Last week sees the UK and EMEA launch of AdMaxim, the first of a new generation of mobile advertising technologies capable of integrating a variety of mobile formats and creative options, within a real-time optimisation and audience targeting system.
Developed over five years in the U.S., by a group of advertising technology developers drawn from global companies such as Netscape, AOL and eBay, AdMaxim’s proprietary technology aims to enable agencies to simplify the often complex process of constructing and managing mobile campaigns.
AdMaxim is led by founders, Sultan Khan, and Shishu Bedi, along with a senior management team including former Clear Channel Group Sales Director Steve Atkinson, who is joining as VP Sales EMEA, Mark Weeks, VP Operations, formerly VP Retail and Wholesale Banking at BT Global Services and Steve Tapping, CFO, who was formerly Partner specialising in technology at PwC.
AdMaxim has secured Series A backing from AdStream, a leading player in digital advertising management technology, and has attracted involvement from senior advertising and mobile industry figures including Andrew Edwards, UK Group Chairman and Chief Executive of Leo Burnett, who is a member of the AdMaxim board.
AdMaxim enables agencies to integrate multiple creative approaches from simple banner ads to multi-page interactive rich media executions and direct mechanisms. Capable of delivering large-scale global campaigns, the technology can optimise every campaign strand in parallel maximising ROI and performance management.
AdMaxim has begun working with a range of brands including Budweiser, GSK, Pepsico, Unicef, HMV, Johnnie Walker and media agencies such as MediaCom and PHD.
Sultan Khan, CEO, AdMaxim, comments: “The future of mobile marketing is integration, but the current complexity of the mobile sector is a barrier to entry for brands; it is holding back mobile advertising spend. We deliberately set out to create a mobile platform that can offer brands the flexibility to use any kind of mobile format or creative approach, combined with precision data optimisation.”
Steve Atkinson, VP Sales EMEA, adds: “Agencies are investing in mobile strategic planning and creative expertise as brands increasingly look to integrate mobile into their media and marketing strategies. AdMaxim will cut through the complexity of mobile because it is the first platform to bring all the options together and is driven by a bespoke optimisation system that out-performs the competition.”
Andrew Edwards UK Group Chairman and Chief Executive of Leo Burnett, concludes: “The mobile advertising sector is awash with nascent technologies that solve just part of the challenge for brands, this is often because early venture capital support has required them to focus their capabilities. AdMaxim’s development story is different because the team are experienced advertising software and data architects, used to creating global integrated advertising platforms. They self-funded the original design and build, so having launched in the US, AdMaxim is coming to the EMEA market fully-formed, and we think it will change the mobile advertising sector for good.”
VivaKi Announces Results from The Pool’s UK Online Video Lane
VivaKi announced last week the results from The Pool’s UK online video lane. Building on extensive research from the United States, China, Australia and Spain, the UK results further demonstrate the effectiveness of ASq compared to the industry’s pre-roll standard. ASq is a choice-based ad model that allows the user to choose the preferred advertising content they would like to view from a selection of three different brand messages prior to viewing online video content.
The UK online video lane consisted of a collaboration of some of the UK’s leading marketers and media owners including Channel 4, YouTube, Microsoft, Samsung, O2 and Heineken. Millions of ASq impressions were served over the course of a two-month field trial, and the resulting research compiled both qualitative and quantitative data, looking at both attitudinal and behavioral analysis. The market leading research was carried out by Comscore (qualitative analysis) and Vindico (quantitative).
Both qualitative and quantitative research demonstrated the effectiveness of ASq, which significantly outperformed the industry benchmark Pre-Roll across a number of metrics. ASq provided click-through rates for advertisers that were 12% higher than Pre-Roll and an increase in completion rates of up to 10%, with peaks of 98%.
Michael Buckley, Head of Trading at Microsoft Advertising comments: “As a company, Microsoft is at the forefront of new format development and this project with VivaKi, fitted perfectly with our aim of enhancing the consumer experience while also increasing advertiser engagement. The results have been very encouraging and give advertisers another proof point for success rather than a pure click measure.”
James Grant, UK Country Manager for Vindico, adds: “As global partners of VivaKi, we were extremely pleased at the chance to work with the UK market on the ASq choice format. Everybody likes a choice and UK consumers are no different! They reacted very positively to ASq, which in turn was great for publishers, and for VivaKi’s clients. We are looking forward to extending the ASq format commercially with VivaKi’s key UK partners.”
PubMatic Raises $45 Million From August Capital
PubMatic, a digital media platform for publishers, announced yesterday that it has raised $45m in mezzanine financing. August Capital is leading financing with participation from all existing investors including Draper Fisher Jurvetson, Nexus Venture Partners, Helion Ventures and Silicon Valley Bank. The funds will be used to continue PubMatic’s targeted acquisition strategy and strengthen the company’s balance sheet.
Rajeev Goel, Co-founder and CEO of PubMatic, comments: “The marketing automation landscape is overly fragmented with too many point solutions. Over the past 18 months, PubMatic has solidified its position as the leading independent publisher platform via organic development, partnerships, and acquisitions. The additional funding will further our mission of making it easier for buyers and sellers of advertising to work together.”
With this round of funding, Eric Carlborg, a partner at August Capital, joins the PubMatic Board of Directors. Carlborg brings a breadth of public company operating expertise from his role as former CFO of Provide Commerce (PRVD), with experience on the boards of Blue Nile, Inc. and Big Lots, Inc. August Capital manages $1.3bn in capital and has invested in leading technology companies including Atheros, Postini, Splunk, and Seagate as well as digital media companies such as Adchemy, SAY Media and Adara Media.
Eric Carlborg adds: “We’re thrilled to partner with PubMatic to increase their investment in superior technology and top executive talent to more effectively serve premium publishers. The advertising automation space is vibrant with huge growth potential and PubMatic, with its six-year history of innovation, client base of comScore top 100 publishers and superior strategic selling platform will continue to lead the industry.”
This mezzanine financing caps a period of growth for the company which includes year over-year revenue growth in excess of 150%. In addition, PubMatic has recently introduced new products such as PubDirect, which offers premium publishers the ability to optimise sales across multiple selling channels, PubLink which enables publishers to access multiple partner tools and services in real-time via a single point of integration, as well as new solutions for mobile monetisation, measurement and continuous margin improvement.
BrightTag Announces UK partnership With Invizua
BrightTag, a technology platform provider for the digital marketing industry, has named Invizua as its UK partner to drive sales of its tag management solution. BrightTag, currently used by organisations in the UK and globally, helps companies reduce the operational complexities associated with third-party tag code by streamlining integration between sites and marketing service providers and in many cases, eliminating the need for tags altogether. BrightTag’s unique approach to tag management makes online data instantly useful while improving data quality, distribution and site performance.
Chicago-based BrightTag has experienced significant growth and recently raised $15m in new funding to help drive its global expansion. BrightTag currently works with a growing roster of UK clients including Orbitz Worldwide brand ebookers.com, as well as many global multinational brands with a UK presence.
According to recent research from the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) UK, conducted by PwC, online advertising revenues in the UK grew by 14.4% in 2011, the biggest increase in five years. At the same time, it is estimated that inefficiencies in online advertising workflows, much of which are due to the manual nature of integrating third-party tag code onto a site, is preventing the industry from growing even faster.
The BrightTag ONE platform supports all manner of marketing and analytics tags through a simple web interface. With BrightTag you can accomplish the deployment of new marketing or analytics partners in minutes rather than the weeks or months it used to take. Additionally, BrightTag features Server-Direct integrations with a growing list of leading online marketing service partners. This important new technology approach allows BrightTag to eliminate entirely the need for some third-party tags while boosting the performance of others.
James Sandoval, Founder of Invizua comments: “It’s not every day a technology company comes along to truly disrupt an entire industry – and create enormous new value. Not just for its customers, but for the entire eco-system. BrightTag’s transformation of the web analytics and tag management markets creates opportunities for organisations to genuinely turn data into fuel, to turn marketing service providers into powerful strategic partners and, ultimately, to make the web a better experience for everyone. I’ve spent the bulk of my digital marketing career seeking out best-of-breed technology solutions and I am proud to add BrightTag to Invizua’s roster of partners.”
BrightTag Founder and Chief Revenue Officer Marc Kiven, adds: “By leveraging Invizua’s deep industry expertise and experience, we can further strengthen BrightTag’s traction in the UK and Europe and ensure our products deliver immediate value for UK-based companies and our roster of global brands. Invizua founder James Sandoval has a proven track record of catalyzing the growth of ad tech businesses in the UK and we are thrilled to be on the ground with him and his team.”