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Future of Advertising: a platform for Customer Insight

April 13th, 2010 Comments

What will the future of advertising look like?

The answer could be the one painted in this viral ad promoting the upcoming FITC digital and technology festival in Toronto. The ad is set in the future and shows a narrator in a deserted office (preserved as a museum) describing the remains of the last advertising agency on earth. An ad agency which ignored the power of digital and social media.

The change we see is a cultural and structural one with high social impact on the world we live in.
It is not always understood !

The Brand Reality (by Chadwick Martin Bailey)dddddd

Traditional advertising no longer works. The gap (and break up) between the consumer and the advertiser is growing on a daily basis as shown in this great video.



Businesses should start seeing the web from a business-strategic point of view and understand, find and align their web-strategy with it. Companies should stop producing TV ads or banners without any call-to-action. And starting Twitter streams like “clowns” is definitely not the right way to approach the future of customer communication… says Martin Meyer-Gossner (a web business strategist).

Eric Clemons a year ago has written in TechCrunch Why the Advertising is Failing Over the Internet. Here is an extract of what he wrote:

There are three problems with advertising in any form, whether broadcast or online:

  • Consumers do not trust advertising. Dan Ariely has demonstrated that messages attributed to a commercial source have much lower credibility and much lower impact on the perception of product quality than the same message attributed to a rating service. Forrester Research has completed studies that show that advertising and company sponsored blogs are the least-trusted source of information on products and services, while recommendations from friends and online reviews from customers are the highest.
  • Consumers do not want to view advertising. Think of watching network TV news and remember that the commercials on all the major networks are as closely synchronized as possible.  Why?  If network executives believed we all wanted to see the ads they would be staggered, so that users could channel surf to view the ads; ads are synchronized so that users cannot channel surf to avoid the ads.
  • And mostly consumers do not need advertising. My own research suggests that consumers behave as if they get much of their information about product offerings from the internet, through independent professional rating sites like dpreview.com or community content rating services like Ratebeer.com or TripAdvisor.

It is time for media owners to innovate – ditch advertising and become a platform.

Your thoughts and comments are welcome.

How Effective are Video Ads On Social Media Sites?

December 1st, 2009 Comments

In 1895 the Lumiere brothers played one of the first videos in history. The film, lasting only 50 seconds, showed a train arriving to the train station at La Ciotat, a serene town in southern France. When the film was first publicly shown, the audience was so overwhelmed by the moving image of a life-size train advancing directly towards them that they rushed to the back of the room, trying to avoid being run over.

Nearly 115 years later, audiences respond more mildly to moving pictures; nevertheless, video has remained one of the most engaging forms of media. Video is now the fastest growing sector of internet advertising, with the Internet Advertising Bureau revealing that digital video generated $477 million in the first half of 2009 – a 38% increase year-on-year. Few years ago, Jim Stengel, ex-CMO of P&G said:

In 1965, 80% of 18-49 year-olds in the US could be reached with three 60-second TV spots. In 2002, it required 117 prime-time commercials to do the same.

With the dominant $5 billion online advertising market of search expected to grow only marginally, advertisers are looking to video as the major growth sector for the next five years.

Charles Tillinghast, the president of MSNBC.com, a joint venture between NBC Universal and Microsoft said

The Web is fulfilling this promise of being a medium where you can enjoy video as much as you can see it on TV. The difference online is, if you want to do something with it — share it, stick it on a blog, post it on a Facebook page, or mark it and save it — you can do all that. And that was never possible before.

Online video advertising spending in the US is projected to grow from $1.1 billion in 2009 to $4.1 billion in 2013 – quadrupling in four years. But digital media buyers may want to think twice about where they place online video ads. While Nielsen Online recently released data showing that time spent watching videos on social networks has risen almost 100% in the year to October, 2009, according to a wide-ranging report produced by third-party ad server Eyeblaster – which examined data from thousands of campaigns it executed for brands over the past year – has shown that social environments aren’t necessarily the best for video advertising.

Key highlights from the video report include:

  • In-Stream video ads have the highest proportion of ads fully played compared to any other format.
  • Creative decisions play a significant role in ad performance: Rollover user-initiated video performs best followed by auto-initiated video; click user-initiated performs worst.
  • Weekdays from 9 am to 5 pm is users’ preferred time to watch In-Banner and Floating video ads.
  • Relatively few users un-mute video ads; auto-initiated video has the highest un-mute rate.
  • An increase of video length by five seconds reduces Video Fully Played rate by 2.8%, on average.

In fact, Eyeblaster focused on two metrics:

  • Dwell Rate, which measures the proportion of ad impressions resulting in users engaging with an ad, such as mousing over or clicking on them
  • Dwell Time, which measures the amount of time users spend engaged with a particular ad.

They found that overall, online video boosts both Dwell Rate and Dwell Time when compared to other forms of online advertising. However, online video tends to perform better when adjacent to content or email than in social media and gaming environments—both areas of high interest to advertisers.

Ariel Geifman, research analyst at Eyeblaster, said the company was somewhat surprised by their findings.

What we found is that people browse social networks really quickly. People spend a lot of time in social networks, but it’s not on the same Web page. People don’t browse as they do in news and finance, where they read an article and have more time to look at an ad.

Users may log in and out multiple times per day, or browse between pages more quickly. As a result, the performance of video ads in these environments is inferior as compared to other environments.

But given the popularity of websites such as Twitter, Facebook, MySpace and Linkedin, many large and small business owners are exploring the various options for advertising on social networking sites. While social media presents an opportunity for ads, it’s been difficult to measure ad effectiveness when the social media audience is so fragmented. It may not be as effective as hoped. Social media Marketing (vs. Advertising) seems to have more success within all size and type of companies, whereas the main difference between social network advertising and social network marketing is their ability to interact and engage with, and receive feedback from potential and devoted clients.

So should brands pull their online video ad dollars from social environments and stick to content? No, says Geifman. Rather, they need to consider users’ attitudes and behavior when running video ads in different environments, and adjust accordingly — ideally with custom ads. “Video is still a very much emerging medium,” said Geifman. “It is changing as we speak. This is a picture of video right now. People will find ways of engaging people in different environments . . . they need to make adjustments.”

The jury is still out as to which is the more effective method. Only time will tell.

Related articles:

Online Advertising through Social Media

Closing Out 2009: Trends In Video

Digg CEO: Profitability Is Not A Problem Anymore

Video On Demand Advertising Effectiveness

October 21st, 2009 Comments

Screen Digest pointed out that the ad load (number of ads shown per programme) on web VoD services is approaching broadcast levels.
‘VOD on cable TV is an opt-in medium and that means viewers are engaged’ says Daisy Whitney in her New Media Minute video report:

Simon McGrath, CMO of SeaChange International has said the following in February:

Relevance is the key to success here, as in so many other areas of marketing. It’s possible for marketers to place ads in context for a viewer by mining viewing information available from operators using advanced VOD advertising platforms to source the right ads for the right viewer, down to zip codes. Content owners – the networks and cable operators – have opportunities to work more closely with media buying agencies and their advertising clients to reach audiences on what is arguably the best screen in the house, the TV. VOD ad platforms support a variety of ad formats, from traditional embedded ad spots to ad overlays, bookends and even long-form, on-demand ’showcase’ ads that deliver information and some degree of interaction. And it won’t be long before an AdWords-type clickable link can take the viewer from a traditional ad to a showcase spot that delivers deep information about a product the viewer is really interested in.

But wait – don’t time-shifting viewers skip the ads?

Reports vary widely on the percentage of viewers who use their DVRs to skip ads. The good news here for marketers, according to Capgemini’s 2008 report on addressable advertising, is that many viewers who watch VOD appear to be willing to watch ads inserted into VOD programming (76% prefer to watch ad-supported content as opposed to 23% who prefer to watch paid content).

VoD will most probably shake up the TV ad market, but will ultimately lead to a better viewing experience and a highly targeted, accountable medium for advertisers. The advanced targeting methods and interactivity used around VoD on the web cannot be ignored by broadcasters or advertisers and will set the standards as VoD becomes more prevalent in our living rooms.