Results tagged “Rising Stars” from IABlog

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

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.

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

About the Author 

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.

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 

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.


The IAB Rising Stars: Study Findings and Industry Recommendations

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The introduction of the new IAB Rising Stars (RS) - Billboard, Filmstrip, Portrait, Pushdown, Sidekick and Slider - in 2011 ushered in a new era in standard, brand-building display units. The larger, interactive palettes are an ideal vehicle for digital brand advertising at scale.


On the occasion of their two-year anniversary, Undertone surveyed its clients - brands and agencies - as well as publisher partners on key questions reltaed to awareness, sentiment, challenges and metrics. Our goal was to both gain a better understanding as well as create some actionable next steps for the industry to drive adoption of RS.

Key findings:

RS have high awareness with agencies: Over two thirds (69%) of agency respondents were aware of RS compared with 31% on the brand side.

Agency optimism is high: And of those agencies that were familiar with RS, 73% stated that they were either somewhat or very likely to use them again in 2013.

RS drive results: only 2% of agency respondents who ran RS campaigns in 2012 plan to decrease spend on the units in 2013. And performance was the highest ranked evaluation criteria for both brands and agencies.

There are common barriers to entry: for agencies with larger budgets ($10 million and above), concerns over distribution were the key barrier to entry. For agencies with smaller budgets, cost was a factor. For publishers, site design issues and concerns over demand were key issues.

Pushdown and Billboard are the stars amongst Stars: Pushdown was far and away the most adopted format by agencies, brands and publishers in 2012. Billboard was second.

What does this mean?

While RS are off to a great start, there are two clear takeaways for all of us in the industry who believe in their ability to drive value for brands:

Focus on education: publishers, vendors and agencies should spend time educating brands on RS and their value. In addition, more work should be done to understand which units are appropriate for different campaign goals.

Eliminate the gaps: there is a catch-22 situation happening with RS on the buy- and sell-side. Larger agencies are concerned about their ability to gain distribution, while publishers are concerned about lack of demand (and thus hesitant to do the needed website development to accept RS). More prevalence in agency RFPs could give the sell-side the confidence they need.

At the 2013 IAB Annual Leadership Meeting, Randall Rothenberg asked all in attendance to commit to supporting digital brand advertising. IAB Rising Stars are a fantastic place to start. For the full IAB Rising Stars Study, please go to

About the Author
Eric Franchi

Eric Franchi is a Co-Founder of Undertone. He is responsible for the company’s thought leadership and media relations. He can be reached on Twitter @EricFranchi

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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.


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.


As Internet Week finished up in the Big Apple last week, one of the hottest topics in the marketing world continued to revolve around paid, owned, and earned media. Whether it’s being discussed on stage by industry veterans or chatted about by media planners over insanely priced cocktails, it has become the focus of every brand’s marketing strategy.

So what exactly is paid, owned, earned media? The characterization varies depending upon whom you ask, but Forrester provided a pretty solid definition for the model. Essentially, paid is any media that a brand specifically pays for; search, display ads, etc. Owned is any channel a brand controls; web site, blog, Facebook page, etc. And earned, the most coveted and hardest to secure, is media customers use to help spread the brand’s message; social media, WOM, etc.

The key to paid, owned, and earned media is understanding the way that each of the different media types work together and being able to seamlessly integrate and execute a plan that leverages all three elements to achieve the intended goal of the model. It has often been a challenge to do all three simultaneously. However, if used correctly, one of the IAB Rising Stars can act as the ultimate paid, owned, and earned media tool.

Launched over a year ago, the IAB Portrait is a premium ad unit that offers marketers a rich creative canvas to socially engage users with sight, sound and motion. This 300 X 1050 unit includes state-of-the-art plug and play functionality, delivering a streamlined and impactful brand canvas. With three different modules for brand’s to use as they see fit, this ad unit can feature a compelling brand video while simultaneously incorporating social media elements like Facebook or Twitter feeds. Each module can essentially be aligned to the paid, owned, and earned media strategy. Here are a few ideas you should consider to achieve success from this model.

Paid - Leverage the largest module in the IAB Portrait ad unit for brand messaging. This module offers the opportunity to showcase a brand’s video assets with an expandable video player. This provides a beautiful canvas to convey a brand story and build long-term relationships with existing and new customers.

Example: A car company showcases its latest model through engaging video.

Owned - The smaller modules can be used for just about anything. Some brands have used this real estate to conduct surveys or incorporate maps. To make the most out of earned media, a brand can integrate it’s own Facebook page or include a live Twitter feed.

Example: A car company includes a Find A Dealer application that allows users to search for dealers within their neighborhood, directly in the ad unit itself.

Earned - Getting customers to spread the message is never easy. But with modules built into the ad unit for sharing about a new product or service directly under the brand message itself, it is almost a natural fit. This module can be used for a brand to interact with customers via photo galleries or live chat.

Example: A car company let’s potential customers customize the features of a new car model and share the finished product with their social network.

No matter what you choose to do, the IAB Portrait’s blank canvas offers endless opportunities to create a successful paid, owned, and earned media strategy.

About the Author

sp_goldberg_michael.jpg Michael Goldberg

As the Director of Marketing Communications for IAB member company Martini Media, Michael Goldberg oversees corporate branding and messaging, ensuring Martini Media is well positioned in the marketplace. In his role, Michael works with the team to produce, measure and grow marketing campaigns across multiple channels.


At IAB, we listen a lot to our members and the digital industry. We discuss ideas with you at many of our events, too. And we genuinely want to hear from you, to help us move the industry forward.

As social media manager for IAB and the voice of @IAB, I’m always exploring networks, trends, and tools, and creative ways to strengthen relationships, communicate IAB efforts, create engaging content, help tell your stories, and foster a better two-way dialogue between IAB and its membership. One of those great social media tools we often use in those timely conversations is our Facebook page, of which I’m proud to say that the IAB has 13,549 followers as of this writing.

It’s been a big week in digital advertising. As many of you know, we recently released news of a new standard ad unit portfolio at the fifth anniversary of the IAB Annual Leadership Meeting, an exciting three days among the top thought leaders in digital advertising. Among that portfolio were six IAB Rising Stars Display ad units—new interactive units that enable marketers to tell bigger, bolder brand stories.

Facebook also unveiled its own news yesterday about Facebook Timeline for Brands at its Facebook Marketing Conference (fMC), to help brands tell better stories through their new products such as Timeline for Pages, Mobile Ads and Premium Ads. For those brands that may not have made the switch yet, here’s what some of our members have said about it:

ForbesFacebook Timeline for Brands: It’s About Storytelling

WSJBrand-name deals to mix with Facebook friend posts

AdWeekFacebook Relaunches Its Ad Platform, Says Brand Pages Are At the Center
(by Michael Lazerow, Chairman and CEO of Buddy Media)

AdAgeFacebook Offers Brands, Flush With Fans, New Ways to Spend Money
(including quotes from Mark Renshaw, CIO of Leo Burnett and Bryan Weiner, CEO of 360i)


We’re pleased to announce that the IAB has already modified our Facebook Page to Timeline, at Check it out as a great resource for IAB history, stories, and news. As we begin to share IAB history with interesting content, connect more with people, and tell better stories, take a look and let us know what you think.

Helping you better build your brand stories digitally is important to IAB. In fact, it’s one of our primary goals for 2012. As Randall Rothenberg, President and CEO of IAB, spoke about at our MIXX Conference & Expo in October 2011, such brand innovation in the digital industry will come from storytelling, not simply technology.

Help us continue to build better relationships with you, wherever you are and whatever platforms you use. We want to hear from you!

About the Author


Jeff Fryer

Jeff Fryer is Marketing Manager, IAB, and helps the IAB to better listen, understand, and engage in conversations in social media. You can tweet him @jfryer2000 and follow the IAB on Twitter @IAB.


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.