Results tagged “Peter Minnium” from IABlog

A Conversation with Nick Law, Global Chief Creative Officer, R/GA, and IAB MIXX Awards Judge

This past May at the What Works & Why in Digital Advertising: Insights from the IAB MIXX Awards event, Nick Law described his thinking on the alchemy needed in today’s digital world to achieve creative success. Although he took just five minutes to lay out his thesis, it crystallized for me the answer to a question I had been furiously pondering over the past four years: what is the right creative model to achieve the level of brilliance in the digital world that marketers have come to expect of the best agencies in the analog one?  I wasn’t the only one who found his thinking revelatoryNL2.jpg; I saw dozens of pens busily scribbling during his short talk. 

While Nick was at the IAB Ad Lab in New York to judge the 2014 IAB MIXX Awards, I asked him for a chat about this notion so we could share his thoughts with the industry. Our conversation is captured below and in the accompanying video.

Peter Minnium (PM), IAB: R/GA has a unique model of deploying talent in teams to get the best results; can you tell us the genesis of this thinking?

Nick Law (NL), R/GA: About a decade ago, I looked at the creative skill sets that we had at what was then a very different R/GA, and it occurred to me that if you were to be brutal in your division of skill sets, you would cleave the world into storytelling and systematic thinking. The important point about this realization, as much as understanding that these two ways of thinking exist, was to recognize that  are both creative ways of thinking. So if you’re from Madison Avenue, over the last 50 years, what has been considered creative is storytelling, because the mediums that we’ve used are narrative mediums. And since the advent of digital, this type of architectural and spatial way of thinking has become very important. In the advertising world, I think the problem is that this hasn’t been considered creative. It’s been relegated to a sort of an executional or technical path.

So when people talk about the “big idea” in advertising, they still really refer to the ability to tell a story and to distill a brand down to a little narrative. And when they think about this sort of interactive, they think about it from a technical point of view. So then, having come up with the big idea, they wonder how to push that down into this new set of formats and channels. But what I realized was that the sort of creativity associated with systematic thinking was very powerful and very different. 


PM:
Why is the distinction between the different skills sets important?

NL: This is an important thing to recognize, because if you don’t recognize the difference between storytelling and systematic thinking as sort of categorically different ways of thinking, then creators—because they’re all vain and because there’s this sort of hubris associated with creative people—will say that because they’re creative, they should be doing it all, right? So I would have an instance where someone who grew up designing interfaces and was a systematic thinker couldn’t wait to get over to the content studio and do a film, even though for 10 years, that wasn’t the way they thought. And vice-versa. I think that early on in this sort of emergent digital world, there were many creative executions that came from an art director/copywriter type of narrative team, which in a systematic world, failed dismally, right? I won’t mention any big platforms, but there’s quite a few. And a lot of money was wasted. 

PM: Are people born Systemic or Narrative Thinkers?

NL: So if you look at a human brain—and I sort of found out later that we don’t know a lot about neuroscience—we do know that the left-hand brain processes things sequentially and that the right-hand brain processes things simultaneously. So it’s this play between time and space, between the temporal way of thinking and the spatial way of thinking. Therefore, it stands to reason that if you’ve been doing something and you’ve gotten good at something from a creative point of view, the paths in your brain are in a very specific place. So for me, that explains why it’s very difficult for a narrative thinker to connect and design a systematic piece of work, and vice versa because they’re in a habit. 

PM: Bill Bernbach revolutionized creative teams in the 1960’s by pairing art directors and copywriters. Is the model different now?

NL: So at R/GA at least, we think that the atomic team is not an art director and a copywriter, but rather a storyteller and a systematic thinker. Another way of looking at this is as a tension. Storytelling is the act of simplifying, because it’s about the revealed moment and good storytelling, good brand storytelling, is really about that distilled moment and how it’s revealed. And there’s this tension between that simplicity and the possibility provided by systematic thinking. So systematic thinkers are good, very good at possibility because they understand how each node plays with each other and can look at all these relationships simultaneously and generate many ideas. 

So when you have a systematic thinker and a narrative thinker, you get this lovely tension between simplicity and possibility. When that is absent, when all you have is simplicity, you just have simple brand storytellers, really just a lucid brand but without innovation. And when you just have systematic thinkers’ input of possibility, then you get really interesting and multiple tactics that don’t ladder up to a simple brand idea. So that’s how I can tell whether or not we have the balance right—whether things are simple but not innovative, or innovative but not lucid. That balance becomes very important, that interplay. This doesn’t mean that underneath that organizing principle, we don’t have all sorts of different combinations: art directors, copywriters, data scientists, and strategists, and all sorts of other combinations, but that’s the sort of balance we’re trying to achieve, between storytelling and systematic thinking.

PM: Thanks, Nick; I now better understand the magic behind the award winning work at R/GA.

To learn more about creativity in digital advertising download the IAB MIXX Awards 2013 Insights Report: What Works & Why, which showcases examples of award winning digital advertising campaigns and the genius behind the creative work from thought leaders across the industry.

About the Author
peter-minnium-headshot.jpgPeter Minnium 

As the Head of Brand Initiatives at IAB, Peter Minnium leads a series of initiatives designed to address the under-representation of creative brand advertising online. He can be reached on Twitter @PeterMinnium.

A Conversation with James O’Neill, VP, Director of Interactive Media at RJ Palmer, and Diaz Nesamoney, CEO of Jivox.

The increasing capabilities of digital advertising formats provide new opportunities for marketers to engage prospects and turn them into customers. Central to this endeavor are advertising agencies who translate brand objectives into effective communications programs. Just as important, these agencies also provide the bridge to the most appropriate and effective digital execution technologies to optimize client return on investment. Given the scope and speed of change, the importance of the partnerships between agencies and technology providers cannot be underestimated. It takes close collaboration between marketer, agency, and technology partners to get the most out of digital advertising. 

One such example is the collaboration between RJ Palmer, a leading agency and member of the MDC family, and Jivox, a cross-screen interactive ad platform company and winner of the IAB Digital Video Rising Stars competition. IAB asked James O’Neill (JO), VP, Director of Interactive Media at RJ Palmer, and Diaz Nesamoney (DN), CEO of Jivox, to elaborate on this partnership.

IAB: The team at RJ Palmer were early adopters of the Digital Video Rising Stars. How did you bring this about?

(JO) Many of our clients have a high level of comfort with video being the dominant focal point of their interactive plans.  Since we have been trying to accomplish additional engagement and social interaction goals via various avenues, it serves us well to embed that functionality into the tactic on which clients focus most.

IAB: How have these formats worked for RJ Palmer clients?

(JO) These units have worked really well for us because they continue to realize not only the primary purpose of video - reach, comparable to how television is measured - but also the supplemental benefit of aiding in the achievement of social and engagement milestones.

IAB Full Player Digital Video Rising Star - Zicam demo (courtesy Jivox)

IAB:  What have you learned from your early experiences, and what advice would you give to other agencies considering in-stream interactive digital video advertising?

(JO) The biggest realization has been in the positioning of the performance. When all stakeholders are on board with a campaign’s primary focus and all else is complementary, no one is underwhelmed with what may seem like a low performance for specific interactions. For example, if additional interaction includes a coupon print, no one should compare the number or cost of the coupon prints to a digital consumer promotions campaign with Coupons Inc.; that’s not an apples-to-apples comparison.

(DN) We have learned that less is more - greater user engagement comes not from overloading the ad with lots of buttons and interactions but rather from providing a meaningful set of options with which the user can engage and then leading them into a further immersive experience rather than overwhelming them with choices. We have to keep in mind that the video is the main creative asset, so we shouldn’t lose sight of that.

IAB: How do you measure success with these Digital Video Rising Stars formats?

(JO) Success of these formats still relies on the primary metric of video views but involves more nuances, with engagement rates acting as the differentiator between in-market or interested parties. For example, if reach is the same, wouldn’t a particular execution demonstrate greater value if it proved that the consumers were more likely to engage?

(DN) We use engagement rates measured as the number of times users interacted with the interactive elements in the ads. This is often coupled with engagement time - which measures how much time the user spent engaging with the ad experience. Both of these measures show value in interactive video as a way of creating greater user engagement. 

IAB: All digital display and mobile advertising is interactive, at least via a click-thru, yet the majority of digital video advertising is still not interactive. How do you see this changing?

(JO) I think the death of the click-thru as a primary metric is the reason that digital video is not interactive. The community views digital video more akin to TV, which isn’t interactive at all, so the interactivity and engagement shows no immediate benefit under this construct. In a black-and-white world, splashes of color do nothing until we start applying value to the color.

(DN) We think digital video is where display banners were 10 years ago. The first generation of banners looked much like their newspaper classified ad counterparts, i.e. static and non-interactive. They have, of course, since evolved to where now 40% of banners are rich interactive ads. With digital video, the number is something like 15% of ads being interactive; video ads are still generating high engagement rates even without being interactive, but once we start getting the equivalent of video ad blindness, we will probably see more rich interactive video ads as a way to make them stand out. 

IAB: What technical or operational issues did you have to overcome to launch these campaigns?

(JO) There’s a great deal of inherent risk when suggesting activations like this from a media perspective because we don’t hold the keys to creative assets or thinking. It takes a degree of loosening the grip of control of the process, from both the creative and media sides, to deal with this type of activation.

(DN) The varying sizes of video players - ranging from full-episode, TV-like video players to small players that are banner ad sized - posed a bit of a challenge to delivering creative that looked good regardless of the player size. We developed a “responsive” layout model similar to that used by mobile ads, in that our platform automatically selects a correctly sized layout to match the size of the video player. VPAID support by publishers was also a bit of limiting factor, but that has since largely been addressed now, with most publishers supporting VAST and VPAID standards for interactive video.

About the Author

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Peter Minnium 


As the Head of Brand Initiatives at IAB, Peter Minnium leads a series of initiatives designed to address the under-representation of creative brand advertising online. He can be reached on Twitter @PeterMinnium.
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The just-completed IAB MIXX Conference & Expo 2013 themed “Advertising is__________?,” explored the changing definition of advertising, with the two days focused on showcasing competing points of view, highlighting their differences, and looking for points of commonality. As part of this debate, the IAB convened a discussion on “Native Advertising: Fact and Fiction,” with the similar goal of creating a framework for understanding this hot new concept.

This session complements the work of the IAB Native Advertising Task Force, a group of companies 80+ members strong who are working to establish a framework for the native advertising space by putting forth a prospectus that clearly lays out today’s “native” landscape. This prospectus, targeted to advertisers, publishers, and ad tech providers, will provide a focused, guiding light to the industry while being broad enough that it can expand over time. In addition, it will provide a basis for further IAB initiatives in this space.

While the Task Force plans to publish their work in the fourth quarter, the IAB MIXX session attendees were given a sneak peak and chance to comment on the Task Force’s early findings. A panel of industry stakeholders led the feedback: Task Force Co-chair Patrick Albano, Vice President, Sales, Yahoo!; Steve Kondonijakos, Sr. Marketing Director, Federated Media; Stacy Minero, Leader, Content Marketing, Mindshare; Steve Rubel, Chief Content Strategist, Edelman; and Geoff Schiller, Chief Sales Officer, Hearst Digital.

The session kicked off with a discussion of the duality of “native advertising,” with the concept encompassing both an aspiration as well as a suite of ad products.  On the one hand, we all aspire to deliver “paid ads that are so cohesive with the page content, assimilated with the design, and consistent with the platform behavior that the viewer simply feels that they belong.”  On the other, tactically, advertisers must use ad products to achieve this, and the IAB Native Task Force has identified six categories commonly used today in pursuit of this goal:

1. Search Units, e.g. 
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2. Promoted Listings, e.g.:
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3. Recommended Content Units, e.g.:
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4. In-Feed Ads, e.g.:
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5. In-Ad (IAB Standard) Units, e.g.:
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6. Custom, e.g.:
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The group discussed at length the core dimensions of ads that feel native, including form, the extent to which the ad fits with the overall page design; function, how well the ad matches the editorial feel of the content in which it is nested; and technology, the degree to which the viewer can treat the ad like they can any other content on the site.  Amid a spirited debate, consensus is emerging that you can achieve a native experience through three, two, or even one of these, depending on the site, brand message, and audience mix. 

There was a great deal of enthusiasm in the room about the unique benefits that the advent of “native” has brought to display advertising. First and foremost, display advertising has been freed from the “ad ghetto” of the right rail and leaderboard to which it has long been confined and now has license to settle anywhere on the page. The horse is now out of the barn, and advertising will not be forced back into solely those positions. A corollary benefit of this move is getting advertising into the user’s natural activity stream—where print and TV advertising have always been. Allowing the viewer to interact further without leaving the site is much preferred to clicking through to a new website.  Finally, “native” is decidedly and overwhelmingly a form of brand advertising, a category that display has long fought with marginal success to conquer.

The lively conversation provided useful feedback to the IAB Native Task Force. Audience members encouraged the IAB to find the right balance between standardization and customization—giving enough firm guidance to help make the market, but not too much to stifle it—while best practices around disclosure were also highlighted as a need. 

Have we answered the question, “Native Advertising is__________?” The IAB Native Task Force and feedback for the IAB MIXX session clearly show that there is real agreement around what it is not: a single, uni-dimensional ad product. Rather, it is an end goal—an aspiration—that folks seek to attain via a number of paid advertising tactics. The IAB Native Task Force will absorb the advice and carry forward the enthusiasm of the IAB MIXX session as it works to publish the IAB Native Prospectus that details these principles in the fourth quarter.

About the Author
peter-minnium-headshot.jpg
 Peter Minnium


As the Head of Brand Initiatives at IAB, Peter Minnium leads a series of initiatives designed to address the under-representation of creative brand advertising online. He can be reached on Twitter @PeterMinnium.

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The advertising ecosystem today is inventing smart, unique campaigns that use the latest interactive advances to engage consumers. The results are powerful.  With audiences bombarded by marketing messages in every medium, advertisers are pushing the envelope to get attention and creating a truly dynamic marketplace as they surprise, delight, and win followers.

In response, we’ve added seven new categories to this year’s IAB MIXX Awards to make sure the best, most forward-thinking work gets noticed. Through the global IAB MIXX Awards, the IAB recognizes the talent that crafts this innovative, leading edge and high impact creative. The new categories give the digital industry more opportunities to showcase how brands and agencies move their business - and the advertising industry - forward.

Iab-mixx-awards-2013-logo.jpgBranded Utility
A successful branded utility campaign has the power to embed the use of the brand into consumers’ everyday behavior—Nike+ FuelBand, the 2013 IAB MIXX Awards Gold winner in Digital Integration—is the perfect example.  David’s Bridal recently got media attention for its app that lets brides make wish lists, interact with bridesmaids, keep track of their bridal purchases, plan the wedding party, show her current mood through an icon, upload images, log-in via Facebook and send invites to friends through the social network.  Those newlyweds might then move on to using the Chip It! app from 2012 IAB MIXX Awards’ “Best in Show” winners Sherwin Williams and McKinney that lets you match real world colors with paint colors. 

Content Marketing
Content marketing is increasingly recognized as a new channel for brand marketers.  At least two major agencies recently announced new units devoted to helping clients with content marketing development.  American Express is well known for its “OPEN” Forum dispensing advice of all kinds to small businesses.  Lincoln Motor Company’s “Lincoln Now” site features content that celebrates design, technology and art, and in the process, the company’s 90-year history of making cars.

Augmented Reality
Augmented reality campaigns take advantage of consumers’ addictive smartphone behavior by creating often game-like apps that communicate brand messages in clever ways.  How do you get an adult audience to rekindle their love of Lucky Charms cereal?  This year Lucky Charms agency Saatchi and Saatchi created an augmented reality app that sent customers on a “Chase for the Charms,” complete with a $10,000 “pot of gold” at the end of the rainbow.

Custom Mobile Rich Media Display  AND IAB Standard Mobile Rich Media Display

With mobile advertising skyrocketing by 111% in 2012 as reported in our recent study, brands are out to take advantage of the landslide shift of eyeballs to mobile. Major publishers like USA Today, New York Times, ESPN and more are hosting rich media ads on their mobile apps, and platforms like Google, Twitter, Facebook and Pandora are drawing huge mobile audiences.  Last year the IAB established its first-ever mobile ad standards — the Mobile Rising Stars.  Agencies are expressing great creative ideas through these new formats with great consumer and business effect.  For example, Dunkin’ Donuts and Celtra used Facebook for a mobile ad using rich media and HTML5 to let users customize their perfect drink.

Clicks-to-Bricks
Retail brand marketers are using interactive in significant ways to drive traffic to their brick and mortar stores.  Macy’s created an all-purpose Black Friday app last November that enabled shoppers to preview and get push notification on Black Friday specials, create lists to share with friends and family, direct shoppers toward local store specials and preview exclusive items.  The app’s debut coincided with Macy’s holiday broadcast campaign featuring spots with Justin Bieber, Carlos Santana, Martha Stewart and Taylor Swift.  The IAB MIXX Awards honor not just creativity but impact and nowhere is ROI felt more immediately than in a retail environment

What’s next? We’ve added one final category to find out:

Can’t be Contained!  - Any execution so experimental and innovative that it defies categorization in the IAB MIXX Awards!
Technology is moving fast, and cutting edge agencies and brand marketers are keeping up with it.  “Can’t be Contained” offers agencies and brand marketers the chance to submit their campaigns using the latest most experimental, groundbreaking technology.  No doubt there are even more forward thinking digitally savvy campaigns on the horizon.

Learn more about the global IAB MIXX Awards at iab.net/mixxawards.

About the Author 
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Peter Minnium
As the Head of Brand Initiatives at IAB, Peter Minnium leads a series of initiatives designed to address the under-representation of creative brand advertising online. He can be reached on Twitter @PeterMinnium.

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I am not a native advertising expert, but I am an ad pro—and I know bad advertising when I see it. Just because an ad is designed specially to fit on a digital content page, I am not giving it a pass on quality. The truth is that most all so-called “native advertising” is crap.  To be fair, most all advertising is quality-challenged, including offline and on. This is the main problem we should all be working to address.

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How? Here are my three golden rules for all advertising, native or not. Respect this holy trinity to be effective.

1. Make it Relevant.  We know more about each specific page viewer and the content on that page than ever before, yet digital advertising feels even less relevant to me than traditional does. I know I will see car related ads in car magazines, but what ad content I can expect when online seems almost entirely random (I’m excluding the perversely persistent re-targeting which is rarely really relevant). While the potential for relevance is greater than ever, so too are the challenges given digital fragmentation.  It is hard, but difficulty is not an acceptable excuse.

2. Make it Great. Content is still king. We forget this way too often when mesmerized by our data and technology.  These things do not scale ads—great ideas do.  “Great” here can mean abundant utility, entertainment, or information, among other things. This is not a judgment call—an ad earns this grade if viewers interact with it and we have the ability to precisely measure this (and it ain’t via clicks).

3. Place it in the User’s Activity Flow.  And, the corollary, allow the same user interactions as on the content part of the page.  TV and print got this right from the start with ads integrated into the viewer’s activity stream. Commercial breaks and full page ads are known and accepted by consumers as part of the overall content experience. They may not be liked, but the value exchange is recognized by all.  In the digital world, it was decided long ago to put the ads on the periphery of the action. Also at present, viewers have extremely limited options to interact with ads on the page. The sole choice of click-through or not is hopelessly inadequate in this regard. We need to change this to allow users to do within the ads what they have become accustomed to doing outside of them. This is beginning to change with things like the IAB Rising Stars and is a major benefit of many other native ad formats.

Good advertising has the ability to transform businesses and transfix consumers—no matter what form it takes. Let’s move past debating the format and put our collective efforts on realizing the long touted, yet rarely delivered, promise of digital advertising by making better ads. 

About the Author 
peterminnium-headshot.jpg


Peter Minnium

As the Head of Brand Initiatives at IAB, Peter Minnium leads a series of initiatives designed to address the under-representation of creative brand advertising online. He can be reached on Twitter @PeterMinnium.

If you believe digital display advertising is dead, you’ve misunderstood the Internet. It is in fact, alive and well. It has evolved and consistently grown over time. 

Here are 10 facts about banner advertising that may surprise you:

1. Display/Banner ad revenues grew to $3.6 billion in HY 2012, up 11% from HY 2011. (IAB/PwC)

2. 80% of brand marketers increased their display ad budgets or kept at same level in 2012. (Digiday/Vizu)

3. Banner ad spending will rise from $8.68 billion in 2012 to $11.29 billion in 2016. (eMarketer)

4. Banner ads are 1.5x more effective in raising product awareness to consumers than direct mail. (Nielsen)

5. Nearly 6 trillion display ad impressions were delivered across the web in 2012. (comScore)

6. 75% of users remember the brand after viewing an online banner ad. (Dynamic Logic MarketNorms database /Millward Brown Digital)

7. Clicks don’t matter anymore. Online advertisers are embracing a viewable impressions standard that helps brands make sure their ads are seen by publishers. (Making Measurement Make Sense).

8. The new IAB Standard Ad Portfolio is 70% new. The 468x60 display banner and 10 other units have actually been retired since 2011. (IAB)

9. The new display ad units are effective. Users are 2.5x more likely to interact with a Rising Stars display ad unit than a legacy IAB ad unit and spend 2x as much time interacting with the ad. (IAB / IPG MediaLab/Moat)

10. The Rising Stars display formats have already been adopted on 5 continents and in more than 35 countries. (IAB)

The digital world is changing, led by IAB — in innovative brand and measurement units fit for the ecosystem we now live in: a new, cross screen, interactive display reality.

About the Author

peterminnium-headshot.jpg




 Peter Minnium

 As the Head of Brand Initiatives at IAB, Peter Minnium leads a series of initiatives designed to address the under-representation of creative brand advertising online. He can be reached on Twitter @PeterMinnium.

Content Marketing: Who's The Boss?

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Leading publishers and technology providers discuss innovative, collaborative content sharing efforts

While it is the year of data, mobile, and the snake, 2013 also continues to revitalize the age-old trend of content marketing and syndication. It seems these ideas are so old they’re new again.

John Deere has been doing it since 1895 with “The Furrow,” so what is making content marketing so attractive now to the modern marketer? While there is no clear cut definition of content marketing, I would put forth that it is content created by a brand, that even if the branding were removed, that the content would still be valuable and engaging to a reader. If done well, it creates positive brand connotation. And if we work with that definition, it makes sense that the modern marketer (much like the modern publisher) wants to get the attention of content-ravenous consumers, most of whom have one or more devices attached to them at any given moment with which to consume.

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CM Town Hall Kontera.jpgiabcmjoepanel.jpgLast week, the IAB held a Content Marketing Town Hall to foster a discussion around both the concerns and opportunities publishers have in the content marketing and syndication space. The IAB AdLab was packed to the brim. Publishers came with some fears about brands honing in on the content business. To open the day, Andrew Susman, President & CEO of StudioOne and ICSC Board Chairman, reminded us with calming voice that,iabcmforbes.jpgiabcmMinniumMartini.jpg“Currently the industry sees branded content as a type of media buy, but actually it’s a type of content. If you bring audience to branded content - you get content marketing.” 

Joe Pulizzi, Founder of the Content Marketing Institute, delivered the opening keynote of the day, outlining the opportunity for publishers and brands to work together to deliver relevant content to consumers, whether branded or editorial, because, as Jonathan Perelman, VP Agency Strategy and Industry Development at BuzzFeed later noted, “Great content finds its audience.” So it seems that the name of the game is getting engaging content in a place where your readers will consume it, whether you’re a publisher embracing branded content on your site, or you’re looking to syndicate out your editorial content to brands. 

One concern did resound in the room around advertorial content. Should there be guidelines that clearly denote advertorial content? Do ethical standards need to be set for branded content and along with it, best practices on transparency and disclosure? Do we need to create sponsored content labeling conventions? And especially as automated platforms serve up content, how can we ensure that we’re seamlessly integrating advertorial content but not duping readers? The need to ensure will undoubtedly be an ongoing conversation within the IAB, among our membership, and in the industry as a whole.

Download Content Marketing Insights from IAB’s January 2013 Town Hall 

The IAB Content Marketing Town Hall was held on January 24, 2013. Moderated by Susan Borst, Director, Industry Initiatives, IAB, the following industry leaders presented at this IAB member-exclusive event:

Amy Hyde, Product Strategy & Business Development R&D Ventures, New York Times Company

Andrew Susman, President and CEO, StudioOne; Board Chairman, ICSC

Asli Hamamci, Director, Digital, Mindshare

Bill Powers, EVP - Corporate Development, Swoop

Brett Curtis, Global Business Director, Thomson Reuters

Greg Cypes, Director of Product, AddThis

Hal Muchnick, President, Kontera

Joe Pulizzi, Founder, Content Marketing Institute

John LoGioco, SVP & GM, Outbrain

Jonathan Perelman, VP Agency Strategy & Industry Development, Buzzfeed

Ken Zinn, DVP of Marketing - Online Business Unit, Sears Holding

Mark Howard, SVP - Digital Advertising Strategy, Forbes Media

Michael Goefron, Director of Operations, Unruly Media

Peter Minnium, Head of Digital Brand Initiatives, IAB

Shafqat Islam, Co-Founder & CEO, Newscred

Skip Brand, CEO, Martini Media

Tim Clark, Corporate Blogs Editor-in-Chief & Social Media Strategist, SAP


 About the Author

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Julie Van Ullen

Julie Van Ullen is the Vice President of Member Services at the Interactive Advertising Bureau. Ms. Van Ullen oversees member acquisition, participation, and retention programs. In addition, she works with designated member leaders to develop strategic, market-marking initiatives for execution within IAB’s Committees and Councils.

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My Experience as an IAB Rising Stars Awards Judge

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The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) is known for creating display, mobile and video guidelines for the advertising industry. In 2010, the IAB created its first ever Rising Stars initiative as a means to highlight successful user experience and brand equity in display, mobile and video advertising. Last week I had the opportunity to judge dozens of the digital video submissions from leading brands and media moguls like Microsoft, Google, YouTube and Hulu as part of the IAB Rising Stars digital video ad format competition. The goal of the competition is to work with brands to develop digital video advertising standards to capture innovation and creativity for the good of the industry.

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In 2012 the digital advertising industry experienced an explosion of new advertising opportunities and with it, an increasingly complex landscape within which to develop powerful digital video advertising. My job, in collaboration with the other Rising Stars digital video judges, was to narrow down fifty-five final entries to six. Being part of the judging process with colleagues across digital, media and advertising agencies was an awe-inspiring experience. We focused on selecting new formats, which will allow creatives to develop rich brand experiences within video advertising.

The new digital video industry standards are currently being finalized and will be announced February 2013 at the IAB Annual Leadership Meeting.

About the Author

Jeannie Fratoni

Jeannie Fratoni

Jeannie Fratoni is Creative Director and Co-Founder at Red Door Interactive.

 

Peter Minnium did a great job of gathering about 50 ad industry professionals of various digital make-ups in the same room. He certainly had a good reason: voting for the new Mobile Ad Standards doesn’t happen very often. Consequences are long-lasting.

Mobile is an interesting area. Amount of time users spend on their smartphones and tablets is not proportional to the amount of knowledge that either marketers or agencies have about how to effectively reach via mobile those same consumers. We’ve seen a lot of formats during the course of the day. At the end, I was not sure anymore what a format means. It seems I was not the only one—my confusion has apparently shared by a lot of entrants, too. There were quite a few solutions that resembled a Content Management System (CMS) more than a mobile ad. Others looked (and were) very expensive solutions, more expensive than we are used to seeing spent for an ad. Some suffered from non-intuitiveness and usability challenges. There were very, very good ones, of course—but I can’t reveal those until the winners are announced soon!

Our task was to pick a half-dozen Mobile Ad Standards that will work across the mobile ecosystem so that any stakeholder can develop a creative concept for a single mobile ad unit. The idea was that, in the future, these standards would allow wide mobile ad buys, aligned in the scale and scope with the online ones. (I can see the clients already getting excited). All of this is new.

Mobile-Rising-Stars-Judges.jpgIAB Mobile Rising Stars judges

New things usually happen by experimentation, testing different hypotheses and learning from results. Trying to replicate the process in the course of six hours is difficult, but not impossible. Diverse group of people, from various backgrounds, specialties, and points of view create a robust discussion where different perspectives are challenged, questioned, or supported. All of us there knew that our opinions count, and furthermore, that we will be held accountable for what comes out of that room. It made us even more critical and bold in our feedback. That was hopefully a good thing.

My overall takeaway is that innovation is hard. Replacing 2D mobile banners into immersive and engaging new ad units that utilize the full potential of mobile behaviors will take time. The standards will be updated. Ads will hopefully become more integrated into the overall mobile user experience and more naturally aligned with the user navigation as they intuitively move through content, commerce and communities. It won’t be something that needs to be swiped in a specific way or, something that provides islands of peculiar experience separated from everything else. Companies creating fully interactive banners will think more about how to get users to their banners as much as they are thinking what happens in banners once users click, or swipe, or do whatever the vendor envisioned them to do to start the experience. Tech back-end development, production costs and platform and OS hurdles will be slowing the process down, too. So will the education of 25-year old media buyers used to repeating the same buying practices and relying on the proven sources of revenue.

We are clearly just at the beginning. But the best thing about the beginnings is that they give you something to start from.

About the Author

Ana Andjelic

Ana works as Digital Strategist at Droga5 in New York. Before joining Droga, Ana worked at HUGE, Inc, Razorfish, The Barbarian Group, AKQA and Wunderman. Her work has been focused on digital branding, digital marketing, and digital content strategies for clients like Citibank, Nokia, Toyota, CNN, Target, Maybelline, and Burberry. Ana is a frequent contributor to AdAge, where she writes about digital marketing, and also shares her thoughts on her blog, I [love] marketing. Her presentations included Miami Ad School, Hyper Island Master Class, and Social Media Week. You can find her on Twitter @andjelicaaa.