Financial Times kicks off trials to sell advertisers ‘blocks of time’ to tackle industry’s viewability issue | The Drum

This is an interesting concept but sometimes it really feels like we take two steps forward and one step back in this industry. Our greatest strengths — measurability, laser-targeting, accountability — are also our greatest weaknesses.

“We can now report back to a client and say ‘we served you a thousand ads, and of those, 500 were seen for one second, 250 were seen for 10 seconds and 250 were seen for 30 seconds,” Slade went on. “The next obvious step is to sell blocks of time.

“We can sell a thousand hours of exposure to a chief executive audience in Germany, for example, or we can give clients 500 hours of exposure to finance directors in Belgium. That currency has a lot of merit.

via Financial Times kicks off trials to sell advertisers ‘blocks of time’ to tackle industry’s viewability issue | The Drum.

The Truth About Online Ad Fraud |

All the noise around the RocketFuel and Mercedes-Benz fraud issue may be just that — noise but the problem of online ad fraud, particularly in relation to RTB and programmatic trading, isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

Online Fraud
"Decipticons" can spoof your lookalike targeting.

One of the reasons I’m so excited to be working the ridiculously clever team at Pixalate is that they saw this issue coming from a mile away. They were building solutions to help buyers and sellers combat the effects of fraud before all the hype. In a way, they were fraud-fighting hipsters, battling the bots before it was cool.

Jalal Nasir, co-founder and CEO of Pixalate, has a great piece, complete with some very funny terms for the types of Fraud his platform can detect, in this week’s ExchangeWire.

Forecasts suggest ad fraud could cost marketers as much as $11bn in 2014, a 22% increase over 2013. Notwithstanding any unintentional inflation in these stats, it’s clear that ad fraud is running amok. At the same time, RTB display advertising continues to grow quickly. Jalal Nasir, co-founder, Pixalate

The Truth About Online Ad Fraud |

Get in touch

If you’d like to talk to me about Pixalate, I’m their exclusive representative in Europe. Either drop me an email, grab at Digiday’s EU Publisher Summit in Barcelona.

Programmatic Creative – Where are the Drapers to our Harry Cranes?

Over the last two weeks I’ve been doing a ton of research online about the state and future of Programmatic Ad Buying. For sure there are a ton of tech prognosticators out there talking about optimised algorithms, probabilistic multi-screen story telling (dibs on the band name), conquering the In App challenge, integrating 3rd and 1st party data into decision engines, and more. Yet, not one article I’ve come across has discussed the importance of the creative itself.

Don Draper & Harry Crane
via AMC

This is a consistent issue in our industry: we are so enamoured with our own tech and math genius, we often overlook the emotional quotient in advertising. We talk a big game about getting the right ad to the right person on the… etc. etc. but we never talk about getting ‘the most beautiful ad’ or the most ‘compelling ad’ or really anything else to with the quality of the creative itself. For those of you who watch Mad Men, it’s as if we’re all Harry Cranes and none of us are Peggys or Dons or Teds.

MadMen computer.
Could this guy have come up with Carousel? via AMC

Imagine if Mad Men was just about Harry. I’m reminded of a classic Roger Sterling line from the most recent episode: “Cutler won’t be happy until this agency is just Harry Crane and his computer.” It only now struck me how heavily we have bet on the numbers, leaving the creative and the quality of the message behind for someone else to worry about. I searched for some thought pieces on the state of programmatic creative and it’s pretty slim pickings. This piece, from AdExchange, though, I thought was a good start. The new breed of ‘Math Men’ need a new breed of creative lead to really succeed.

A marketer who chooses to could employ a strategy of “right message to the right person at the right time on the right device on the right operating system at the right geofenced location during the right weather conditions …” In other words, the possibilities of highly relevant, “context-aware” advertising have never been greater. And yet, a one-size-fits-all creative strategy largely reigns supreme.

via It’s Time To Fix Programmatic Creative – AdExchanger: News and Views on Data-Driven Digital Advertising.

Online Ad Spending in Europe Topped €27 Billion in 2013 – eMarketer

A very timely piece of research and data to be released as I put the final preparations on my deck for Digiday’s European Publisher Summit. Strong growth across Europe and the the mobile tide is coming in as fast, if not faster, than the soothsayers were forecasting.

Very interesting to see that:

Spending on display ads continued to gain momentum, logging higher growth than any other format, at 14.9%, and a total value of €9.2 billion ($12.27 billion)

Although I must wonder how much of that is Facebook.

Online Ad Spending in Europe Topped €27 Billion in 2013 - eMarketer

Online Ad Spending in Europe Topped €27 Billion in 2013 – eMarketer.

Great News For Native: The New York Times’ Sponsored Content Is As Popular As Its Editorial | The Content Strategist, by Contently

Granted, this piece is authored by someone with some skin in the game (and, full disclosure, so do I) but still, some compelling stats. Paid content as engaging (on a click basis) if not more than ‘straight’ editorial. Just because it’s paid for doesn’t mean it isn’t good. I mean, just look at the Lego Movie for the ultimate example of this.

A United Airlines interactive graphic—produced in partnership with The Times—that showed how far athletes traveled to compete at Sochi. The result was nearly 200,000 clicks—well above the average editorial article.

Great News For Native: The New York Times’ Sponsored Content Is As Popular As Its Editorial | The Content Strategist, by Contently.

Programmatic advertising’s audience addiction

This article is very relevant to my upcoming presentation at Digiday’s first EU Publisher Summit in Barcelona. This ‘race to the bottom’ factor is and seems to remain, one of the fundamental risks of an an ever-larger programmatic marketplace. How are premium publishers taking steps to protect their audiences and their inventory?

The ecosystem optimizes for clicks, and we lose the value of branding in the process.  We’re making a similar mistake with audience buying.

via Digiday | Programmatic advertising’s audience addiction.

MediaPost Publications When Is An Ad An Ad? Only Time Will Tell 05/27/2014

I think we are only beginning to see the tip of the content & native advertising backlash. It’s going to be a rocky road ahead for publishers, advertisers, and tech.

What readers will despise is figuring out that publishers have been greedy participants in a conspiracy of deception. And when they do, nobody will sweat an ad on the cover of Time magazine. Because then the mechanism will go in reverse; the universal mistrust of advertisers will transfer to the publishers who have been helping disguise them. And all parties — except the public — will get what they deserve. — Bob Garfield, MediaPost

MediaPost Publications When Is An Ad An Ad? Only Time Will Tell 05/27/2014.

Teemo exclusive representative of DistroScale in the UK

DistroScaleI’m very excited to announce that Teemo will be the sole representative of DistroScale in the UK. The only fully integrated native advertising and branded content marketplace and platform, DistroScale does for native what the 3rd party ad server and ad exchanges did for display.

Core functionality includes:

  • SaaS platform for publishers & ad agencies
  • Transparent Private Marketplace providing control for both publishers and advertisers
  • Integrated content within publisher’s site.
  • Supports customisable presentation and unique native content formats.
  • Support text, images, video, widgets, slideshows, and more.
  • Simple tag integration agnostic to CMS; One touch entry
  • Web, Mobile Web, Tablet, iOS SDK, Android SDK
  • Target by Category, Geo, Audience, Behaviour, Device, Browser, OS, & 3rd party contextual
  • Real-time content, social , & video engagement analytics

If you’re a publisher who’d like to make incremental revenue every month and support native advertising or if you’re an agency or advertiser who would like to roll out a scalable native ad format at scale, please get in touch with me for a demo.

File-Types-Pdf-iconDistroScale Information One Sheet

About DistroScale

DistroScale is a platform + marketplace for delivering, managing, & measuring native content across websites, mobile web & apps. Founders Stanley Wong, Navdeep Saini, and Chenggang Duan each have a long and succesful history in the online advertising space. The team has launched numerous advertising products, technologies, and companies over the last 15 years. DistroScale’s unique, scalable, easy to use, SaaS platform works across web, mobile, social, and video. The company is based in the San Francisco Bay Area with offices in New York City and Los Angeles and now London.

What you need to know about the brand-new native ad exchanges | VentureBeat

This is an excellent primer from VentureBeat on not just “Native” but also on the fledgling world of native exchanges. The development and adoption of native marketplaces will lead the way for delivering native solutions at scale. The exchanges will make it easier for editors to maintain control over what appears on their sites and for advertisers and brands to operate with transparency and the knowledge that their brand will only be run alongside AAA content.

OpenX Native Solution

From the article:

Native exchanges abide by the same biddable auction structure, but the inventory being bid on is one of the newly recognised native ad formats, such as an in-feed ad or recommendation widget. The key benefit of these new native formats is that they are placed where audiences are already actively looking for content; a study from IPG Media Labs showed that audiences look at native ads 53 percent more frequently than display ads.

From MediaPost:

“We know that marketers’ greatest loss in value is most often inattention to ads,” said Kara Manatt, vice president of consumer research strategy at the IPG Media Lab, and co-author of the new research.

Whether native ads will continue to hold consumers’ attention once their uniqueness wears off is another question, but, as Manatt added: “Past research shows us that neither overly intrusive nor easily ignored ads are effective … This study validates that we are on the right path to finding that middle ground.”

What you need to know about the brand-new native ad exchanges | VentureBeat | Marketing | by Chris Schreiber, Sharethrough.

The CMO’s Guide to Programmatic Buying | Digital – Advertising Age

Since I recently read in the WSJ that only 23% of CMOs both “understand what online programmatic is and use it in their marketing strategy” I think that this AdAge report would be a useful thing to read and share with the CMO in your life.

WSJ CMO Programmatic Chart

"What’s driving programmatic is digital delivery and data. If you think about where digital display and digital video are, it’s easier to apply programmatic in those spaces. I have very little doubt that digital out-of-home, digital television and radio will follow." John Montgomery, GroupM

The CMO’s Guide to Programmatic Buying | Digital – Advertising Age.