TV prime time advertising is $1.5bn less in ad revenue than Google made last quarter.
What this all means for the future of digital media (and thus all media eventually) is that it’s headed to “CPM Zero”. Look around – all the digital advertising powers – Google, Facebook, Twitter, Amazon – are selling based one thing: performance. They are not selling on the premium sales mechanism of CPM. When “CPM Zero” happens, and it will, these forces pushing the digital ad industry forward win. They own the customer funnel and they will own the future of marketing and advertising. It begs one big question: where does this leave content creators and publishers?
Don’t Fear the Reaper
Publishers will never be able to put the CPM sales genie back in the bottle. CMOs and advertisers are already finding out that they are paying too much for premium. Go ask GM what they think. What publishers are finding out is that they are no longer selling their media; it’s being bought. Purchased from a marketplace with infinite inventory in a wild west of data. Therein lies the publisher’s ace in the hole and the strategies and tactics digital publishers (and eventually broadcasters) can use to combat the death of premium.
Like Search, Publishers need to have two crucial components to their marketplaces. Firstly, they need the tension of scarcity in the marketplace. That will drive up demand and force advertisers to spend time working on improving their performance. This was the cherry on the sundae for Google as a $1bn industry – Conversion Testing and Content Targeting grew out of nowhere to support spends in Search. Most every dollar saved with optimisation went to drive more volume – or back to Google.
Secondly, they need a unique currency for the marketplace. Keywords were a completely new way to buy media. Nothing has ever worked better. Facebook is selling Actions with OpenGraph. Ultimately advertisers are buying customers not keywords or actions, but there is a unique window of opportunity for publishers at this moment in time to create something new and uniquely people, not page, focused.
The tactics used to fuel these strategies all rely on one natural resource – data. Publishers have diamonds and gold beneath the surface of their properties. Mining these data nuggets, and using them to improve the performance of their media, is the sole hope publishers have competing in the world of “CPM Zero”. Only publishers can uniquely wrap their data with their media and drive performance in a manner unique to the marketplace. That’s what Google does. That’s what Facebook does. That’s what Twitter does. The scarcity mentioned above is created because the real time understanding of site visitor interest and intent is only derived using first party data as rules and integration with the publisher ad server for delivery. So pubs are really left with one choice – take control of their data and use it for their benefit creating an understanding of WHY people are buying their media and how it performs. Or let Google, Facebook, third-party et al come in and grab their data and know nothing about why it’s being bought and how much it’s being sold.
The ability to match messaging to people on-request and in a relevant way is within the publisher’s domain. It is the most premium form of advertising currency ever created and will deliver an order of magnitude more value. It will fuel the 20% YoY growth of digital advertising and marketing for the next 15 years. Who captures the majority of that value, the advertiser or the publisher, is the only question remaining.
New Springboard Bootcamp Targeting Mobile Technology
Europe’s first three-month accelerator bootcamp targeting the mobile industry and technologies has been launched by Springboard, the London and Cambridge UK-based accelerator programme.
Organiser Jon Bradford says Springboard Mobile is founder-centric and neutral of any platform, operator, technology or device. It will run in London from September 10 to November 30.
Drawing support from across the mobile industry, Bradford says Springboard Mobile will deliver the resources founders require to do what is best for the entrepreneurs.
Springboard Mobile is entirely funded by a collective of 10 angel investors who have had direct experience in the mobile technology, and includes entrepreneurs such as Russell Buckley (Admob – sold for $750mn), Harry Dewhirst (Amobee – sold for $321m) and Ben Barokas (co-founder Admeld – sold for $400m) and supported by what Bradford calls “over a hundred kick-ass mentors from around the world.”
Bradford said Springboard Mobile’s terms would remain “extremely founder friendly”. Teams can participate in Springboard with over $150k of free services, seed capital of up to £15k all for 6% founder equity.
However, Springboard has introduced a new option for teams that are already funded or have revenue – they can participate in Springboard with all the free services for only 3% founder equity.
Since the completion of Springboard 2011, six of the 10 teams have raised an average of £300k investment capital with more to follow. Springboard London is currently in session – with its investor day planned on July 5.
*Mobile entrepreneurs have until July 8, 2012 to compete for one of 10 places on the programme. To apply for a place on Springboard Mobile visit www.springboard.com
VAP – A New German Standard for Video Ads
Most marketers would appreciate uniform standards for online video advertising. In order to accomplish the standardisation of their InPage video offerings, German companies freeXmedia, G + J Electronic Media Sales, Interactive Media CCSP, iq digital, Microsoft Advertising, Ströer Interactive, Tomorrow Focus Media, United Internet Media and Yahoo! Germany, have started the “Video Ad Package (VAP)” initiative.
So far, pre-, mid- and post-stream formats are lacking standardisation or guidelines in InPage cross-market specifications. According to the creators of the new initiative, it addresses the current lack of transparency in the market, namely the variety of different InPage video adverts, special sizes, custom solutions and different technical specifications, features, functionality and format guidelines, which all lead to uncertainty in the market. These differences also increase the cost of planning, booking and implementing InPage video campaigns and hinder the continued growth of video advertising.
The nine marketers mentioned above have designed the new VAP along the lines of the previous Premium Ad Package (PAP) initiative, and have now agreed on uniform specified InPage video formats, with the goal of giving advertisers and agencies simple and effective campaign management from planning to delivery.
As the initiating marketers explain: “Our goal is to eliminate the current existing market uncertainty in terms of InPage video ads and reduce the effort for such campaigns with mandatory standards for all market participants, thereby making the final breakthrough for this form of advertising. We would like to invite all market partners to participate in this initiative, as joint product initiatives have been done in the past, such as the Premium ad package, and have proven efficient and successful for all market participants.”
The unified VAP function specifications have passed the final technical standards of the Association of Digital Economy (BVDW), led by the Unit AdTechnology standards in online marketing (OVK).
The initiating marketers conclude: “With nine of the largest online marketers in Germany agreeing on uniform video formats, we’ve created the decisive precondition for rapid standardisation of one of the fastest growing areas of online advertising. We not only provide the impetus for growth in the German advertising market, but also corroborate, once again, the innovative strength of the online advertising industry in Germany in the adoption of international standards.Global Desk Editor